What Property Rights Do I Have With An Easement That Runs With The Land?

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I am considering the purchase of a property on which there is an easement for the neighbor’s septic system (already in place). Are there any possible negative ramifications to this easement (It runs with the land)?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

That’s a pretty broad question. Whenever you are purchasing land, it is a good idea to investigate any easements that burden it. The next step would be to find the easement document and see exactly what it says. Where on the property is this easement? What is the neighbor allowed to do there, and equally important, what are you allowed to do?

It is not unusual for an underground easement (sewer, septic, underground utilities, etc.) to come with a restriction on building on top of the easement. This makes it possible to perform maintenance. If that’s the case here, how important is it to you that this portion of the land is unbuildable?

Ultimately, the answer to your question will be very fact-specific. Once you have all the facts, though, the answer is usually pretty clear. Do think about not just what you want to use the land for now, but what you (or the next owner) may want to use it for in the future.

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Author: House Attorney