When you find what appears to be the perfect property, you need to check if it really is. Often properties have issues that mean they are not as good a deal as they first appear. One of those is easements.
An easement gives someone else the right to use part of your land. They might only be allowed to use it for access, or they may be able to use it for specified activities. That might not be a problem for you, but it all depends on precisely what the easement specifies.
What part of your land does it affect?
Allowing Ethel, your 93-year-old neighbor, to cross the bottom field to pick her carrots might not be an issue, especially if she drops a few bunches at your door in return. Allowing male electricity company workers to access a transformer by traipsing past the spot your teenage daughters plan to put an outdoor sauna might be.
Will you be expected to honor the easement?
Typically easements pass with the property. That’s to say that they are not specific to the owner unless, of course, that is how they are written. So if the terms of the original agreement make it clear that the right to pass across your land dies with Ethel or expires in December 2022, you might not need to worry about it so much.
If you are buying real estate, it is crucial to understand as much as possible about the property first. Seek legal help to check if your dream property has an easement or other potentially problematic issue.