Building a structure on land with an easement

| Apr 8, 2020

When you buy land in Texas, you probably have specific plans for what you want to do with that property. You may want to build a home, or you may want to develop the land at some point in the future. Whether you already own the property or are considering it, an important first step is determining whether there is an easement that could affect your property use.

An easement is essentially another party’s right to use or access property belonging to someone else. It’s possible there is an easement on your property, and you may be completely unaware of it. It is in your interests to know if there is one and what it could mean for you. This is especially important if you are planning to build, add a fence, put in a pool or develop the land.

What’s an easement?

A property easement essentially gives someone else the legal right to use your property for a specific purpose. This does not mean you do not own the property anymore, but it does mean there may be limits to what you can do. There are different types of easements, including the following: 

  • Utility easements allow government entities to put in gas lines, power lines and other types of utilities on specific tracts of land.
  • A driveway easement allows another party to use your land for a driveway or access point to another piece of property.
  • A sidewalk easement allows the government to build a sidewalk to allow the public to walk out of the road.
  • A conservation easement protects certain pieces of land from development or the building of structures in order to protect nature.
  • A view easement can protect another landowner’s view, preventing you from building a structure over a certain height.

These are only a few examples of the various types of easements that could affect your property use. If you are not sure about an easement, you can check the title. You can also check tax assessment records.

Your property rights

If you have concerns about your property rights and what you can do to shield your financial and legal interests, you may find it beneficial to discuss your case with an experienced real estate attorney. An assessment of your case can help you see how you can move forward with your plans while avoiding legal complications along the way.