What is the Difference Between Easement & Right of Way?
Property can be a strange thing and that’s exactly what we are going to look at here. You see, you might have the right to own land, but that doesn’t mean others don’t have a right to your land as well. Typical examples of this would be property rights such as Rights of Way and Easements.
These property rights can actually provide others with the right to use your land. Easements are the general property rights others have over your land. On the other hand, Right of Way is a little more specific. Let’s take a close look to know what all of this means.
A basic introduction
An easement gives one person the right to use the property of another. There are mainly two kinds – appurtenant and gross. The latter refers to the right you have over another individual’s land while the former refers to the use of one’s land for the benefit of adjoining lands.
Rights of Way allows an individual to enter your property and use it as a passage. The most obvious example is the road that leads or passes through your land. Other people have access to this road and they are given this right by law. The idea is to offer reasonable solutions for travel. Your property cannot be used to cut off people’s access. Basically, one portion of your land may be considered a public property under Rights of Way.
Easements exist as negative and affirmative. An affirmative easement basically allows a group or a person to carry out activity on another person’s land. For example, erect electrical posts. Negative easements are used to prevent an event or occurrence over an owned piece of land. For example, negative easements can prevent you from building something that interferes with a neighbor’s view.
How are Easements granted?
Easements and Rights of Way are granted by one landowner to another. This is executed in the form of a will, deed or contract. But, there is another method called adverse possession, which is granted when a person uses the land of another via notorious or hostile methods. This is also referred to as a Prescriptive Easement.
A few things to know
Easements or Rights of Way do not grant possessory powers. In other words, there are no ownership clauses. For example, one person cannot sell the land belonging to another. They only have a right to use the land.
Also, Easements can be terminated after an agreed upon period. Even so, an Easement via a deed is perpetual and stays with the land.
When buying property, it is wise to check for easements or rights of way as it can affect property value. Even if you buy the land at an affordable price, you may have a hard time selling it in the future. In fact, even if an easement isn’t in use, it doesn’t mean the property is free of any such agreement. So, pay attention.
For more information on the matter, talk to the experts at MAJR Resources.