An easement is a legal arrangement that means someone who does not own a piece of property does have a legal right to use it. There are many examples of how this happens, but one of the most common is when a person shares a driveway with a neighbor. That neighbor may not have any other way to access the nearby street, so the easement is in place so that both plots of land can be used properly.
When a property owner agrees to an easement, that may change the value of their property. Someone new may not want to honor that easement. If you’re buying a property that already has an easement in place, but you never agreed to it and you don’t want it to stay, do you have to honor it?
Does it run with the land?
There are different types of easements, but some of the most common ones are easements that are said to run with the land.
This means that the easement is not just an agreement between two people. It is a fundamental part of that property. It becomes part of the land that you are buying. It stays in place even when you become the new owner and the person who agreed to it moves on. If the easement that is on your new property runs with the land, then you do have an obligation to honor it after you buy.
It’s important to understand this after the fact, but you also need to know how this works before purchasing. You may be able to get the property for less money or you may choose to shop elsewhere. Either way, it’s critical for you to know about your legal obligations and the options you have.