Easements are important to understand because of the impact they have on land use and the value of property. At their most basic level, easements are a property right that creates an interest in land owned by someone else. This can be a tricky concept, which is why property owners should understand as much as possible about them.
Easements are referred to as a nonpossessory interest in land that the holder of the easement does not possess. Easement holders have the right to enforce their nonpossessory interest in property if the easement holder’s use is interfered with. The easement holder is not permitted to occupy the land or exclude others from the land. By contrast, the property owner can exclude all others from the land except the easement holder. Technical language is sometimes used to refer to easements and the transferability of easements. Easements can be challenging to understand and unpack.
A number of real estate litigation problems can arise related to the creation, interpretation, and implementation of easements. It is important for property owners to be familiar with how easements are created and transferred and what to do if a dispute related to an easement comes up. The creation of easements, as well as their transfer, quickly becomes complex, so it is helpful to have trained guidance throughout the process of creating and enforcing easement rights. Both an easement holder and a property owner must refrain from unreasonably and unduly burdening the other.
Remedies that can arise from easements disputes include monetary damages, certain restrictions, or the elimination of interference in certain circumstances. Claims of abandonment of an easement or termination of an easement may also be possible in some situations. The remedies available to a party to one of these disputes depends on the unique circumstances at hand. This is why property owners and easement holders alike should know the law and how to utilize it to protect their interests. A competent attorney can assist in this process.