To put it simply, an easement is a right to use property which belongs to somebody else. The land over which the right is exercised is classified as burdened land and conversely the land for which the right is being exercised is classified as benefited land. There are different forms of easements such as easement of light and air, easement by necessity, service easement, right of way easement etc.
Easement and Value of the Property:
The existence of an easement in the property can diminish the value of the property if the property in question is burdened land. This is because easement could restrict the right of the landowner to undertake development work which may be inconsistent with the easement. Contrastingly if the easement in question brings benefit to the land, the value of the property may be increased.
How Do I Know If I have an Easement on my Property:
Except for the Statutory easements and prescriptive easement (easement created by long use are known as prescriptive easement), in NSW, it is imperative for the vendor to disclose all easements in the Contract for the Sale of land so that a prospective purchaser could make an informed decision as to whether or not purchase the land. This is why when you are purchasing a property in NSW, it is important that you seek advice from an experienced property lawyer prior to exchange of contract. An experienced property lawyer would review the title of the property as well as relevant easement diagram attached to the title and advise you as to the implications of the easement on the property should you decide to purchase the property.
Removal and Creation of Easement:
If you have found out that you have an easement on your property which is no longer needed, then it may be possible to remove the easement by negotiating with your neighbour. If both parties have come to an agreement about the removal of easement, then it is important that such agreement to be properly documented in writing. This agreement needs to be recorded with the NSW Land Registry Services. Alternatively, if you need to create an easement, it is possible to do so by negotiating with your neighbour or by commencing legal action in Court.
How Can K Group Legal assist you?
Buying a burdened land with easement restriction can be financially catastrophic as it may reduce the value of the property or may restrict you from undertaking development work if this is your intention. It is always advisable to seek advice from an experienced Property Lawyer who could walk you through the confusing process and guide you to the right direction. If you are purchasing a property in NSW, contact us today.