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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on May 20, 2016

An easement is a legal right to use someone’s land for a particular purpose. They may be given to a water company to run water pipes under your property or to an electric company to run electrical poles on your property. The easement holder does not have the right to occupy your land, just to access it. Easements are part of the property they effect and don’t change when land ownership changes.

There are a few different types of easements that could affect your property. It is always important to understand your rights and the rights of the easement holder if one affects your property.

Utility easements in Arizona

Utility easements are written agreements given to utility companies or a city. These are the most common easements and typically don’t have much day-to-day effect on your property. You will still be able to live on your property, plant on it and even build on it as long as you don’t interfere with the utility’s use of the easement. You can find out about any utility easements located on your property by calling the utility company or the county’s land records office.

Private easements in Arizona

A property owner may sell an easement to someone else, possibly to use as a path to a driveways or for sewer or solar access. If you bought property that already has private easements, you should get copies of those documents. It is important to know where the easements are and what they allow.

Prescriptive easements in Arizona

A prescriptive easement is created when someone uses the land for access to something like a beach, a shortcut or a driveway. Payment of property taxes is not necessary in a successful prescriptive easement claim.

Easements by necessity in Arizona

A legal easement can exist if it’s absolutely necessary for someone to cross your land for a legitimate purpose, even if it’s not in a written agreement. If the only way someone can access their property is by crossing your land, the law recognizes this as a easement by necessity.