If you want to buy a certain property, have had a good look at the building and are perfectly happy with the location, you may be keen to proceed as expeditiously as possible. You understand that there are legal formalities to go through and certain documents to exchange, but you will need to ensure that no third party has any rights to the property as well. What do you need to know about easements, and how do you find out if any are applicable?
In legal terms, an easement will allow the other party to access your land for certain reasons. These parties could be individuals or corporations, and this type of access is typically written in perpetuity.
Types of Access
For example, a utility company may have an underground cable beneath your property and, from time to time, may need to access the location for repairs or maintenance. If an adjoining property is landlocked, then the owner of that plot may have an easement against your property and may be able to cross your land in order to get to theirs.
You will need to look very carefully at these easements to determine whether they are perfectly acceptable, a bit of a nuisance or something much worse. For example, how often will that adjoining neighbour need to cross your property and will they do so on foot or in some type of vehicle? What type of vehicle is it and is it likely to disturb your enjoyment of your land at any time?
Sure of Your Ground
More often than not, this type of easement is not an imposition, but you need to be sure of the position before you sign the contract. You'll also need to ensure that the terms of the easement are fully legal and that you won't need to end up in court to enforce the terms.
When a property is sold in this way, the seller will need to provide you with a disclosure statement. Within this statement, you will find all the pertinent details of the property, information about the seller and, crucially, whether any easements are in place. The seller has to tell you, but once you know, you should do your due diligence and find out if all those details are acceptable.
Help on Your Side
This is why it is so important to use a professional conveyancer. They'll ensure that the disclosure statement is comprehensive, and they will help you to look into all the details at the same time.
If you are preparing to buy a new property, look into conveyancing services in your area.