Phillips & Angley

Your rights if there is a utility easement on your property

As a Massachusetts property owner, you want to be able to use your property as you see fit. Even if you own land, it is possible that a utility easement could impact what you do with your property, what structures you can build and much more. If you learn there is an easement on your property, you would be wise to learn more about what this means for you.

An easement simply gives another person or party access to certain parts of your land for a specific purpose. In cases involving utility easements, a utility company or other appropriate parties could walk onto your land to for installation, repairs and other reasons. There are limits to what easements allows, and you will find it helpful to learn how to protect your property rights.

What does it mean?

Easements can be complex, especially when there is confusion and disagreement over what this means for the easement holder and the property owner. When it is your rights and how you can use your land on the line, it may help to understand the following:

  • If you own the property, you have the right to use the area where there is an easement as you see fit, but only to a certain extent.
  • You cannot do things to interfere with the easement holder rights, such as block access.
  • You are still responsible for paying property taxes on the land where there is an easement.
  • You are likely not able to build a permanent structure on the area where there is an easement.
  • Utility easements typically do not expire, and this is likely something that will affect you as long as you own the property.

Whether you want to install a pool, build a storage shed or fence, or simply want to make sure the utility company does not trespass where they have no right to be, you may have to seek help to learn more about easements and your property rights

What if there is an issue?

Easements are often difficult and complex legal issues because it is not always immediately clear where the easement holder's rights end and the property owner's rights begin. Before you buy land or sign a purchase agreement, you will find it beneficial to ask about a utility easement and learn about the details. If you believe you are experiencing a violation of your personal rights or you want to learn more about your property rights, you will find it helpful to seek an evaluation of your case.

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