An easement or right of way is granted by a land owner to another party, which can include companies, to use a portion of the property for a specific purpose. The easement or right of way can allow for utilities to run across the property, a building to be placed on the property and used by others, or a road or pathway placed on the property for others to use to gain access to adjacent properties.
Read over the property's title for information about any easements or rights of way attached to the property. If you no longer have a copy of the title, contact your county recorder's office for assistance.
Hire a land surveyor to survey and mark the corners of the property. You can make the purchase of a property contingent on the information discovered in the land survey, similar to the property passing a building inspection.
Discuss with the land surveyor the existence of any easements or right of ways on the title in comparison with the land survey. Ask the surveyor to place permanent markers at the corners of the property, making it easier to determine the property line in the future.
Contact your attorney for assistance if you believe there is a conflict involving an easement or right of way on your property or an adjacent property. Contact your state's bar association if you do not have an attorney, and ask for the contact information of real estate attorneys in your area.
- Trulia; What Is an Easement or Right of Way? Easements & Rights of Way Explained; Patti Lyle; February 2011
- New Jersey Society of Professional Land Surveyors: A Consumer Guide to Property Protection
- Point to Point Land Surveyors; The Importance of a Land Survey Before Purchasing Land; Charles Lee Iner; June 2009