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Does an easement have to stay on a commercial property?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Small Business |

You’re looking to start a small business, and you already have a partner and a business plan. The two of you are simply looking for some commercial properties that you can buy, that you can use as your new business headquarters.

But when you find a property that seems to suit your needs, and that is in the proper zone in your city so that your business is legally permissible, you find out that another business owner has an easement. They are allowed to use this commercial property in some distinct way. For instance, perhaps their business is located behind yours and the only way to access it is through a shared driveway.

When you start your company, you would rather not keep this easement. Do you have to do so if you buy that property?

Different types of easements

It depends on the type of agreement that the two business owners have. It may just be a personal agreement between the two of them, which will be canceled when one person sells. You’re not obligated to continue to honor that.

But if they have a legal easement that runs with the land, this means that the easement lasts even when the property changes hands. The other business owner still has a legal right to use that land as they were before. You can’t necessarily refuse them this right just because you are the new owner of the property.

A situation like this can get confusing. You need to be very sure about exactly what rights and obligations you have, and you need to know how an easement can sometimes lower the value of a piece of property. Be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take.