News & InsightsMarket Minute Blog

How Easements Work

July 28, 2015

Easements are the right of one party to use the real estate of another for a specific purpose. Generally, easements transfer with the ownership of the property, subsequent owners of the property are subject to an easement granted by a prior owner.

EasementsUtility easements are the most common type of easement. For example, an easement may give a utility company the right to erect power lines or bury a gas pipeline across a tract of land. A housing development might possess an easement that allows it to build and maintain a water storage facility.

When a property owner grants an easement to another party, it’s known as a private easement. The easement might be for sewer access, or for vehicular access. Individuals who have a billboard, cellular tower, solar panels or wind turbine on their property usually have granted a private easement to allow the tenant to access their site.

An “easement by necessity” occurs when it is absolutely necessary to cross someone’s land for a legitimate reason, such as to reach their home or property. If the only way to reach your property is by crossing another person’s land, the law recognizes an easement allowing access. A prescriptive easement comes into play when a party crosses over another person’s land, openly and continuously for a set period of time, to gain access to their own home, driveway, beach path, etc. The length of use required for a prescriptive easement varies by state, but it’s often 10 or 20 years or more.

When purchasing a ground lease, Landmark Dividend also obtains from the property owner an easement under and around the cellular tower, billboard, wind turbine or solar panels. Such an easement generally does not affect property owners’ rights to balance of their land, including the ability to sell the property.

If you would like more information on easements as they relate to a ground lease buyout, please call us at 1-800-843-2024 or click here to request a site valuation and we’ll contact you.