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What are my rights regarding an easement on my property?

Whenever you are buying or selling a piece of property in Texas, you would be wise to be certain that you fully understand any easements on the property. An easement can be the source of various legal disputes, and knowing your rights is the first step in protecting your interests.

You may be surprised to find that your neighbor or even the public have the right to use your property in certain ways. An easement is a property right that allows people to use your property for a specific purpose without it qualifying as trespassing. Easements can be the source of complex boundary and land-use disputes.

What you may not know about easements

Many property owners do not understand easements. It may come as a surprise to learn that a person could have the right to drive on your property to access public land or come onto your land without repercussion. You may find it useful to understand the differences between the two types of easements -- implied and express -- which are as follows:

  • Implied easements: An implied easement is not necessarily in writing, but circumstances imply its existence. These easements typically exist after a large parcel of land subdivides into smaller properties, perhaps affecting access and land use that existed before the subdivision of the original property.
  • Express easements: Express easements must be in writing, typically documented through a will or deed to a piece of property. An affirmative express easement may give a person the ability to use the property in a certain way, while a negative easement would prohibit the property owner from doing something specific, such as blocking the neighbor's view with a new structure.

What type of easement is on your property? Do you have the right to access property owned by another person? Understanding your property rights and how easements work can help you avoid neighbor disputes and legal complexities over the land in question.

Shielding your interests

Sometimes, negotiations and discussions are enough to resolve disputes or issues arising from easements. In other circumstances, it may be necessary to resort to legal guidance to find out how to work through these issues, protect your interests and understand your rights.

Real estate disputes and property disputes are complex, and you would be wise not to handle these issues on your own. With guidance, it is possible to reach a reasonable outcome in a timely manner, helping you avoid further issues and costs in the future.

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