An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s land for a particular purpose. For example, the municipal water company may have an easement to run water pipes under your property. Your name is on the deed (you’re the title holder and the property owner), but the water company has the right to use a part of your property for its pipes. Easements are sometimes in writing and referred to in property deeds or title papers prepared by a title insurance company or attorney.
Easements are part and parcel of the land they affect. They don’t change when the property changes hands. Subsequent owners are obliged to let whoever owns the easement use the property, so anyone buying a house should be sure to find out exactly what easements a property is subject to before finalizing the purchase.
There are several types of easements, including utility easements, private easements, easements by necessity, and prescriptive easements (acquired by use of property).
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