There are a large number of real property concepts with which buyers in Florida are not familiar. One of these little understood concepts involves easements. Frequently, concern about easements arise after a person makes an offer on a home that has already been accepted. In these situations, the concept of an easement can make a substantial difference in the value of the property. The following takes a brief look at easements and recommends some considerations that realtors should make regarding this unique area of property law.
Common Situations in Which Easements Occur
Some of the most common situations in which easements occur, include the following:
- Condos and HOAs. If a person resides in a condo or a home managed by a homeowners association, residents will need to obtain an easement to pass through certain public areas.
- Right of way. If a neighbor needs to pass through property to reach a main road, the neighbor can often obtain an easement over the property which provides legal access to the path.
- Utility maintenance. These easements are often granted to utility companies to place cable lines and power lines across a property.
How Easements are Created and Destroyed
Easements can be created when property owners are asked to provide permission to use land. If an agreement is made, the details of the agreement will be recorded in a legal document. Easements that are created typically fall into one of two categories:
- Appurtenant. Easements are considered appurtenant if they are attached to the land. In part of any sale, an easement appurtenant is transferred to the new owner.
- In gross. Easements of this nature apply only to a particular person whom an individual is dealing with at the moment.
A person can destroy or terminate an easement if the court determines that the easement is being accessed beyond a reasonable use.
Advice for Realtors Regarding Easements
While few people known about them, easements often involve a straight-forward series of law. It is critical for realtors to realize that few clients will understand the implications of an easement on a piece of property. Realtors are often able to minimize liability by recognizing the potential existence of an easement, explaining the matter to clients, and recommending legal counsel if necessary.
Due to Florida laws, it is critical for a buyer to perform due diligence before purchasing a property. An easement has the potential to affect a property’s value, use, and in some cases even restrict what type of construction can be performed on the site. For this reason, a real estate agent should make sure to disclose details about the easement. Realtors should also take matters further and document the existence of a potential easement.
Speak with an Experienced Property Lawyer
If you have questions about easements or any other issue that affects Florida property, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable property attorney. Contact the Adam Law Group to obtain the assistance of an experienced real estate attorney.