Easements. What are they and what can go wrong?

dirt road

So, what ARE easements?

Easements are legal rights that grant individuals or entities the use of another person’s property for a specific purpose. While these serve as crucial tools for property owners and developers, disputes may arise when the use of an easement becomes excessive.

The most common form of easements are those for access which permits passage through another’s land to reach another location.

What can go wrong?

Issues arise when the easement holder’s use becomes excessive, impacting the property owner’s rights and enjoyment of their land. Excessive use may create increased traffic, noise or environmental disruption. In turn, this can lead to conflicts between the parties involved.

What are the challenges faced by property owners?

  1. Diminished property value

Excessive easement use can diminish the value of the affected property, making it less appealing to potential buyers.

  1. Infringement on enjoyment

Property owners may find their right to quiet enjoyment impeded, affecting their quality of life.

  1. Maintenance and repairs

Frequent use may result in wear and tear, requiring property owners to bear the burden of maintenance and repairs.

So, what are the potential solutions?

  1. Communication and negotiation

Encourage open dialogue between the easement-holder and property owner to establish mutual understanding. Explore compromises such as limiting certain activities during specific hours or days.

  1. Legal recourse

Seek legal advice to determine the validity and enforceability of the easement in question. Explore legal avenues to address breaches or modifications to the easement agreement.

  1. Easement modification

Consider negotiating modifications to the easement terms to address concerns and find a middle ground. Ensure any modifications are documented and legally-binding.

  1. Mediation

Engage in mediation to facilitate communication and resolution between parties. A neutral third party can help navigate discussions and guide the development of a mutually agreeable solution.

Balancing the rights of easement-holders and property owners is essential for harmonious coexistence. By navigating these complexities, property owners and easement-holders can work towards creating a sustainable and equitable solution for both parties involved.

For advice on easements and excessive use of them contact our Property Litigation specialist, Christopher Cooper on 01535 613678 or christopher.cooper@awbclaw.co.uk.

Christopher Cooper Thumbnail

27 March 2024

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