When you buy a home or piece of property, it’s usually with the expectation that it will be for your private and exclusive use. However, in many instances, residences and tracts of land come with provisions attached that allow others the right to come onto a property for limited purposes. These legal rights, or access easements, are a common part of owning property in Arizona. Here is what you need to know about easements and your Arizona home:
Do I Have an Easement?
If you own property in Arizona, you likely have some sort of easement burdening it. Easements can be express, meaning that they are stated in a deed, contract, or other legal documents. They may also be implied by the facts and circumstances surrounding the land and its use.
Types of Easements
- Easements may be created by necessity, such as when an owner is landlocked and has to cross your property to come to and from their own.
- Utility companies can have them for purposes of coming onto your land and maintaining services and equipment.
- Easements of support are easements that can be in place to disallow neighbors from creating instability by digging their soil to the point that it could affect adjacent properties.
- Light and Air easements prevent property owners from building so high that they obstruct their neighbor’s views.
- There are also airway easements for the airspace above a structure and artificial waterway easements for water to run through a property.
Arizona law recognizes prescriptive easements or an implied easement that can be created when a non-owner uses another’s property in a continuous, uninterrupted, and open manner for over ten years. This use has to be hostile, meaning it was without the owner’s consent and public. A common example is when a neighbor erects a structure or fence on your property without your permission, but you do not object to the structure’s presence.
What happens Once an Easement is Created?
After an easement is created, they tend to benefit the property and are tied to it. However, there can be easements in gross, that attach to an easement holder rather than the land.
Arizona Easement Disputes
Being involved in an easement dispute can be costly and time-consuming. One of the best ways to avoid easement issues is by working with an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who can help you research your property and anticipate easement issues before you get involved in a real estate transaction. With your attorney’s assistance, you will be able to get a comprehensive look at your property and make informed decisions.
Laura B. Bramnick is an experienced Arizona real estate attorney who has the expertise to protect your interests during your real estate transaction and examine any existing or potential easements. If you are seeking an exceptional, client-driven real estate lawyer in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona, and throughout the State of Arizona, contact Laura B. Bramnick to schedule your consultation.