Is There A Utility Easement On My Property?

It’s crucial to engage a real estate attorney or do it yourself before purchasing property to see if there’s an easement on the property.

  • Check with the county clerk or the county land records office to see whether there is an easement on the previous deed.
  • Obtain a survey of the property to determine if any easements exist and where they are.
  • Obtain a title search of the property from a title company, which will reveal any easements or other obligations on the property.
  • Obtain a warranty deed from the owner, which must include any easements on the land.

If the property has an easement, it will normally be noted on your deed. You’ll need to determine if you’re the dominant property user or the property owner who must allow your neighbor to use your property, also known as the servient property.

What are the most typical easements used by utility companies?

While there are many various types of easements, the following are the ones that most typically affect a property owner who wants to develop or remodel on their property:

Utility Easements

A utility easement, the most common sort of easement, permits a utility company to run its pipes, lines, and other equipment beneath or on other people’s land to service its customers. Rather than purchasing all of the land required, utility corporations work out easement agreements with landowners. Due to the high cost of constructing and maintaining utilities, these easements typically last a long time, if not forever.

Drainage Easements

A drainage easement is land that has been given to a municipality for the purpose of water runoff drainage, flood management, or storm sewer access. In these locations, the landowner retains ownership of the property and is responsible for paying taxes and maintaining it. The drainage easement, on the other hand, may have an impact on insurance costs, the ability of a mortgage lender to finance the acquisition, and future construction plans.

Sidewalk Easements

A sidewalk easement, which is one of the most frequent types of easements, permits visitors to access your property from the front. Even if there is no real pavement, the title report may nonetheless show an easement.

Driveway Easements

Larger parcel properties with long drives are more likely to have driveway easements. For example, if a previously divided deep lot adds a nearby property, the adjoining property may require access through your driveway to acquire street access.

Is it possible for PG&E to visit your property?

If your property contains a PG&E natural gas transmission pipeline, an easement agreement will normally be noted in your title report. There may be restrictions on what can be planted, installed, or erected on your property depending on the type of PG&E facility.

What exactly is an FPL easement?

A formal legal document recorded in the public records of the county where the property is located is known as an easement. Florida Power & Light Company may request formal authorization to enter your property as part of the process of burying the power line that serves your home.

Is it possible for a property owner to obstruct an easement?

You may be wondering who has access to and who can cross over your land if you’ve discovered an easement running through your property. There are a variety of easements available, each of which allows for diverse property uses. We’ll go over each of the different forms and explain who has access to them in each scenario.

An easement is, at its most basic level, “the right to use another person’s land for a specified purpose.” The easement could include the entire land or just a portion of it, and the’stated purpose’ could include anything from laying water pipes to gaining access to a site that is otherwise inaccessible to connecting two independent properties. An easement is a legal right provided by one property owner to another that prohibits the original landowner from building on or around the easement or limiting access to it.

A sort of easement is a right of way. Adjacent landowners typically agree on a right of way easement. This could be because it’s essential to cross one property to go to another, the easement provides a far more convenient point of access, or it permits one property owner to cross another’s land to get to public land. For example, a property owner may grant an easement to someone in order to promote access to historically significant public woodland or a fishing river. It’s also crucial to think about the public right of way, commonly known as “the freedom to roam.” Usually, this is allowed for one of two reasons. Either the landowner has granted permission or the right of way has been used by the local community for many years.

There are several sorts of easements, each of which outlines the set of events that led to the easement’s creation. They are as follows:

  • Express grant This is usually spelled out in a property’s deeds. It commonly happens when someone sells a portion of their property but wishes to keep some of the rights to the land they sold. This could include the ability to maintain utility infrastructure or the right of way.
  • Prescription – This applies when a person has been openly exploiting land in a specific way for more than 20 years. If they can show that this is the case, they may be given an easement to continue using the land.
  • Implied grant (necessary easements) – This is common when a portion of a property is sold. Its presence, however, is implied by law rather than recorded into the property’s deeds. An easement of necessity exists, for example, if the land that was sold is the only way to reach the area that was kept.

Only those who are properly using the easement for its original purpose (e.g., for general access or to maintain utility infrastructure) should use the right of way when it comes to private easements and rights of ways. ‘Right to roam’ easements, on the other hand, are open to the whole public and cannot be restricted in any manner.

There are two primary distinctions to make when it comes to easements. Any member of the public with a ‘right to roam’ easement is allowed to cross the area. Only a tiny number of persons have access to private right of way easements. This agreement will exist between two property owners in the great majority of circumstances. An agreement between a landowner and a business, on the other hand, is possible.

If you have access points or easements on your property and are unsure about your rights to police access (either under public or private easement regulations), consult a property lawyer.

What do you call a utility easement if you don’t know what it’s called?

PUEs can be found in almost every property. The term PUE refers to a public utility easement. A PUE, like other easements, gives the easement owner specific rights. If you own your house, a PUE could explain why you awoke to discover an electrician on a utility pole in your backyard without first asking your permission (the power company would usually contact you before sending someone to invade your backyard but they are not legally required to).

PUEs and their scope are familiar territory for our real estate attorneys.

What are the most popular easement types?

Land and structures make up real estate. The highest type of ownership interest in real estate is fee simple absolute ownership. This type of ownership provides for the possession, use, and transfer of tangible (land, buildings, and water) and intangible (air and mineral rights) assets from one owner to another. Ownership rights to interests in land owned by others may also be included in real property rights.

A restricted nonpossessory legal right to use another’s land for a certain purpose is known as an easement. Depending on how it’s used, the easement might be ‘affirmative’ or ‘negative.’ The most popular are affirmative easements. They provide you special access to land that belongs to someone else. Negative easements are more restrictive than positive easements. They impose restrictions on how land can be used. A negative easement may limit a landowner’s development rights, whereas affirmative easements provide ‘access’ and ‘right-of-way.’ A deed or other written instrument, such as a contract or will, can grant or expressly convey an easement. It can also be created to allow personal access and use of the land, and it can be implied from usage of the land or acquired by legal action. It can limit how land is utilized, or it can benefit the easement holder.

The possessor of an easement has rights to protected use and limited enjoyment of the land. ‘Why should I allow usage of my land?’ you might wonder. There are various causes for this. The purpose for which an easement is created is important. The easement holder benefits the most. The sort of easement created is determined by how the land is purchased, what may be implied from land use that may affect its value, and the easement’s intended purpose.

What does an easement look like in practice?

Easements can be used in a variety of ways. Right of way for access (for example, a landlocked block using a portion of a neighbor’s property as a driveway); Building support (for example, where buildings have no setback from the neighboring land boundary);

Is it legal to hunt on PG&E property?

A conservation easement is a legal arrangement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently protects private land while also limiting development, subdivision, and land-use changes. The 29,057 acres currently owned by PG&E will be put under a permanent conservation easement maintained by FRLT for the planned conservation easement at Lake Almanor. PG&E will continue to own and operate the Lake Almanor lands it presently owns and operates. If the property is sold, the conservation easement will be transferred to the next owner.

Water rights to divert, store, and consume water from the North Fork Feather River and its tributaries are held by PG&E largely for hydroelectric projects, while part of PG&E’s water rights allow for consumption (for example, agricultural use).

PG&E and the State of California collaborate to maintain fisheries and lake levels. The state agency in charge of water rights, water quality, wastewater management, and a variety of other water-related issues is the Water Resources Control Board. Fish, wildlife, plants, and habitats are all managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the health of their populations as well as public enjoyment. The conservation easement will have no direct impact on PG&E’s water management or water levels.

PG&E has a contract with the California Department of Water Resources to distribute and/or supply 145,000 acre feet of water per year for agricultural irrigation. The water is delivered to the Western Canal Water District by the California Department of Water Resources from the Hamilton Branch facility and four other facilities (Upper North Fork Feather River, Rock Creek-Cresta, Poe, and Bucks Creek), each of which contributes to the contract’s fulfillment. The Western Canal Water District owns the water rights to this contract, which may only be changed by mutual agreement. PG&E can utilize the water to create electricity and has some flexibility in when it delivers the water, although it must do it between March 1 and October 31 each year.

FRLT will not have enforcement authority over water-related issues under the conditions of the conservation easement and Settlement Agreement.

The Thermal Curtain is not a topic on which FRLT has taken a stand. As a conservation group, FRLT is concerned about any project that may have an influence on Lake Almanor’s water quality, wildlife habitat, cultural resources, or other public values. However, due to pre-existing water use agreements, the conservation easement we’re creating with PG&E at Lake Almanor will not address water management at the Lake (see above).

Public access to PG&E lands will remain unaffected, and the conservation easement makes no changes to current allowed uses. Following the acceptance of the 2105 license by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, PG&E has committed to making several public access upgrades. Unauthorized access points that already exist are being documented. In accordance with their existing land management prescriptions, PG&E will endeavor to reduce non-authorized access and uses of its holdings.

No, hunting and fishing are permitted in approved places on the PG&E Watershed Lands, including specific areas under the proposed Lake Almanor conservation easement, in accordance with state and federal rules, regulations, and law. The conservation easement clearly mentions hunting and fishing as examples of uses that will be preserved.

Dogs are allowed if they follow PG&E’s laws and regulations. Any existing permitted uses are unaffected by the conservation easement.

The nesting habitat of Western and Clark’s Grebes has been selected by FRLT as a desirable public value for the Lake Almanor easement. While the easement does not provide FRLT control over water levels, the organization intends to work with PG&E to ensure that this value is preserved at Lake Almanor. The FRLT believes that water level control has had a negative impact on the grebes’ nesting success. We support ongoing monitoring and a science-based approach to water level control in the future, such as that proposed by Plumas Audubon.

Existing leases, such as those for resorts, boat docks, marinas, and public infrastructure, are explicitly allowed under the conservation easement’s provisions. FRLT has no role, right, or responsibility to oversee and/or enforce the conditions of any PG&E leasing agreements.

On July 15, 2020, the State Water Board approved the Upper North Fork Feather River Hydroelectric Project’s Final Water Quality Certification. When the 2105 license will be finalized is unknown at this time. The FERC licensing process does not include FRLT.

Contact FRLT at 530-283-5758 or go to the Land Conservation website of the Stewardship Council.