What Are Utility Easements?

October 24, 2018 11:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re hoping to invest in a new piece of property, or if you’re planning to plant some tall trees or construct a new building on your existing land, it’s important that you first have a comprehensive understanding of any utility easements that may be on the property in question, and any associated restrictions that you need to obey.

Easements are small sections of your property, usually travelling in a parallel line through your property or along its edge, that your local utility company has laid claim to in the past. While the utility doesn’t actually own this piece of property, they’re allowed to install overhead poles or underground conduits and wiring, so long as it benefits the community. Additionally, they’re allowed to perform maintenance and work as necessary.

Easements exist because it’s much easier for utility companies to construct and maintain power lines and water mains that run in a straight line through a neighborhood, rather than crisscrossing through various property lines.

If there’s an easement on your property, there are a number of things that you may not be allowed to do on that stretch of property, including planting trees with deep roots or tall branches, or starting new construction projects. Easements are usually uncovered when a land surveyor in Mobile, AL takes a look at your property as a part of a sale or before you begin a major construction project.

If you’re considering purchasing a home with an easement, it’s advisable to consult with a company specializing in property line surveying in Mobile AL, as well as a real estate attorney, to determine what kinds of responsibilities may come along with the easement.

Here are some other types of easements you may encounter:

  • Private easements: In some instances, a former land owner may have sold access to a part of your site as part of a deal with neighbors or a local business; this easement remains on the property, even though the site’s ownership may change.
  • Easements by necessity: Relatively rare, easements by necessity generally only occur when private land backs up against public space. For instance, if your property includes a driveway that leads to a national forest, you’ll need to grant public access. Setting up a gate or a fence would violate your easement by necessity.
  • Prescriptive easements: A type of “squatter’s right,” prescriptive easements are awarded when one party has been openly using your property for a certain number of years. If you, at a later date, attempt to restrict their use of your property, they may file for a prescriptive easement.

Polysurveying is a company specializing in property line surveying in Mobile, AL. If you need assistance determining whether your property has any easements, or if you have any responsibilities to carry out because of an easement on your site, reach out to one of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives today. We’ll send a land surveyor in Mobile, AL to take a look at your site and provide you with quality advice.

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