Many landowners in Ohio are in a situation where part of their land can be legally accessed by someone else. This is known as an easement, and it gives another person a partial interest in someone else’s land.

An easement allows that person to use the land, the space above or the land underneath for a specified limited purpose. Some examples include accessing a public road or maintaining utility wires. The holder of the easement generally does not have the right to:

  • Exclusively possess the land
  • Make improvements
  • Take something away from the land
  • Dispose of the land

The owner of the land is generally free to do what they wish with the property, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of the person owning the easement.

What to know before purchasing property

If a person is buying land, they will want to make sure they know if there are easements on the property. They may review the survey of the property or ask their title company about any possible easements. Their title insurance policy should also include any easements benefiting their property. If an easement is unrecorded, a title company may not cover any disputes between the landowner and a person claiming the right to utilize the easement.

The existence of easements is important for anyone purchasing real estate to understand. Easements give others the legal right to use that portion of the land, which the landowner cannot impede. Those who have questions or disputes about easements will want to seek the legal help they need to understand their rights.