A Land Surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX Explains Utility Easements

A Land Surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX Explains Utility Easements

January 25, 2017

A utility easement allows utility companies to use sections of land for electric, telephone, cable and water lines. This use was allowed when land plats were first divided by a land surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX, which gave utility companies access to your land before you acquired it. Most properties on a city grid, water or power system have a utility easement attached to it. Here are why these easements exist and what you can expect if you have one on your land.

Arises from public need

An easement is an authorization to use land that belongs to someone else. It may allow an adjoining property owner to build a driveway through your land or allow access to a water source. Most easements are between individuals after they both acquire land.

Utility companies are different because they provide a public service. The easements they secure allow for power lines, fiber optic cable or sewage pipes to cross land plats and connect homes. They do not claim an ownership interest in that property, only a right to use it.

This was created out of public need. If you have a grid of homes, there needs to be sewage and electrical lines between them. Unless a utility company has access to its lines, pipes or other network, they cannot make repairs or upgrade amenities.

Convenience is an obvious benefit here, but so are reduced costs. It is less expensive to run utility lines through parcels rather than plan around them. Also, working around property means more material for that construction. This is another way these easements work for the benefit of the public good.

Effects on your use

However, there is some likelihood that homeowners feel possessive about their property rights. They may not want utility workers in their yard or additional infrastructure upsetting the appearance and balance of their land.

This line of thought fails to recognize the benefit to the community, including the landowner. Power lines, Internet cable and municipal plumbing are all necessary for modern life in urban and suburban environments. Also, while this seems to be a broad license for utility companies to do whatever they want, that is not the case.

Basically, this is a give-and-take relationship. The utility company cannot perform any use to your land that is not authorized. For example, they can trim trees to prevent interference with power lines. But if those trees do not interfere, they cannot touch them.

The easements place some limits on you. If there are underground power lines and a utility easement, you will not be able to install an in-ground swimming pool. That is why it is a good practice to learn about easements before you buy land. You do not want to find the perfect home and plan for a pool, only to learn later that this will be impossible.

If you are concerned about utility easements, the best strategy is to confirm they exist and know where they are located. Your land surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX can help you with that. You can find that assistance from Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

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