Phillips & Angley

How do utility easements impact a property?

Most business owners have an entrepreneurial spirit. Freedom and flexibility can benefit future projects. Purchasing the right property for professional or personal endeavors takes time, planning and financial resources. It is often frustrating when plans are canceled or stalled due to underlying problems. 

What is a utility easement?

An easement is a right that a person or company has to use someone else's property. While you still own your property, an easement gives another person a legal pass to use parts of your property in specific ways. Easements are usually recorded in the property deed, however, sometimes they can arise unexpectedly.

Utility easements are common in Massachusetts. These types of easements are used for certain services, which includes:

  • Gas lines
  • Cable lines
  • Power lines
  • Water mains

The easements above do not usually affect the use and expansion of your property. On the other hand, most easements come with safety requirements and restrictions.

How do utility easements impact you?

Utility easements can impact property development in a variety of ways. Major dilemmas occur when an owner wants to open a business or continue building on the land. Due to tight restrictions, business owners can run into issues with utility easements. For example, if a utility transmission line passes through your property, it may prevent you from starting developments such as restaurants, car dealerships, stores and more.

It's important to note that utility easements have little effect on the value of land. In some cases, it makes the land less aesthetically pleasing, due to pipelines or powerlines. Overall, it depends on the size of the easement and whether it is in a rural or urban area.

Negotiation is key when dealing with utility easement issues. An attorney who specializes in land use and zoning can help property owners and utility companies come to an agreement. Often, disputes can be resolved after proper research and legal guidance.

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