Everything You Need to Know About Easements
Often when entering into an agreement to purchase a home, we learn of easements on the property. What can be confusing and concerning is the nature of that easement. What exactly does it mean and how does it impact the property owner? In short, an easement is a nonpossessory right to use and/or enter onto the property of another owner without having the full rights of property ownership. An easement allows a party to enter a property owned by another. It is common law in most jurisdictions, including New Jersey.
New Jersey Easements
Easements in New Jersey can be affirmative or negative. An affirmative easement gives the easement holder the right to enter and use the property of the grantor for specific purposes such as building, inspecting, repairing, etc. It is usually done because the easement holder has an interest in the property that does not include possession. A negative easement is given to landowners prohibiting them from using their property in a defined manner. This can include clauses such as no allowance for structures that block views of other property owners. Negative easements can also be included in Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CCRs), which are also common in New Jersey.
Easements can impact the value or marketability of a property – Source MasterClass
Types of Easements
Easements share characteristics with eminent domain but are a different type of real estate law. In our state, we have many types of easements such as perpetual easements for the protection of historic properties, as well as term easements for certain types of non-profit organizations. There are right-of-way easements that pertain to passing through, over, on or under lands with plant facilities. Express easements are meant to be created and executed quickly for the purpose of items such as paying taxes or insurance, default and maintenance.
Utility Easements in New Jersey
One of the most common easement types we handle is an easement regarding utilities. Utilities such as power, water, gas, phone, cable, internet and others are essential to living and conducting business in New Jersey. However, there are limits to which property owners are obliged to grant rights to their property. In fact, utilities are required by law to provide notice to landowners before entering a property unless:
- It is an emergency.
- An owner has previously waived their right.
- Where the owner consents to entry.
- If an easement contains a previous provision allowing entry.
- If the area needing to be accessed is located on, over or through any public property.
Source: New Jersey Permanent Statutes 48:3-17.10.
New Jersey Easement Lawyer
Please remember that the issue of easement is a complex issue that requires clear understanding and detailed terms and conditions.. Partnering with an experienced attorney that specializes in this area of practice can be helpful if you are facing an easement.
Do you have questions? We are here to help. Please contact us to discuss your situation.
Disclaimer: Please note that this blog is informational only and is not meant to provide legal advice. Each situation is different and requires informed care and decisions. Please seek guidance from a licensed attorney before proceeding with your transaction.