If you purchase land with an easement, that means that you’re not the only one who is allowed to use it. For example, your neighbor may have an easement so that they can use your driveway to access their property. If this easement runs with the land, you have to honor it even if you just bought the property.
You may be fine with your neighbor continuing to use the driveway as they have been, but you’re wondering exactly how the easement changes your ownership of the land. Does this mean just anyone can come on it and use that portion of the land, or are there restrictions?
There are many restrictions
In reality, there are a lot of restrictions on an easement, starting with the fact that it is only for the person or organization that has that easement. This may mean that multiple people can use it – if your neighbor has a family who also needs to access the property or if the easement is for an organization with multiple employees, for instance. However, it still doesn’t mean that someone who isn’t involved has a right to be on your land.
Another restriction for an easement is that the land can only be used for that purpose. In the driveway example, your neighbor is definitely allowed to cross your property on the driveway, but that doesn’t mean they can drive wherever they want, and it doesn’t mean they can build structures or do anything else to change the fundamental qualities of your property. It is still your property, but they are just allowed to use it as authorized by the easement.
If you end up in a dispute over land use, make sure that you understand what legal steps to take.