Easements are common with real estate, but they can also be a source of problems. If you have an easement on your property that your neighbors use to get to their homes, you may still have some control over this easement, how it is used, and what is done to it.
The purpose of easements
Easements are legal parts of properties, and they are designed to allow people to access certain parts of property. They are commonly used when there are landlocked properties, but they can also be used for utility work purposes.
When there is an easement on your land, you still own this land, but you must legally allow others to use it. If you stop people from using it, they could sue you.
Obligations you have
When you have an easement on your property, there are certain obligations you will assume, including
- Keeping the path clear – You cannot place any type of obstruction in the way of the path. If you do, the people that use the easement can move the obstructions.
- Making sure it is usable – While you do not legally have to maintain the easement in a certain way, you should make sure people can use it. In other words, you should not allow tree branches to get in the way of the path.
You must basically keep it in a condition that allows it to be used as needed.
In addition to having obligations, you also have rights when it comes to this easement because it is on your property. One right you have is to modify the easement. If you would like to make the path nicer by adding gravel to it, you have the legal right to do this. If you would like to make the path wider so it is easier to drive on, you can legally do this.
If any of your neighbors object to the upgrades you do to the easement, they may have to take you to court to try to fight it. Even if they do this, they will have a hard time winning the case because it is your land and you are not stopping anyone from using it.
If the easement on your property is starting to cause problems with your neighbors or anyone else, contact a real estate attorney. This will help you understand your rights and obligations, and you will find out legal advice about what you can do about the issues.