From the street – this looks like your typical house on a cul-de-sac lot. But upon further investigation we find that such is not the case at all, and that there is actually an EASEMENT RUNNING THOUGHT THE MIDDLE OF THE HOUSE!!! How in the world does this happen? Here are a few possible scenarios:
- The easement wasn’t recorded (not the case for this example) or the easement didn’t show up in the title commitment.
- When the original home was built, it was built outside of the easement area, but years later an addition was added to the home. Maybe the addition was done without pulling permits (if permits were even required when the addition was built), or maybe the builder didn’t review the title commitment and wasn’t aware of the easement.
- The lot has been adjusted or combined with other lots, and the easements that existed on those “old” lots never got vacated or moved like the property lines did.
- The builder had intentions of getting the easement vacated but never followed through with the proper paperwork or had the documents recorded.
Unfortunately, this is more common than you’d think. I would estimate that we see some type of issue regarding easements on properties in 10% of the surveys that we perform. Those issues can vary from something as minor as the utility being located slightly outside of the designated area, to things as major as this example. The drawings that are provided as a part of having a survey performed will show you where easements exist on your property.