The basic facts about easements

Posted on Wednesday, April 22 2015

When buying a property, you may be told that there is an easement registered against the title. An easement is created when a land owner grants another land owner or someone else, such as a services company, the right to do certain things on part or all of their land.

The most common types of easements are rights of way, which allow a neighbour to walk and/or drive over part of the land to provide access between the neighbour’s land and a public road, or the beach.
Services easements allow a neighbour or supply company to transmit power, water, sewage, gas or telephone transmissions through lines or pipes located in a defined part of the land.

The document creating the easement will set out the terms and conditions applying to the easement e.g. who is responsible for repairs, what rights the neighbour or services company has to come onto the land for inspections and repairs, and what obligations they have. Some rights and obligations are also implied into easements by statute.

The rights created by easements can be for a set period of time or they can last forever.

When an easement is registered, it is binding on future owners of the land.

Every easement may be different, and if there is an easement on the title, you should read it to nake sure you understand your rights and obligations. If you have any questions, especially if you are about to buy a property, it is wise to ask your lawyer for advice

Please Note: This information is designed as a general guide only, and should not replace specific legal advice on a particular issue.

Mike Toepfer – Aspiring Law

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Expert's Bio

Mike Toepfer

Aspiring Law is a general practice firm, offering the best in legal services and advice to our local Upper Clutha community, as well as our national and international clients. We recently launched our new firm, after taking over AWS Legal’s Wanaka office. We’ve carefully tailored our firm’s services and culture to meet the needs of our business, and wider, community. Clients from further afield also draw on our specialist expertise, particularly advice and support around property, including large-scale developments, and agribusiness. As our clients have come to expect, the cornerstone of our new practice remains excellent, timely advice, underpinned by personalised, genuine service and support. Further to that, we’re really excited about building further on our community-based initiatives to educate and inform people on legal issues, and do our part in finding meaningful, innovative ways to support our area. Before that I was at large Auckland firm Hesketh Henry for 17 years - over 13 years as a partner and 10 years on the firm's board of management and as property team leader. I have specialised in all types of property transactions for the last 27 years.

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