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Easements in Real Estate 101
An easement is a legal right that grants non-owners the ability to use or access a property for a specific purpose. Easements are often created for utility companies and public works. If you need to eliminate an easement for your property, you can follow one of several legal approaches.
Use a Quiet Title Action Lawsuit
If an easement on your property is old, you may have a situation where your listed property does not match the original survey. Due to years of zoning, property transactions, and public works, your property may have changed significantly since the easement was established. With a Quiet Title Action lawsuit, your property will be resurveyed to update the current boundaries. If the lawsuit is not challenged, the easement will be revoked.
Challenge the Purpose of the Easement
In some cases, easements simply are not relevant for the current time. If a utility company has an easement on your property to access a derelict station, you may be able to argue that the original purpose of the easement is no longer valid.
Halt a Prescriptive Easement
If the non-owner no longer uses the property for the reasons of the easement, you may halt a prescriptive easement. You may need evidence that suggests the property is no longer used by the non-owner.
Use a Release Agreement
A release agreement may be one of your best options to eliminate an easement if you cannot find any loopholes or technicalities. With a release agreement, you must negotiate with the non-owner. If you can convince the non-owner to sign a release agreement, the easement will be removed from your property.
Merge the Properties
If the easement divides a piece of land into two or more properties, you can eliminate the easement by merging the properties into a single entity. The original property is known as the dominant property, and the properties created from the easement are servient properties. If you have sufficient funds, you may merge the servient properties into the dominant property by purchasing them from their owners.
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