Disagreements over an easement’s use, location, size, and duration are common issues that can arise between parties. For example, the easement owner may want to increase the size of the easement, while the property owner may object to this. Additionally, the parties may disagree on how the easement can be used. For instance, the easement holder may want to use the easement for purposes beyond what the property owner agreed to, such as building structures or running utilities through the property. Luckily, a Heber Valley lawyer can help you.
What Is an Easement?
To be considered valid in the state of Utah, an express easement must be granted in a written document that satisfies the statute of frauds and indicates the parties’ mutual agreement. They’re generally either created out of necessity or convenience. Easements can end after a stated duration or exist perpetually.
Types of Easements
The two classifications of easements are the easement appurtenant and the easement in gross. An easement appurtenant addresses two pieces of land and tends to be conveyed with the sale of the land. An easement in gross deals only with one piece of land and is usually not transferred with the sale of the land.
Maintaining and Repairing an Easement
Issues can also arise regarding the payment of property taxes and insurance, as well as maintenance of the easement. The parties may disagree on who is responsible for these costs. The property owner may argue that the easement holder should bear the cost of maintaining the easement. In contrast, the easement holder may say that the property owner should be responsible for maintaining the property.
Encroachment of Improvement
Encroachment of improvements is another issue that can arise in easements. If the property owner builds structures or makes improvements that encroach on the easement, the easement holder may argue that the upgrades should be removed. In this case, the property owner may need to remove the improvements or obtain the easement holder’s consent to keep them in place.
Trespassing occurs when one party steps onto a property that doesn’t belong to them without consent from the property owner. If the easement holder uses the easement in a manner that exceeds the scope of the easement or interferes with the property owner’s use of the property, it can be considered a trespass. For example, if the easement holder parks vehicles on the property owner’s driveway, it may be regarded as a trespass.
Terminating or Abandoning an Easement
An easement may be terminated if the dominant estate purchases the servient estate or if the holder of an easement formally releases their right to it. When the property holder acquires the title to the neighboring property, the easement terminates automatically due to the merger of the title. Once the easement is dissolved or removed, it can’t be revived in the same way again. An entirely new easement would need to be created.
Abandonment is another issue that can arise in easements. If the easement holder stops using the easement, the property owner may argue that the easement has been abandoned and should be terminated. However, abandonment of an easement requires specific circumstances, and it can be challenging to prove that it has been left.
In summary, easement issues can be complex and involve various legal considerations. Property owners and easement holders should seek the advice of a qualified real estate attorney to ensure that their rights and obligations are adequately protected.
If you’re experiencing disputes regarding Utah easement law, contact a licensed Heber Utah attorney from the Gordon Law Group to help develop your case.