What is an easement in gross and how does it affect homeowners?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Real Estate |

When people in Georgia buy and sell real estate, they should be aware of covenants and easements that come along with the property. Easements are legal conditions as part of a real estate contract that give specified rights to people or entities aside from the homeowner. For example, many parcels of land are sold with utility easements that allow electric companies, water companies or other utilities the right to enter the land and property to access pipes, cables or wiring that support utility services.

Easements in gross are individual

Some easements belong to a company or a service and can be transferred; other easements belong to a specific individual only. An easement in gross provides a specific right to an individual or other entity and belongs to that individual rather than to their property. In general, easements in gross are irrevocable throughout the life of the person who holds the easement in gross. However, they can be voided if their easement is related to their ownership of a neighboring property and they later sell that property. It should be noted that easements in gross belong to a person, not a parcel of land.

No sale or transfer

Individuals with an easement in gross cannot transfer or sell their interest in the easement to another person. If they sell the property related to the easement, the new owner must seek to negotiate a new easement in gross and cannot simply purchase or inherit the right from the previous holder. Incorrect or mistaken information about easements can lead to real estate law disputes.

Easements in gross may be broad and wide-ranging or limited and specific, and the property owner has the greatest ability to determine the scope. Real estate attorneys may work with clients to negotiate easements and understand the extent to which their transactions are affected by the presence or absence of easements or other covenants.

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