While a given piece of land or property will generally have a single owner, there are several situations where others may have the temporary or permanent right to use, cross or access this land without assuming any ownership. This is a common situation where something called easements are regularly used – they allow for these kinds of basic use and crossing rights when certain situations call for it.
At Diamond Land Surveying, we’re widely familiar with easements and all their applications, and we offer easement drafting as one of our numerous land surveyor services. In today’s blog, we’ll go over what easements are and the purposes they serve, plus several of the resources available that will assist you with easements and who has permission to use your property for distinct purposes – namely professionals like utility company workers or other related fields.
As we noted above, an easement is used to define the right of a non-property owner to use, cross or otherwise access land. Many of us live with easements on our property without ever knowing they were present.
In the vast majority of cases, easements refer to very specific types of use for those permitted on another’s land. Such use will be considered an interest in the land, but not an occupation or any form of ownership. Easements are often granted to utility companies so they can run their lines across properties, and there are also easement types like preservation easements (for historic areas) or recreation easements (for public development).
So how do you know who might have an easement and permission to use your property? There are a few resources available, which we’ll go over in subsequent sections.
One of the most common property survey formats is the subdivision plat, which contains a number of different basic pieces of information on a basic property map. One such area of information will generally be all easements that were in effect at the time of the creation of the subdivision. In most cases, the plat will also list all the companies or entities who have permission to use the easement areas – this will usually be restricted to utility or similar entities.
Another document that lists easements is the title commitment, which includes all easements of record in the Schedule B Section II. Included will be the name of the person or company who has the easement granted to them, plus the recorded Deed Book and Page of that document. If the document needs to be accessed, this can be done at the Recorder of Deeds office.
In many states, there are free programs offered where assessors will come to your property and locate the actual utility lines or other items on your property. They will then mark these with paint or pin flags so you’re aware of their location.
For more on easements and property use rights, or to learn about any of our boundary or property surveys, speak to the staff at Diamond Land Surveying today.