Why you should ask about easements when buying a new home

If you are looking for a new home, there's a likelihood of running into a scenario where an easement is attached to the property you're considering to buy. As a potential property buyer, you would wish to know what effects the easement might have on the property. This article explains what easements are and possible implications to the potential buyer.


They provide individuals the legitimate right of usage or passage through the land of another person for a particular purpose. Generally, there are different kinds of easements that may be attached to a home. These include prescription, necessity, implication, grant and express reservation easements. Home buyers through their conveyancing solicitor should inquire from the seller if the property up for sale features any easement and how it will affect their ownership once they acquire the property.


Let's assume you intend to buy a home for sale, which contains a beneficial easement, permitting you to walk through your neighbour's land to access a public park, river or pond. This type of easement can have a positive impact on your home value based on the stipulations of the easement and why it was awarded.

Possible concerns

Assuming the home for sale contains a prescriptive easement, permitting others to walk through your land, you have to think how this will impact on your privacy, any future property extension and property value. The widely known form of prescriptive easement, permits utility companies to enter your property to restore any gas, electrical or water lines, which may be buried under the property, and though potentially invasive you may seldom witness any activity. Failing to know the existence of such easements may see you put up obstructions, such as structures, fences, tree and boulders on top of the utility pipes and lines. As a result, the utility company may have a difficult time accessing its facilities when it comes to performing repairs, upgrades or routine maintenance.

On the other hand for instance, let's assume the property you intend to buy was previously part of an extensive tract of land that's now partitioned. The subdivision may have formed a property lot at the back of the home that's basically landlocked lacking any access to an open road or street. Only to discover later on after buying your new home that an easement exists which allows the landowner of the landlocked plot of land legal right to pass through your land to access the road or street.

Before making your offer on a home you're attracted in buying, inquire from your conveyancer about any easements that may be linked to the home.