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An easement could lead to a real estate dispute

Most South Florida residents simply want to enjoy the peaceable and quiet use of their home and land. They may feel they are entitled to that much. But, as much as most people are like-minded in this respect, the fact is that certain elements of property law will inevitably lead to real estate disputes. The presence of easements on a property owner's real estate has just that sort of potential.

Some property owners in South Florida may not even know that there is an easement on their property. For those who don't know, an easement is essentially a grant of the right to use a person's property for a specific use. This grant of use is non-possessory, meaning that a party who holds an easement on any given piece of property does not have an ownership stake in the property. It is simple a legally binding grant of the use of part of the land.

The most prevalent use and existence of easements comes from utility companies. These companies, which plan out and maintain utility lines, like gas, sewage and underground electrical lines, will typically have an easement in place on a piece of property that is connected to their services. The easement allows the companies to enter the land in order get to their service lines.

However, private parties can hold easements on property they do not own as well. For instance, a neighbor may have an easement to have a driveway across another property owner's real estate. If the easement is attached to the legal recording of the property, it will be legally binding -- but not without potential conflict. As a result, easements can and do cause real estate disputes in South Florida, sometimes even leading to litigation.

Source: FindLaw, "Easement Basics," Accessed March 26, 2016

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