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The Fast Facts on Easements

The Fast Facts on Easements

Easements are known as the use of a private property by a person or organization for a specific reason or intent. Easements may deal with the granted right of one property owner to travel over the property of a neighbor to access certain areas. They can also empower a certain company or organization to utilize private land to provide a specific service, or complete a task. Depending on the type of assessment, an easement can either benefit one party over the other, or neither parties. 
Two types exist and are known as an easement in gross, and an appurtenant easement. Easements can be created in various ways, such as being granted by one property owner to another, being implied by an action, prescribed, or necessary for the full use and enjoyment of property. The regulations for each easement varies, and they can last until otherwise specified. Some are permanent until a certain requirement is meant to terminate them. 
Background
An easement grants the use of a private piece of land belonging to an owner, by another person or organization for a specific purpose or need. The access can deal with travel over the property, as well as placing certain structural components on the property, and even allowing for construction above and below ground of utilities. Easements fall into two distinctive categories known as appurtenant easements, and easements in gross. 
Appurtenant easements benefit the holder of the easement over the owner of the property where the easement is located. They deal with a servient tenement (location) and a dominant tenement (holder of easement).  Appurtenant easements deal with a benefiting land owner over another, where the easement is located. The owner benefits over the use of such property, and the easement over that property. Easements in gross deal with an easement with no beneficiary, this can be in the case of a utility company using the property for power lines, water/sewer mains, or gas pipes.

Benefits

An easement usually benefit’s the holder, and their use or access over a property. For example, in an appurtenant easement, the dominant tenement, or estate, would be the beneficiary over the servient tenement. This is due to the fact that the dominant tenement would have the ability and right to use the property over the servient in a manner that serves a purpose or function that is specific. This could be an access route to a roadway, or a passageway to their property. 
When dealing with an easement in gross, there is no beneficiary because the easement is granted to a company, usually a utility company, and the use would be simply to provide services to the areas required. However, sometimes when a government or municipality calls for an easement of property to perhaps build a recreation center, etc.. one could argue that the community would benefit from such a place. Regardless, once again there is no benefiting party involved in the terms of the easement. Simply, the only thing that exists is the purpose of the easement for the use of the property.
Appurtenant Easements
Appurtenant easements, like any easement, deal with the use of a private property by another entity. In this case, it’s another private owner. An appurtenant easement deals with  one private property owner using the land of another private property owner for a specific purpose that allows them to get full use of their property and enjoy it’s benefits. 
The owner in an appurtenant easement, of the land where the easement will be located, is referred to as the servient tenement, he or she is the grantor of the easement. The grantee, who is the private owner that will be holding the easement, and using the land of the grantor, is the dominant tenement. In an appurtenant easement, should the dominant tenement choose to sell his or her land, the easement would automatically transfer over to the new owner so that they can use it and be entitled to full use of their property.
Easements in Gross

One easement that does not benefit a party over the other is known as an easement in gross. The most common of these, deals with utility companies looking to provide some sort of service to a community. They may require an easement over a private property to install power lines, or to extend the coverage area of their existing system. 
This deals with them perhaps using a grassy or wooded area behind a residential dwelling, or next to a commercial property such a as a building. These structures may be unsightly, as well as affect the property values in which they are located. However, since they area essential to a specific need, these easements will mainly be granted. They can sometimes be dealt with underground structures, in the cases of utility companies accessing water/sewer mains, or even gas pipes.
When a use of a private piece of land is necessary for a special purpose, by another entity, be it another land owner or perhaps a company or organization, an easement can be created. Easements can be created or granted through a few different ways, these are: express grant, implication, prescription, and necessity. The purpose of each easement may or may not solely benefit the owner of the easement, but could be necessary for a specific mandated function. In general, an easement could be created with the consent of the owner, which would entail an express grant. 
There could also be a significant implication for the requirement of an easement to exercise the entire use and enjoyment of a property by its owner, an implied easement. The use of the land without the permission or consent of the owner can lead to the creation of a prescriptive easement, as long as the use is not halted or aborted. The need for an access of a public street can also constitute an easement, due to the essential necessity of the owner to access a public roadway to exit and enter their property.

A Guide to Appurtenant Easements

A Guide to Appurtenant Easements

Appurtenant easements are easements that benefit a piece of land and its respective owner (when compared to a contrasting owner’s piece of land.) These easements are attached to the real property and can be transferred if a sale of the land occurs. The major reason behind most appurtenant easements has to do with the “right of way” easement, and granting the passageway through a property. 
First, in regards to appurtenant easements, they must be agreed to by both land owners before proceeding in creating one. If the owner of the land where the easement would lie denies the stipulations, the matter can be resolved in court-usually with a lawsuit from the person attempting to request that the easement be created. The owner of land looking to create the easement is known as the dominant tenement, and the owner who’s land the easement would lie on, is known as the servient tenement. In this case, the dominant tenement is the beneficiary in the matter. 
The servient simply is providing the other tenement the right to use his/her land whether amicably or forcibly, and must allow the easement to be built on their property. When the dominant tenement has no choice but to create an easement, such as an example if their property was landlocked, and needed access to a road, this would be known as a specific easement or easement by necessity. Also, if the dominant tenement chooses to sell their property to another owner, then the easement would be attached with the sale, as mentioned before. However, the same rules do not apply for a servient tenement (depending on circumstances.) 
Certain circumstances could lead the new servient tenement to argue the existence of the easement (if applicable), if the reason in this case has become irrelevant with time or purpose. Having an easement on a property as a servient tenement, can hurt their chances of reselling the property. Not only that, but it can severely diminish the property value. This is because, new owners, who would look to develop a property or build a new structure, are severely limited by their contractual obligations.
Appurtenant easements can also exist between commercial property owners and residential property owners. For instance, a shopping center has a private road standing between their location and a main road. The company wants to have access for its customers to that road, which would constitute the introduction of an easement. Once this easement is created, the dominant tenement would be the shopping center. This would in turn, entitle the benefit of the easement to the shopping center.

What are Environmental Protection Easements

What are Environmental Protection Easements

An easement deals with the right to use another owner’s property, given a specific need to do so. This type of purpose can deal with having access to travel through the property of the owner, or use certain areas for allowable utilities to be provided. One common example is the need for utility companies to install a support beam on someone’s front property to transport new power lines for electricity, or phone services. 
Another can be the utility companies digging the ground on someone’s property in order to install or repair gas, water, or sewage lines. Although these are the most prevalent of scenarios, there are other examples that can affect one’s property,such as an access route to a street. 
Sometimes houses are built behind one another, obstructing a property owner’s path to a road. In this case, an easement would grant the rear property owner (dominant tenement) access to building a driveway, through the property of the front owner (servient tenement), so the dominant tenement can properly access the road . Easements are split into two main categories:easements in gross, and appurtenant easements.
Appurtenant easements deal with an easement specifically for the benefit of a particular lot of land. This type of easement is transferable to a new owner, if a sale of that land takes place. In regards to the example of the house being built behind the other house, that type of easement would be considered an appurtenant easement. 
The access route would be built on the property of the servient tenement to the benefit of the dominant tenement. Should a sale take place of the land, the property of the dominant tenement would transfer the easement over to the new owner without any issue or complication. In fact, the easement is not required to be mentioned in the title of deed of the property. An easement in gross deals with a similar concept, but the difference is that the owner of the easement does not benefit from it. 
This relates to the example with the utility companies. Since the purpose of the easement is simply to grant those companies access to the land in order to install their necessary components, the benefit of such action does not lie within the company or a specific owner. One could argue that the installation of such measures provides services necessary or essential to the people living in the area, but this still does not constitute benefit of specific ownership.
The way easements are created can occur by different means. They can be conceived due to implication, express grant, necessity, or prescription. An implied easement deals with an easement created by the actions of a party over another without a written documentation. 
It is an understanding or ‘implication’ that an easement is required for access, such as buying a landlocked piece of land requiring access to the roadways. This would create an implied easement in which the owner of the landlocked land has the right to access that roadway through the property blocking it, if belonging to the owner who sold him his current property (two parallel properties).

Importance and Implications on Property Construction

Importance and Implications on Property Construction

It is extremely important for both, property owner’s and prospective buyers, to be fully aware of the environmental protection laws. When building a new commercial property, or a home, construction companies, must be aware of any potential damage they can cause if they are not notified of the type of area they are looking to build upon.
Most construction companies or property owners looking to develop their property, will come up with an environmental protection plan. This environmental protection plan, outlines the mandatory laws or requirements for the people working on the land. For example, if the site being built, stands close to a wetland preservation area, the workers must stay as far away from the boundaries of that wetland preserve. 
Crossing into the protected area can not only cause the collapse of the structure, but also, it can lead to severe consequences pertaining to the violation of particular environmental laws. The wetlands are seen as a crucial spot for certain species of birds to breed, as well as an excellent source for oxygen production. Taking these things into consideration, as well as the fact that the ecological chain is dependent on organisms that dwell in these environments, wetlands are a pivotal ecosystem. Now aside from these areas, how can the environmental protection plan affect a household built in a general non wetland area is a question widely pondered. 
When a property is built, soil needs to be moved around, as foundations are dug up and structures are raised. The movement of the topsoil can result in erosion, and possible problems with rainfall by disturbing the ground. This would not only affect the lot where the home is built, but also the areas around it, where the soil would get washed away by rainfall over time. Certain erosion control measures need to be taken by the companies to prevent this from happening, according to guidelines in the environmental protection plan. 
This can avoid possible disaster later on, by implementing these measures at the base (literally) of the construction. Somewhat related to this issue, such a plan should also contain measures regarding storm water. The diversion of storm water into sewers is extremely important to prevent such things as erosion, or flooding in an area.
The particular environment around which a home can be built, can help determine the amount of rainfall experienced, and if heavy in the area, take certain precautions in the construction phase to promote the proper diversion of storm water. A survey of the land must be conducted based on previous patterns, of course taking into consideration the new obstacles created during construction. It is important that the storm water be guided to appropriately placed storm drains. If a house lacks gutter trenches where there is heavy precipitation, the rain fall in front of a house on a path walkway heavily can collect varying sediments. 
This water can then (during a downpour or constant rainfall) make its way down to the grass (commonly filled with fertilizer) of a property. The water then finally reaches the street, where by going to the storm drain, has carried a great amount of fertilizer with it. If these storm drains empty to the waterways, then you have a contamination issue from that property. These are some examples of the measures that must be implemented into an environmental protection plan, to ensure the safety of a property, as well as the surrounding areas.

Some Influential Laws on Environmental Protection

Some Influential Laws on Environmental Protection

The Clean Water Act, is an example of a well-known and prominent environmental law. The Clean Water Act assures the quality of our water supply, and additionally preventing the tampering with, or pollution and contamination of it. 
The contamination can include individuals dumping chemicals into the water, as well as certain structures of a property that can contribute to the pollution of a nearby water source. Depending on the severity of the infraction, strict fines can be imposed on people or businesses for their contamination of a water supply.
Another common environmental protection law is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The CERCLA, which is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, was passed in 1980 and deals with problems relating to closed or abandoned hazardous waste properties/sites. This act directly can impose a liability on different parties coming into contact with hazardous waste and their dealing of it. These parties can be companies that deal with the production of hazardous waste, to people who transport, or dispose of it. 
As a result of their direct contact with the waste during any given phase of its existence, these are the people who can be held responsible in case of a spill or improper disposal or use of the waste. If a person or group of persons is found liable for any of these actions with hazardous waste they will face serious implications. These can include heavy fines, as well as lawsuits from any possible people that were harmed in result of their actions.
Also, the person(s) will be responsible for the proper cleanup of the mishap or site, whether through their own means, if fitting under EPA standards, or by hiring an outside company specializing in that type of cleanup. Those held liable will be responsible for the entire cost of the cleanup and safe removal/disposal of the hazardous waste.
Aside from federal laws, there are state laws that regulate certain types of products that may come in contact with the environment as well. For example, certain state laws oversee the use of underground storage tanks containing petroleum or petroleum products. 
These laws state a specific type of storage type that must be used, and what components it can be made of to store such liquids. Should an unfortunate leak happen with the tank, these state laws bring forth liability to the owner of that tank. Leaks can contaminate the soil on the property as well as ground water, and through rainfall, can travel to other areas spreading the contamination. Those held liable,  aside from suffering a great deal of penalties, will also be responsible for the proper cleanup of such sites. 
On a residential level, there is a concern for home owners purchasing houses that contain lead-based or radon-based paints. If directly contacted, these are both potentially harmful substances to a person’s health. This is why a home owner is told to report the levels of such contaminants in the house prior to sale.
The laws that are set by the government (both federal and local) are meant to not only protect the environment, but also the health of people in and around the areas prone to contamination. Environmental protection laws are focused on creating a safer existing environment for everyone, as well as cleaning up areas that were harmed in the past.