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Property Ownership and Utility Easements

If you’re a property owner, you may have heard the term “utility easement” before. But what does it mean, and how does it affect you? In this post, we’ll explain what a utility easement is and what you need to know as a property owner.

What is a Utility Easement?

A utility easement is a legal right to use another person’s property for the purpose of installing, maintaining, or accessing utilities. This right is granted by the property owner and allows the utility company to access the property for the purpose of performing necessary work. For example, a utility easement might allow a power company to run power lines across a piece of land, or it might allow a water company to access a property to repair a water line.

Terms of a Utility Easement

Utility easements are often granted in perpetuity, meaning they remain in effect indefinitely. This means that even if you sell your property, the utility easement will still be in place and the utility company will still have the right to access the property for the purposes specified in the easement. As a result, it’s important to understand the terms of any utility easements on your property before you sell it.

Your Rights as a Property Owner

As a property owner, you are not required to grant a utility easement to a utility company. However, the utility company may have the right to access your property through eminent domain if it is necessary for the public good. In this case, the utility company must compensate you for the value of the easement.

If You Have a Utility Easement on Your Property

If you have a utility easement on your property, you must allow the utility company to access the property in accordance with the terms of the easement. This may mean allowing the company to enter your property to perform maintenance or repair work, or it may mean allowing the company to install equipment on your property. As a property owner, you are generally not entitled to compensation for the use of the easement, but you are typically entitled to reasonable notice before the utility company performs any work on your property.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, utility easements are an important consideration for property owners. If you have a utility easement on your property, you must allow the utility company to access the property in accordance with the terms of the easement. If you are approached by a utility company seeking to establish a utility easement on your property, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney to understand your rights and obligations. The real estate attorneys of Lucent Law are experienced in drafting and reviewing utility easements throughout Washington and Idaho.

Author: Brett T. Sullivan, Real Estate Attorney and Partner of Lucent Law, PLLC

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