When you buy a home or other real estate, you generally have control over everything on the lot. But if there is an easement on the property, your rights could be affected.
Simply put, an easement is an agreement between a property owner and another party to do (or not do) something on the property. There are two types of easements. An affirmative easement gives a non-owner the right to do something on the land, such as put a road or path on it and have the right to use it. In a negative easement, the owner agrees to limit their use and enjoyment of the land in some way, such as by not burning leaves or making loud noise past 11 pm. Only the other party has the right to use the land according to the easement’s terms. The property owner has the right to exclude everyone else.
Often, the other party to an easement is the owner of a neighboring property. The property that enjoys the benefit of the easement is known as the “dominant property.” Usually, the dominant property continues to enjoy easement rights when the owner sells or transfers the land to another party.
Does the seller have to disclose easements?
Before buying a piece of real estate in Augusta, most people would want to know if an easement is attached. Georgia’s disclosure requirements are fairly lax and only require sellers to disclose material defects. This includes easements that would not be obvious after a reasonable inspection, such as a pathway. Having legal representation during your next real estate purchase can help you understand everything you’re getting, including possible easements, if you choose to buy.