Easement creation

An easement is a right to use someone elses property for a particular purpose. It differs from permission or a license in that it is a formal property right which generally is irrevocable, and which either becomes an appurtenance to the benefitted property (called an easement appurtenant) or stands alone (called an easement in gross). Examples are driveways to properties with no frontage on a road, waterline or sewer easements, forest conservation easements required by a municipality, etc.

There are a number of ways easements can be created, but when we speak of Martenet assisting in the creation of easements, we are speaking of a formal transaction between parties where surveys are conducted locating the features to be associated with the easement, drawings are prepared defining the easement limits, and documents are signed and recorded among the land records serving as notice to everyone.

Maryland regulations require that easement surveys conform to certain criteria.* Generally speaking, a boundary survey of the closest title line is necessary to anchor the new easement to the existing parcel fabric. Precise courses and distances around the perimeter of the new easement should be specified, and, usually a plat or drawing is prepared illustrating the new easement in context with the adjoining parcels of land.

All of this is specified with a view toward avoiding any confusion in the future over the precise location or limits of the easement. Adequately described and documented easements rarely give rise to disputes. That's a good thing, because disputes tend to be expensive.

We cannot say how many easements this firm has assisted in creating, because we have no idea ourselves. But they must number in the tens of thousands. We can assist you in this area as well.

*Entities with the power of eminent domain do not have to conform to the Maryland statewide regulations, the thinking being that those particular entities have been in the easement (and right of way) acquisition role for many years and don't need the technical assistance of the surveying standards to protect their interests. They likely have their own surveying standards.

Copyright © 2015 S.J. Martenet & Co., Inc.