3 Real Estate Easements Every Agent Should Know About

16 November 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Working within the real estate industry can be exciting. Because of the financial risks associated with real estate investments, it's important that your clients understand the laws that govern real estate transactions. Since your clients will be looking to you as an expert, working with an attorney who specializes in real estate law can be beneficial.

Here are three types of legal real estate easements you might want to ask an attorney to thoroughly explain so that you can competently guide your clients in the future.

1. Utility Easements

In order to provide access to basic utilities like power, water, and natural gas, utility companies must install equipment within neighborhoods. The equipment powering several homes may be located on a single property, so utility easements become necessary to protect a utility company's access to their equipment.

If your clients are thinking of purchasing a home with a utility easement in place, it's important that they contact the utility company to determine the exact nature of the easement. A utility easement shouldn't affect day-to-day use of a property, but could affect the homeowner's ability to dig or remodel in the future.

2. Private Easements

A homeowner has the ability to sell an easement granting access to his or her land for a specific purpose. If your clients are thinking of purchasing a home with a private easement in place, it's important to contact the county recorder's office for copies of the original easement paperwork.

While an easement granting access for a sewer pipe to run from an uphill home to a main sewer line might not affect your clients in the future, an easement granting solar energy right could limit the type of foliage that can be planted on the property. Understanding the exact restrictions associated with a privately sold easement will help your clients make the best real estate purchase possible.

3. Prescriptive Easements

As a real estate agent, it's essential that you help your clients gather information about potential prescriptive easements. These easements have never formally been recorded, but stem from repeated use of a piece of property.

A great example is a neighbor using some property as a driveway to get a recreational vehicle into his or her backyard. While no explicit rights to the land were granted, the undeterred allowance of use of the property over time by previous owners could mean that your clients would have to deal with a prescriptive easement after purchase.

By working with a real estate attorney to better understand easements, you will be able to help your clients avoid legal problems after they purchase a new home.