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What You Should Know About Easements in New York

easements new york

Property matters can get quite heated, whether it is the boundaries between neighboring properties or determining what is “public” property. Easements are one such bone of contention for many property owners. For more information on easements in New York, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Rockland County real estate litigation attorney today.

How does New York law define easements?

Under Empire State law, an easement is the grant of a nonpossessory property interest that grants the easement holder permission to use another person’s land. Grants of easements are usually given to one’s neighbor or adjacent property owner in order to allow them to go across one’s property to gain access, which is called ingress and egress. The grant of an easement may place a burden or encumbrance on one’s property while bestowing a benefit on the neighbor’s property.

That being said, easements come in multiple forms.

What types of easements are available in New York?

In New York, there are several types of easements that might be attached to one’s property. They are as follows:

  • Utility easement: This type of easement is a property right (not ownership) for a permitted use typically granted by property owners to a utility for the purposes of installing or constructing, operating and maintaining electric, water and sewer lines and equipment, as well as gas, telephone, fiber optic and other above- or below-ground utilities.
  • Private easement: This is a permanent right authorizing one landowner to do or maintain something on the adjoining land of another.
  • Easement by necessity: This type of easement occurs when the only access to one person’s property is by traveling through another person’s property.
  • Prescriptive easement: This is a permanent legal right to use the real property belonging to another person and is created by conduct, such as the open and hostile use of another property for a continuous period of ten years.

What can you do about easements?

One way for an easement to end is for one party to buy the other out. If the owner of the dominant estate purchases the servient estate, the state may terminate the easement. The easement may also end if the holder of the easement relinquishes his or her rights in writing. Please keep in mind that if the owner of the servient land tries to prevent the exercise of the easement, the owner of the dominant land may seek an injunction against them to enforce their right.

As you have no doubt gathered, one party can’t unilaterally decide what is to be done about an easement. Whatever side of the divide you are on, you should retain the services of a skilled Rockland County real estate attorney who will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities and fight for them, if needed.

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If you require an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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