As a homeowner, are you aware there are two types of easements in NH? Most people are not, which is why it is important to know what type of easement you have on the property you are living on.
If you are unsure what an easement is, let me explain it to you. An easement is the legal right to use the land owned by someone else. A common easement is an area people are allowed to cross over to reach a destination. If you have an easement on your property, you may need to allow another person to use it to reach another property or piece of land.
Easement rights are considered non-possessory. The property owner retains the ownership interest, which is normally referred to as the fee title. The piece of land that can only be reached via the easement is often referred to as the dominant estate. The reason for that designation is due to the fact there is limited access to the land.
The Two Types of Easements in NH
Appurtenant easements are easements that include the benefit of a piece of property that is connected to the land that cannot be reached any other way. There is normally an easement agreement on file for these easements. Once that agreement is in place, those easements almost always transfer to new owners of either property.
Sample appurtenant easements include driveway easements and access easements. Most driveway easements are constructed on neighboring properties, so people can access a public street or highway.
It is important to note that the deed does not need to mention the appurtenant easement when the property is transferred to a new owner. However, I always recommend making sure the appurtenant easement is referenced in the deed to prevent problems in the future.
Easements in Gross
Easements in gross will always personally benefit a specific person or company. Most of the time, you will find private utility companies utilizing easements in gross. They normally do this to install cable and electrical wires, as well as work on repairs of those items.
These types of easements in NH don’t usually transfer like the appurtenant easements. And while many other states allow these easements to stay with the land, New Hampshire has not embraced that possibility as of yet. Though, it has been tried in the courts a few times.
I know how it can be difficult to determine one easement from another. And it can be frustrating to know whether or not an easement can be transferred without being in writing. If you are concerned about an easement on your property, please contact me today. I can help you find out exactly what type of easement you have and what your options are legally.