Easement Law: Will I Have to Share My Property?
When you hear the term “easement,” you may automatically think of sharing property, and this may be something that immediately concerns you about your property or future property. There are many types of easements, many of which you won’t find out about until you have made your property purchase and brings you many concerns. Today we will look at many types of easements, the ways they are created and dissolved, and more.
Types of Easements
Easements come in all shapes and sizes, each one bringing its own concerns when you own a new house. Here are a few examples you may encounter:
The Right of Way: In these cases, a neighbor may need to pass through the property through a driveway or main road. One property owner may need to get an easement so that they are able to gain legal access to the driveway depending on how the houses are built on the land. The owner still owns their land but may need to share the driveway for access purposes only.
Utility Maintenance: These easements come into play when a utility company needs to run power and cable lines into a property, especially in new developments where they are completely necessary for the neighborhood to function.
HOAs or Condos: These easements are necessary if you live in a condo or homeowners association-type home, where residents have rights to pass through because they are considered “public” areas.
Appurtenant and “In Gross”
A legal agreement will be entered if an easement is absolutely necessary based on the circumstances of your home. Here are two types of easements you will probably encounter:
In Gross: An easement “in gross” is a personal easement that doesn’t transfer when the property is sold. This means that, if you and your neighbor share a driveway and you decide to sell your home, the new owner and past resident of the other house will not have an easement in place. This means that they would have to discuss new options.
Appurtenant: These “run with the land,” which means that they are part of formal land ownership and will always remain this way. This means that, if the property is sold, the easement will come along with it and they will have to understand the agreement that has been set in place.
Can an Easement be Terminated?
Yes, in some cases. Perhaps the courts believe that one party is taking advantage of the easement and using it beyond reasonable use. Maybe this substantially interferes with the landowner. An instance of this is if your driveway is being used as beach access, but more crowds have been coming to the beach than originally intended, and now you constantly find beach-goers parking in your driveway as they wait for others or neglecting to use a parking lot. This would probably interfere with your home life, so you could speak with somebody about the issue.
We understand the frustrations and concerns you may have with your easement agreement, which is why we are here for you when your concerns become reality. At DeVries & Associates, we want to find solutions that protect your real estate interests. Call us today at either our Honolulu office (808-465-2500) or our Kailua Kona office (808-339-3200 for more information.