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What should homeowners know about property easements?

Like many new homeowners in Miami and across the country, you might discover that your home title contains an item called an “easement.” What exactly does this mean? Simply put, an easement is a right-of-way provision that allows other people or entities the use or access to part of your land. This may not sound appealing, but usually won’t affect you negatively if you understand the terms of the easement.

For example, states Zillow, an easement on your property might mean that your neighbor is allowed to go through part of your driveway to reach his own house, if your driveway is particularly long or your parcel of land is unusually shaped. An easement might also give a utility company the right of way to go onto your property without permission to work on an underground cable or pipe.

Usually, you won’t have to do anything about an easement on your title except to know it exists and understand the terms that accompany it. You might be required to maintain that portion of your property to allow others access, such as keeping shrubbery trimmed or the driveway in good repair.

What if you want to dispute an easement on your title? Usually, all of the parties involved would need to agree to change it. You may have better luck removing an easement if it involves a neighbor you’re on amicable terms with. On the other hand, the local gas or water companies may require access to lines on your property, both for public safety and your own convenience. You may wish to be clear on your legal rights if another person or company damages your property while utilizing the easement. This information should be considered general in nature and is not meant to substitute as legal advice.

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