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Easements can be a source of real estate disputes

When purchasing a residential property, a Minnesota home buyer may expect that the entirety of what the home needs — the land, the home’s structure, a driveway and more — will be contained on the property the person seeks to purchase. This is not always the case. Some properties lack particular necessities and utilize the surrounding properties to accomplish what they need. When a property carries with it the right to use part of a neighboring property for ingress and egress or another purpose, the property is said to have an easement on the other.

Driveways are a common form of easement that property owners create. A landowner may find that the person’s property is completely detached from a road and that the property has no way to connect the home site to the street. Property owners may, with a neighbor whose property touches the road, create an easement interest so that they can run a driveway across a neighbor’s land to reach the otherwise inaccessible road.

Easements can be exclusive or unexclusive. They can be created for long durations of time or for only short periods. The scope of an easement should be recorded carefully and included with the property records of a property to make future buyers aware of the interest.

When individuals fail to stipulate important factors related to an easement’s use, real estate disputes can occur. Servient properties, or those burdened by easements, may lose value if the easements on them are extensive and detrimental to the land’s use. Dominant properties, or those benefitted by easements on other people’s land, may lose value if the easements they rely on are cancelled or taken away.

Many issues can impact the value and usability of a parcel of residential property. Easements are one type of real estate interest that can influence how attractive a parcel of land may be when placed on the market for sale. For more information on easement questions that have to do with specific real property scenarios, please consult with real estate attorneys.