Reading through the contract may be one of your least favorite things about buying a home, but as we at the law office of Katzman & Katzman, P.C., are aware, it is important to fully understand each item in your deed, as there may be surprises pertaining to the property that you were unaware of. This is especially true when it comes to easements. You and other Indiana residents should understand the purpose of an easement, as well as how it can affect the ownership of your home.
Easements give others legal access to certain areas of a privately owned property, as SFGate explains. Usually, an easement is included in the title for utility or maintenance purposes. For example, you may have an underground power cable or water main in your backyard. If there is a problem with the utility, an easement gives workers the right to enter your property and even to dig or alter landscaping to make repairs or to add or remove equipment.
An easement may also allow other residents to travel through certain areas of your property. If your neighbor’s home is behind yours and his only access is with your driveway, he has the right to use your driveway. Negative easements affect potential changes to your property. For example, you might not be permitted to build a backyard tree house if it would obstruct a scenic view for your neighbors.
Some easements can be removed from a deed if they have become outdated or unnecessary. Our page on real estate litigation explains more about your rights as a homeowner.