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Understand how easements affect property usage

Some properties have easements attached to them. This means that there is another entity or person who can use specific bits of the land for certain purposes. These are commonly associated with utility companies, but there are other uses for them as well. Checking for an easement on a property you're considering purchasing is one of the due diligence steps you should always complete.

The easements that are provided for utility companies usually allow workers to access critical components of the utility system. For example, workers may need to access an electrical pole that can only be reached by walking on your property. In this case, the easement would allow them to do so.

Easements can also occur because of other factors, such as necessary access through a property. A common example is when two properties share one driveway. The parcel that the driveway is placed on would have documentation attached to the deed that grants the other property the right to use the driveway.

For individuals who are purchasing property that has an easement attached to it, understanding what the easement allows and the length of the easement can help them to ensure they can comply with the terms. Many easements don't expire, but the ones that do will have an expiration date noted on the documentation for the easement.

Because of the nature of easements, it's sometimes necessary for a property owner to end the easement. This might require you to go to court. If you're in this position, you should work closely with an attorney who can help you to learn your options and protect your rights throughout the process.

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