Easements affect the property rights of many real property owners.     An easement grants to the holder a right to use land owned by another.

Affirmative vs. Negative Easements:

Easements that grant usage rights are affirmative easements, while easements that restrict the use of your property are negative easements. Easements also differ in the way they are created and in how they are passed.

How Are Easements Created?

  • Formal Agreement Easements:       Most easements are created by formal agreement.
  • Prescription Easements:       If an individual can prove continuous, uninterrupted, visible, and adverse use of land for a period of at least 10 years, an easement by prescription will be created.
  • Easements by Necessity:       This situation often arises when a landowner sells a portion of his or her property to another and that piece of property is landlocked without access to a road. A court will sometimes grant an easement by necessity to the new landowner to cross the original landowner’s property for the purpose of reaching a road.
  • Easements Appurtenant:       An easement appurtenant is an easement that is intended to benefit a specific piece of land and not a specific individual. The easement “runs with the land” (meaning it transfers from one owner to the next) and can be utilized by subsequent property owners. An easement from a property owner to a neighbor allowing the neighbor to drive across the property owner’s land to reach a road is an example of an easement appurtenant.
  • Easements in Gross:       The most common example of easements in gross are in the case of utility companies requiring the use of a property to provide their services. This can apply to residential property owners, as well as commercial. The rights and access granted can be above ground, or even underground, depending on the utility company.       A common example could be a new development in or around where a city is being built.       This new development will require utilities to reach it. In this case, perhaps new power lines will need to be raised, but the property where they would lie could be owned by others, such as buildings, or homes. In order to install these power lines, the utility company in charge of cable, electricity, or both, will request that an easement in gross be created so that they may utilize the property to install such services. Since the installation neither benefits the owner of the property where the easement lies nor the holder of the easement (utility company), this is known to be an easement in gross.

Hire a Knowledgeable Kansas City Real Estate Attorney:

Give Ms. Hunter a call if you need to use someone else’s property or if someone is trying to use your property.     An easement may need to be negotiated or one may be on file with the land records.

Kansas City Real Estate Attorney, Mandi R. Hunter, Building Legal Solutions.