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Understanding easements when buying commercial property

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Real Estate Law

Understanding easements is crucial when buying commercial property. Easements can significantly impact the use and value of your property, so it’s essential to be well-informed before making a purchase.

What is an easement?

An easement is a legal right that allows someone else to use a portion of your property for a specific purpose. Easements are common in real estate law and can affect how you use and develop your commercial property.

Types of easements

There are several types of easements you might encounter:

  • Right-of-way easement allows others to pass through your property, usually to access another property.
  • Utility easement permits utility companies to install and maintain infrastructure like power, water, and gas lines on your property.
  • Easement by necessity is granted when a property has no other access and requires access through another property to reach a public road.
  • Prescriptive easements are acquired through continuous and open use of a property without the permission of the owner for a statutory period (usually ten years in New York).
  • Express easements are explicitly created by a written agreement or deed and are typically recorded in the public records.

Easements can significantly impact your property’s usability and value. For instance, a right-of-way easement might limit your ability to develop certain areas of your property, affecting your business plans.

Research and due diligence

Before purchasing commercial property, review the property’s title report and consult with a real estate attorney to understand the implications of any easements. 

Easements can affect the value and usability of your commercial property. By understanding the different purposes of easements, you can ensure that your investment aligns with your business goals and legal requirements.

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