What is an Easement? What Are my Property Rights in Terms of an Easement?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I bought my property in October 2008 and I was told at signing that I had lot 14 and 14a. 14a is on the back half of my two neighbors lot totalling .65 acres. I have the lot 14a on my deed and then when i was putting up a fence on the opposing side of my ditch I ran into a conflict with my neigboor about this. They said that this land was theirs as my property of 14 a was an easement and I could not put a fence on their property. I called the deeds office in the county and they say that the deed shows 14 and 14a as mine but it is an easement. What does this mean? Is this portion of land of 14a mine? Or is this the two neigboors property?”An easement is the right to use land that belongs to someone else. That right can be minimal, such as the right to walk over the other person’s land to access yours, or it can be close to the same as ownership, such as when an easement is granted to accommodate a building which encroaches over a property line.

Question: Exactly what your rights to this property are will depend on the nature of your easement, and it will require, at a minimum, a legal analysis of your deed. You might also want to investigate whether you overpaid for this land, since you got less than you expected. Both of these things can be done by a real estate attorney, possibly in the context of an initial consultation.