You might not think twice about the fact that you can use a public park or cross through your neighbor’s alley to reach the street. But these rights are only made available to you due to existing easements on the land.
What is an easement?
Many pieces of property in Florida, whether they are farms, vacant lots or a private home, are accompanied by an easement. An easement is a right bestowed upon a person other than the property owner to lawfully use a certain part of the property owner’s land for a specific purpose.
A common easement is the right of way to cross through someone else’s property to reach a public road. Often, utility companies have easements to enter a homeowner’s yard when it is necessary to do their jobs.
How do I create an easement?
The basic way for a property owner to create an easement is through a written contract or deed. The document must make it clear that the property owner intends the easement to be permanent. Also, the document should state what the purpose is for creating the easement.
Sometimes, an easement is limited, and thus it can be implied. Such implied easements include the public use of streets and parks and need not be written.
The use of the easement
An easement can only be used for its intended purpose as dictated in the written contract establishing the easement. If the property owner’s intention is unclear, any reasonable and necessary use of the easement might be allowed.
Once an easement is executed, it cannot be modified unless all parties to the easement agree. If the terms of the easement are violated, the property owner might be able to file a legal claim for breach of contract. They might also move the court for an injunction to stop the wrongful use of the easement.
Easements are common features of real estate in Florida. They are subject to certain limits and requirements under state law. This post only scratches the surface of easement laws in Florida, so those who have concerns about their easement and property rights might want to seek consultation on the matter.