Conservation easementEasements and Licenses

Not all property rights are equal. Easements and licenses allow land owned by one party to be used or restricted by another person or entity. Use easements commonly include utility easements, access or driveway easements, or beach access, to name a few examples. Restrictive easements frequently occurring in Hunterdon County include conservation, wetlands, and roadway easements for bridges and site distance.  Prescriptive easements can occur when one person uses the land of another in a certain manner for a certain time, creating a permanent right.  The most fundamental difference between easements and licenses, is that easements are a permanent right, while licenses are revocable by the grantor.

Negotiating Property Rights

Petroleum Pipeline Easement in WetlandsAttorney Nicole L. Voigt is experienced in negotiating and drafting easements and licenses, and in counseling clients through disputed property rights.  Land use approvals are often conditioned upon the recording of relevant easements.  Utility takings, such as pipelines, first begin with a request for a voluntary easement, which in all circumstances should be carefully evaluated and negotiated according to property owner goals.  Preserving natural, wooded, and farm land is done through a process which results in an easement.  A person wanting to allow another access to land, while reserving the right to deny future access, should obtain a carefully crafted license to clarify that a permanent easement right is not created.

Easements Necessary to Close Title

Additionally, current mortgage underwriting requirements often require that easements granting access to property be formalized in a written agreement which clarifies maintenance obligations.  Even where a deed references the right of access,  lenders often require more. In such a case, an easement must be negotiated with an abutter not involved in the sale of the property, and must be recorded before the property can be purchased.  We are experienced in drafting and negotiating such easements, and closing deals.

Need legal counsel for an easement, license, closing, land-use transaction, or property dispute? Request a consultation.