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Expert Advice: Are You Looking to Build a Fence on an Easement?

May 25, 2023

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Legally you are allowed to build a fence on an easement, but it’s essential to know that it may need to be torn down if the easement needs to be accessed. Because of this, you need to decide if it’s worth it since it may have to be taken down at any time. However, most homeowners agree that building a fence is worth it, even if they have to remove it later.

To understand more about easements and fence installation, keep reading. This article explains why you can build a fence on an easement but why you may want to avoid it.

What Is An Easement?

If you’ve ever wondered why you can build a fence on an easement, there’s a pretty simple explanation.

An easement is a legal area on your property that other individuals or entities can use. Of course, you still own the land and have a right to build on it, but you aren’t the only party involved.

When discussing easements, there are two parties involved. You, as the property owner, are the servient estate. The person allowed to use the easement property is called the dominant estate. As these names suggest, the dominant estate can do what they want with the easement, even though you own the property and can do what you want with the rest of the non-easement property.

There are many different easements, but almost all are meant to serve the greater good. For example, easements allow utility workers to work on gas and sewer lines underneath your property. They can also enable the government to install a sidewalk so locals can safely walk around the area.

With this in mind, you own the land, but part of that land is used to serve the community at large.

building a fence on easement

Different Types Of Easements

As mentioned above, there are several types of easements. Knowing the easement type may better help you understand why they are regular occurrences on personal property. Below are the most common types.

Sidewalk Easement

A sidewalk easement is a small strip of land that’s reserved for use by the public. It’s usually located on either side of the road and can be used by pedestrians to walk along the route.

The width of this strip varies depending on where it is, but it’s typically between 6 and 12 feet wide. The area next to it—the street—is owned by the city or county, while everything else is privately owned.

Driveway Easement

A driveway easement is an agreement that allows someone to use a portion of another person’s property for the purpose of driving a vehicle. This type of easement grants accesses rights over land to the owner of a motor vehicle, allowing them to drive across the other party’s land in order to reach their own property. In most cases, the easement does not give the driver permission to park their car on the other property but simply allows them passage over it. Driveway easements are typically created in a written agreement between both parties and must be registered with the local land title or registry office. When drafting an easement agreement, it is important that all details are covered, including the length of the easement, the size, and width of the drive, who is responsible for maintenance, insurance coverage, and any restrictions or limitations. Driveway easements are legally binding and must be adhered to by all parties involved; failure to do so can result in legal action. By creating an agreement that benefits both property owners, driveway easements can help ensure a safe and smooth passage for all involved.

Also, it’s important to note that driveway easements are different from other types of land-use agreements, such as right-of-way agreements or surface rights. These easements grant access to the owner’s land without providing any ownership rights or control over the land. It’s also important to keep in mind that a driveway easement is only valid for as long as there is the use of the property, and if it has not been used for more than five years, it can be legally terminated.

Driveway lights can illuminate the way so that the driveway is safe to use at night and in hazardous weather conditions. Additionally, a fence along the driveway can be installed to provide a barrier between properties and reduce the potential for property disputes or legal issues.

Utility Easements

Utility easements are underground or above ground. Objects like storm drains, sewer mains, and natural gas lines often run underneath the private property, which means that area has a utility easement, so they can be repaired if needed. Additionally, a utility easement can be above ground whenever power lines and telephone lines run over the property. Utility easements are usually marked with signs or paint on the floor. A utility company may also send verification letters to local property owners to let them know where they have a utility easement on their property.

fence contractor in Kansas City repairing fence

Right Of Way Easements

Right-of-way easements are a type of easement that allows someone to have access to your property.

Easements are an agreement between two parties, allowing one party to use the land belonging to another. Easements can be created by deed or by necessity.

Right-of-way easements are most often used for driveways or other types of access, such as for utility lines and other utilities.

Many times, landlocked parcels contain no access from roads. Therefore, an adjacent property owner grants an easement to gain access from their property onto yours. Sometimes these types are provisional—meaning they currently may not be in use (especially if there is no dwelling on your property). However, the right-of-way easement will allow you to build a future home or barn without having any access issues once completed!

Private Easements

Private easements are a right of way that allows a party to access another’s property. For example, if you want to install solar panels on your neighbor’s land, they may grant you access through a private easement.

Private easements can also be given away or sold by the property owner. For example, let’s say you decide to sell your house and need to provide access for the new buyer. You can grant them an easement through the sale of the home or by simply giving it away.

These can be tricky because they have the potential to affect future homeowners. For example, granting your neighbor a private easement can affect anyone you sell the home to in the future. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check if there are any private easements on a property before buying a home.

Private easements may not be a problem, but depending on the terms, they can limit what you can do with your property. Therefore, private easements should be listed on the title.

Conservation easement

A conservation easement is a legal agreement that limits the development and use of land in order to protect its natural resources and scenic beauty. These restrictions are voluntarily entered into by the property owner and a qualified conservation organization, such as The Nature Conservancy or a land trust. Conservation easements can be designed to protect forests, fields, wetlands, rivers, communities, and other important natural resources. They can also be used to protect historic buildings or cultural sites. Conservation easements are often used for agricultural land or open space preservation. By limiting development, these agreements ensure that the land remains in its natural state for future generations to enjoy.

Conservation easements are an important tool for protecting land from development and preserving its natural character. As land use changes and population growth continues, conservation easements can help preserve open space for wildlife habitat, agricultural production, recreational activities, and aesthetic enjoyment. They can also protect water quality by limiting buildings in sensitive areas. Conservation easements can be specific for the property or blanket a large area of land. The easements are usually permanent, but they may be amended or revoked under certain circumstances.

Conservation easements can provide property owners with financial benefits in the form of reduced taxes and potential tax credits. They also have environmental benefits, as well as social and cultural benefits for communities. Conservation easements help to ensure that our natural resources will remain available and accessible to future generations.

fence installation on an easement

Can You Build A Fence On An Easement?

The answer is yes; you can build a fence on an easement. An easement is a legal right that allows one person or entity to use another person’s property for a specific purpose. For example, if you live next door to your neighbor and want to put in a pool, they’ll need an easement from you to dig up your yard. A fence is just as much of an easement as an electrical line or water pipe—it crosses over or through the property line of another party.

It’s important to note that some restrictions exist on building fences on an easement. For example, you can’t make any structure or object that could cause harm to someone or their property (like a swimming pool). And the fence must be built so that it doesn’t interfere with access by people who have rights over those easements (like utility companies).

Consider what type of easement you’re considering, whether a private easement, utility easement, a right-of-way easement, or a conservation easement.

A Word from Our Company

As a family-owned and operated business, The Fence Company of Kansas City takes pride in providing quality fence installation and repair services to homes and businesses throughout the Kansas City area. We offer a wide range of fencing options, from traditional wood fences to modern metal fences, so you can find the perfect bar to fit your needs and budget. We’re also proud to offer a lifetime warranty on all our fencing products and services, so you can rest assured that your investment is protected.

We understand that not everyone is familiar with the process of installing or repairing a fence, which is why we offer free consultations to help you determine which type of fence is best for your property and provide quotes for all our services. We also offer financing options to make getting the wall you want easy without breaking the bank.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule a free consultation! We’re a great resource if you need information about building a fence on property lines or even if you have questions about your neighbor’s fence.

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