Did you know that you might not be the only one legally entitled to your property? You read that right—many property owners may actually share part of their land with a neighbor or a utility company. This is due to what is known as a utility easement or a right-of-way. The local governing body can grant either type of access to give designated individuals the right to certain parts of your property for a specific purpose. While they don’t own your land, they have a right to use the designated portion for the purpose identified. This most commonly includes utility companies, like your local gas or internet providers. In other cases, a neighbor can also be granted an easement. As a property owner, it’s important that you know and understand who could have access to your property and why.
Here are the basics on some of the most common types of rights-of-way and utility easements in Guadalupe County, TX:
- Appurtenant easement: This type of right-of-way allows the easement holder to legally pass through your property as needed. You still own the property, but they have been granted the right to access the specific area. For example, your neighbor might need to utilize the private road that runs through your property to reach the neighborhood street. Oftentimes, the property owner receives some sort of payment from the user. The easement would transfer with a change of property owner.
- Easement in gross: Your local government wants to install new water pipes, and the plan requires the utilities to run right through your backyard. They would need to seek a utility easement to legally bury the pipes in the ground below your yard. They would still be able to use the easement even if you were to sell the property to a new owner because it is associated directly with the land itself. The holder of the easement is prohibited from transferring the easement to another company or person without direct permission from the property owner.
Easements can be created in a variety of different ways. Most commonly, the landowner will agree to let the person or entity access an easement in a written agreement. The document is signed by both properties and needs to be recorded with the deed. The legally binding agreement may also include additional guidelines about whether the need to compensate the property owner or assist with any maintenance.
In some cases, a prescriptive easement might automatically occur if someone has used a road or path for an extend amount of time. The usage must not be secretive and must have occurred multiple times over a number of years with the owners’ permission.
Rights-of-way and utility easements in Guadalupe County, TX don’t have to be confusing. The professionals at Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. are ready to guide you through each step of the process, whether you are seeking an easement or have just discovered your property is impacted by one. Call us today to learn more.
Categorised in: Utility Easements