Easement Issues 101: Issues Colorado Property Buyers Must Know - Hackstaff, Snow, Atkinson & Griess, LLC

Easement Issues 101: Issues Colorado Property Buyers Must Know

property easement

While reviewing your real estate paperwork, you may have noticed the word “easement.” At our Denver law firm, we often hear from people who are concerned by easements on their property, and they want our advice about what to do. 

The truth is that easements are very common. Most properties have at least one. Here are some key easement issues all Colorado property owners should know about our state’s easement laws. 

First, What Is an Easement? 

Lawyers define an easement as a nonpossessory interest in property owned by another. That’s a complicated way of saying that an easement is an interest in another’s property—a right to use it in a certain way. 

There are many examples of easements. One of the most common is an easement obtained by a power company to run electrical wires over or under private property.  

Another typical example is an easement that gives the owner of an adjacent property the right to cut across a neighbor’s property to access theirs. Easements can also give landowners access to water or other natural resources on property owned by someone else. 

Easements are by no means a bad thing, but they can sometimes make property ownership more complicated. When property owners face conflicts and complexities related to easements, turning to an experienced lawyer is the best course of action to resolve the real estate dispute. 

The Existence of an Easement Can Encumber a Property 

Most easements don’t automatically end when a property is sold. Instead, they often transfer with the property. In some cases, the existence of an easement can make the property less desirable. For example, when a neighbor’s driveway runs across your land. An easement can make it challenging to sell a property, lease it, or otherwise transfer it to a new owner.  

Easements Can Be Misused and Abused 

Easements are limited in scope. An easement may give your neighbor certain rights to use your land, for example, but things can become tense when the neighbor’s actions exceed the scope of those rights. 

For example, an easement could give a property owner’s neighbor the right to drive farm equipment on a road that runs across the property to access the neighbor’s field for agricultural purposes.  

If new neighbors moved in and started to drive all kinds of vehicles on the road more frequently for different reasons, this could begin to damage the road. As a result, the property owner can obtain an injunction from the court, forcing the new neighbors to stop exceeding the scope of the easement.  

In some cases, the property owner may be able to obtain compensation or to even have the easement terminated. 

How Do You Terminate an Easement? 

Easements can be terminated in several ways, which can cause some legal complexities. If the landowner who currently benefits from the easement purchases land that is now burdened by the easement, the easement disappears when the property ownership merges. Easements can also be abandoned or terminated by estoppel or adverse possession. 

Concerned About an Easement? Talk With a Lawyer. 

Easement law can be complicated. The best way to get help with easement concerns is to talk with an experienced real estate attorney. To get started, contact our Denver law firm by phone at 303-534-4317 or send us a message.