If you are buying a commercial property to use for business or other activities, you must consider the property’s efficient use and accessibility to operate smoothly. Understanding easements in place can help you with this.
What are easements?
Easements are like special permissions. They allow someone to use or access part of a property that they do not own. This access can be for various reasons, such as utilities, transportation or even just a pathway. Here are some examples:
- Utility easements: This will give utility companies access to your property if they need to provide maintenance or installation services like water, gas or electricity.
- Access easements: These provide access to one property through another. For example, a neighboring property might grant an easement for a driveway.
- Conservation easements: Property owners sometimes might limit certain uses of their land to protect natural resources or historical features. This is known as a conservation easement.
- Easements by necessity: Sometimes, a property might be landlocked, meaning there is no legal way to access it without crossing another property. There might be a need for easement by necessity in such cases.
These are just some of the common examples of easements that can affect how you run operations within your property.
Do I need a lawyer for this?
Whether you need a lawyer to handle easements for a commercial property depends on the complexity of the situation and your comfort level with legal matters. Here is a simplified guide to help you decide:
- Is the easement situation straightforward and well-documented? If all parties involved are in agreement, you might handle it without a lawyer.
- How complex is the situation? If you are dealing with easements where many parties are involved or significant financial matters are at stake, having a lawyer is a good idea.
- Consider risk mitigation. Lawyers can also help prevent future disputes by ensuring easement agreements are clear, detailed, and compliant with local regulations.
- Do you have commercial property development plans that existing easements could hinder? If yes, a lawyer can help negotiate modifications or find solutions for your project.
Additionally, lawyers can provide information on how easements are created, transferred or terminated so you can decide on the right course of action to take.
Cost vs. benefit
While simpler easements might not require legal assistance, commercial properties with complex easements or significant implications nay be more difficult to handle on your own. Consider the potential consequences of not having legal assistance. Legal fees can be an investment in avoiding costly disputes or setbacks.