If you’re thinking about purchasing a particular piece of property, it’s important to know if there are any easements involved. The term easement refers to the right of persons or entities other than the legal owner to use or control a portion of the property. Real Estate Law Firm Alperin Law

Examples of Easements

Some common types of easements include:

  • Right-of-way
  • Right of entry
  • Right to the support of land and buildings
  • Right of light and air
  • Right to water

Easements often involve neighboring homeowners such as when a neighbor uses a shared driveway. However, they can also involve companies, such as when a utility company has power lines on the property.

Once an easement has been established, the use of the easement can’t be changed or altered.

Your Rights and Obligations

When there is an easement attached to the property you want to purchase, it is considered the servient estate. The land that benefits from the easement is called the dominant estate.

Your obligations to the dominant estate depend on the written agreement creating the easement.

Generally, you are free to use the property in any way you choose as long as your activities don’t infringe on the rights of the dominant estate to benefit from the easement. If you are planning to build on the land you want to purchase, such as adding a new garage or a swimming pool, you’re not allowed to build on top of the portion of the property covered by the easement.

It is vital that you check to ensure all easements have been properly recorded. If there is no document outlining the terms of an easement shown on the survey, it will likely be listed as an exemption to your title insurance. In this case, you’d be personally liable if someone else tried to claim the easement rights.

Do You Need a Real Estate Lawyer? Discover the Alperin Law Advantage

The Alperin Law team is available seven days a week to assist with residential or commercial real estate transactions in Virginia or North Carolina. Contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to learn how we can be of service. We serve all communities in Eastern Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Isle of Wight County, Hampton, the Eastern Shore, and Northeastern North Carolina, including Currituck, Elizabeth City, and the Outer Banks.


Scott Alperin
Experienced Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney Serving Virginia Beach Area Clients Since 1994.
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