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Easements: Vehicle Access, Utility, Or Conservation

by | Jan 17, 2019

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Easements grant (or restrict) specific rights and essentially create joint users of a property. Affirmative easements permit a specific type of use for a property, while negative easements restrict uses.

Below are three of the most common types of easements in real estate.

Vehicle Access Easements
A vehicle access easement gives another person or entity an interest in land owned by someone else. This access easement is used for a specified, limited purpose (such as to cross the land for access to a public road). A vehicle access easement should be in writing, signed by the owner of the land, and should include specific information about the location of the easement, as well as who will be responsible for maintenance of the easement. Without the legal right(s) that an easement provides, if you buy a piece of property that requires you to cross over someone else’s property, you’ll be trespassing every time you cross that landowner’s property.

Utilities Easements
Utility easements are extremely widespread. Easements for utilities are areas of a property that were defined for use by utility companies when the property was first put on a plat. Easements can include overhead utilities (electric, telephone, and cable) as well as underground utilities (water, sewer, electric telephone, and cable). Utilities easements also need to be in writing and recorded, so that the public is aware of the various utility companies that have rights in the property.

Conservation Easements
Conservation easements have gained popularity in recent years, because they allow property owners to maintain ownership and control of land, while permanently limiting the use of the land and protecting it from development. Often, in exchange for a conservation easement, a property owner will receive a tax credit, tax break, or property tax exemption. A conservation easement can be used to preserve plants or animals, natural or physical features of the land, or some other aspect of the land that has historical, scientific, or cultural significance. Primarily granted in perpetuity, conservation easements can be applied to all of a property, or just a section of it.

Importance Of Recording Easements
All easements should be in writing and recorded at the county clerk’s office where the property is located.

We’re Here For You – Experienced Real Estate Attorneys
Because of the “joint use” of property that easements cover, there can often be questions, issues, and conflicts. As experienced real estate attorneys, we can help you with all aspects of easements, including: the scope of an easement, permissible uses, amendments to easements, enforcement of easements, and more.

At Timely Contract, we have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Idaho, including: Boise, Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston, Moscow, and Sandpoint.

We also have local real estate attorneys who have experience throughout Montana, including: Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, and Kalispell.

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