Subdividing often makes an access easement a required element when building. This is how driveways can cross other lots, and why sidewalks exist in front of all homes and not just a few. Many people cannot enter their property without this easement, so it can be a touchy issue if it is not handled correctly. Here is what to know about access easements and how to handle them correctly.
Essential right of way
The most common use of an access easement in Guadalupe County, TX is to allow entry to landlocked parcels. If you subdivide a lot into nine separate lots, for example, there will be lots stuck in the middle. Property owners will need a driveway to access their lot, and walkways will also intersect several lots. Also known as a “right of way” easement, this gives people the means to enter and exit their lot.
Access easements are granted to other people, entities and even public and private maintenance departments. They are often the only way to access these landlocked lots. Basically, removing an access easement pretty much means that a property owner will never be able to leave or enter their lot.
Proceed with caution
Easements can be recorded with the property office. If you require an access easement to use your property or reach services, you must take this formal step. This makes it difficult for a new neighbor to dispute it or for a court to remove it.
Fortunately, the vital nature of an access easement makes it difficult to overturn, even if you never recorded it. However, if it is shown you acquired it unfairly or avoided formalities, you may be required to pay damages to the other property owner or pay a usage fee every year. If you’ve never faced this before, these fees can become a hardship over time.
If you are in the market for a new home and see that a driveway crosses over another property, confirm that this is an authorized easement before making an offer. Even if you were not responsible for the improper procedure that occurred before you purchased the home, you can still be held liable for damages.
With most access easements, the property owner who uses it is responsible for maintaining any roads or other features that come with it. If the easement allows a driveway, you are responsible for keeping it in good condition and repaving it when necessary. Gravel driveways sometimes need refreshing, and during that process, you need to be careful not to litter adjoining land with excess gravel.
Finally, be considerate. Do not speed up and down the driveway or misuse the easement in a way that disturbs your neighbors. Be careful with cargo and avoid spilling or dumping it on your neighbor’s land. Nothing will wear out your permissive use of the easement quicker than being a disruption.
Land surveying and civil engineering are often vital to the design and planning of an access easement in Guadalupe County, TX. When you need assistance with this process, contact Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. to schedule a consultation.
Categorised in: Access Easement
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