What is an easement?

An easement is a right that a party has over the property of another. The most commonly used easement is to allow underground services serving a property to pass beneath the land of one or more neighbouring properties, whilst the most widely known easement is a private right of way.

Types of easements

Easements may be created a number of ways, namely: -

  1. Expressly granted i.e. a Deed of Grant stating the terms of the easement, or for example it may take the form of a clause in a conveyance deed or a transfer.
  2. Out of necessity i.e. a piece of land where the only means of access is via a right of way over a road, track or path leading to it, and
  3. An easement created “by prescription”. This occurs when someone repeatedly carries out an act without the Landowner’s permission over a certain period of time.

The use of easements

Once an easement is created the owner of said easement has the right to maintain the easement for its purpose unless otherwise agreed between the owner of the underlying property and the owner of the easement.

Transfer of easements

When the title is transferred the easement typically remains with the property.

The Expert

Consider the situation where you move into your new home and discover a pedestrian right of way to the front of your house which for whatever reason did not come to light when you viewed or when the property searches were made.

This easement/right of way will have a detrimental affect not only on your enjoyment of the property but on its value. Would you have paid as much money for the dwelling if you knew such a right of way existed? In fact would you have actually bought the property if you new the right of way existed? So what do you do? Instruct an Easement Expert.

The Expert will examine the physical details, research both current and historical records and then provide a report outlining his/her Expert Opinion as to the value of the property with and without an easement. Advice can also be provided as to whether there are any possible remedies to the problem. With all this information to hand the client (with the aid of his solicitor) can make a reasoned decision as to whether a claim should be submitted for the diminution in value of the property.