Easements are commonly encountered in rural properties, but they can be in cities, as well.
Property owners may find easements to be inconvenient because they grant someone else the (usually) legal right to intrude upon their space in some way. Naturally, that can end up limiting the ability of the true owner to use their property as they see fit.
The good news is that you may have options for ridding yourself of an easement that’s become cumbersome.
So, how do you permanently extinguish an easement?
In rare cases, an easement may end on a specific date or with a certain event. If that’s spelled out, the easement expires at the appropriate time. Most of the time, however, easements aren’t written that way.
Generally, you can’t rid yourself of an easement without legal action involving a real estate attorney and the civil court. Some actions you might take include:
- A quiet title action. If there’s an old easement on the property that just needs to be cleared up, you can ask the court to reaffirm your boundaries and clear it.
- Assertion of abandonment. You can seek to demonstrate to the court that the party who holds the right to the easement has done something that would make it impossible to use.
- Demonstrate that the purpose for the easement is destroyed. For example, maybe there was a pass-through on your property that allowed people access to the local public beach. If the beach has now become private, there’s no reason for the easement to continue.
- Get a release agreement. If you can get the person who holds the easement to sign a release, that can end the issue.
- Buy out the easement. This is usually done by merging two properties that have an easement between them, like a shared driveway.
With easements, each situation is unique. If an old easement on your property is frustrating you, you may have several different options. Speak with a California real estate attorney today to clarify your choices.