Easements are the right of one property owner to use another property for a specific purpose. There are a few different types of easements, and they are generally not contentious matters between property owners that follow the agreed upon use. However, every property owner should know that easements can create potential conflicts and legal issues that require prompt attention.
The team at M&G Law put together these 5 questions and answers on Arizona easements to help any property owner understand some key issues.
What Are Arizona Easements Laws?
Easements are basically just contracts on a property that specify how a property (or portion of a property) will benefit an estate, specific person or group of people. The legal definition of an easement details there will be a dominant estate that benefits from the easement. There is also a type of easement that gives the benefits to a specific person only, not a piece of land.
Statutory law in Arizona permits a landlocked landowner to seek an easement providing the landowner can establish “reasonable necessity” for the easement. Easements are created for many reasons, and each easement detail will depend on the situation of the involved parties. In some cases, an individual might already have a claim to a prescriptive easement because the person has been openly using neighboring land to access their own property for more than 10 years.
How Can You Figure Out What Easements Are Needed on or Near Your Property?
Development companies do not typically have easement records on individual properties that aren’t part of a recorded tract of land. A professional surveyor or real estate attorney can assess the current situation with your property and any neighboring properties to assess whether an easement might be required or has already been established.
The county real estate records can have information for easements on a certain property on file as well, but they might not always be up-to-date and accurate. Whether you are using another property for access, or someone is using your property for access, it is important to define and record the easement as soon as possible to avoid potential issues in the future.
What Are the Types of Easements in Arizona?
There are many types of easements in Arizona that depend on a lot of factors, but they generally fall into a few main categories.
- Right-of-Way Easements are a type of easements that make people travel through the property for a certain reason.
- Easements of Support forbid other parties from going deeply and affect the foundation of the structures of the property.
- The Light and Air easement limits nearby property holders from upgrading their building very high to make sure it won’t affect the view from the main estate’s structure.
- The Easement that is related to artificial waterways can give a right for making a waterway that is made inside the property.
- Aviation Easements are the type of easements that allow the use of airspace around and above the property.
How Should You Handle Easement Disputes or Issues?
Most real estate is subject to one form of an easement or another. Ordinarily, real estate is subject to utility easements. These permit certain companies and government entities to run their lines or pipes across the property to furnish internet, electricity, water, gas, and more common services. These utility easements give these companies authorization to go inside the property to manage the service and maintenance work.
The most common form of easement is for entrance and exit to private property. For example, easements are used to grant permission to go inside a nearby property for routine maintenance. Easements can also give permissions for others to go inside the property to enter a walking path, for servicing, or other purposes.
Whatever type of easement is involved, it is important to work with a professional surveyor and experienced real estate attorney to get the easement officially defined and recorded. It is certainly easy for a dispute on property access and use to become contentious.
Always remember that an argument amongst neighbors or attempting to negotiate with an entity with easement access to your property will likely not resolve the matter. If you have a disagreement on an easement or potential easement, get the appropriate professionals involved as soon as possible so the matter can be settled legally and permanently.
How Do You Handle Legal Issues with an Easement in Arizona?
Right-of-way easements through the property of someone else are the most common by far. These types of easements can be made by agreement, open usage or by statute for the benefit of the community. It is also understandable that these types of easements naturally lead to disputes among property owners.
When the easements for a right-of-way are necessary for important use of a nearby property, there is not much anyone can do to prevent the easement from being granted. Arizona has long recognized the precedent that private property owners can get access to their property provided they can prove “reasonable necessity”.
Whether you are being asked to grant access through your property or looking to get access through a neighboring property, Arizona law provides that access will be granted if “reasonable necessity” is shown. That doesn’t mean you just have to give your property away. It is important to work with an attorney that has significant experience of Arizona easement laws if you are not able to come to a reasonable agreement on a right-of-way easement.
Most easements should also transfer with the property. If you are purchasing a property that requires an easement to access the property or get continued enjoyment, you should review the purchase agreement and property history with a real estate attorney. A real estate agent or broker will not be able to give you legal advice on the transfer of easement and advise on potential legal issues associated with any easements on the property.
Work with the Best Real Estate Attorney for Easements in Arizona
Easements are a common part of owning property. For one reason or another, a property owner should expect some easements on their property. If you believe your property requires an easement, it is important to work with an experienced real estate attorney to establish and certify the easement properly.
Convenient access to your property significantly impacts the enjoyment and value of any property. There are also many other common reasons you might need to seek relief through an easement, like a neighboring building or landscaping that blocks your sunlight and view.
These types of easements aren’t always as easy to get as right-of-way easements. Contact M&G Law today at 602-562-7218 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our website today.