You’re looking to buy a commercial property so that you can start your business, and you find one in the right location and the right price point. You’re interested in making an offer, but you discover while talking to the seller that there’s an easement. They’ve given another area property owner permission to use the land in some way.
If you buy the property, can you just cancel that easement? What happens to it when the title changes hands?
It often runs with the land
There are some types of easements that can be transferred, altered or eliminated entirely. You may be able to say that you’re not going to uphold that easement once you buy the land.
However, many easements actually “run with the land,” which is just a way of saying that they stay with the property even when it changes hands. One example is an easement appurtenant. This is unchanged by your transfer of property ownership, so you must honor it.
This is why it’s so important to carefully look into all of the details before you make that offer. You need to make sure that you understand what you’re really making an offering on and what your obligations are. It may also help you negotiate with the seller. If you don’t want the easement but you know that you’re going to be stuck with it, you may be able to ask them to give you the land for a lower price.
Regardless, just make sure that you fully understand your legal obligations and the steps you’ll need to take as you buy your property. The future of your business hinges on getting this right.