The Ins & Outs Of Easements

An easement is another person’s right to use someone else’s property. When people learn of an easement, they quickly conclude that they will simply avoid buying real property with an easement on it. 

The fact is that if you hadn’t checked before buying your home, you might have an easement on it without knowing. Your neighbors are not the only people who may have an easement on your real property. If there are utility poles in your front yard, a government entity may have an easement. Perhaps a gas line is running under your land that a company will need to access or maintain. These are created alongside easements. 

Not All Easements Are Equal

Though we will go over different easements, it is essential to note that they can be beneficial to you. For example, people who live in older cities such as Chicago live in smaller spaces. Because some houses are over a hundred years old, they weren’t created to accommodate cars and parking. And that is why there are houses separated by nothing more than a driveway—a shared driveway.

In the scenario of a shared driveway, what happens when one person decides to build a storage shed in the middle of it, preventing your ability to park or leave. An easement would prevent this. If you have shared ownership of the space, the other owner cannot inhibit your access or use of it. 

Sometimes adjacent landowners will have negative easements. These may prohibit a landowner from doing something that would prevent you from uniquely using your property. If you and your neighbor live on a lake and have small backyards, both of you may agree not to build anything to obstruct each other’s view of the water. Even though you may legally do so, you are giving up your own ability to build something to ensure your neighbor doesn’t do it either.  

Don’t rush to assume that an easement cannot work against you. For example, if someone has been using your property for a specified period (even without your knowledge or objection), they may be able to pursue a prescriptive easement. They could potentially gain ownership rights to the piece of land they were using. 

Auricchio Law Offices

Contact the Auricchio Law Offices for a free consultation for professional legal representation for a wide range of real estate needs. We handle commercial and residential transactions to include builders and developers throughout Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.  

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Auricchio Law Offices

Auricchio Law Offices in Chicago provides a complete range of real estate services. We facilitate residential and commercial real estate transactions, advise and represent condominium associations, and represent property owners in real estate litigation. Whatever your real estate issue, we will work diligently to achieve your goals in a timely and efficient manner.

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