This is the first post in a series of articles about understanding real property easements in Tacoma or Olympia Washington. The goal of this series is to provide a general explanation about easements, their common forms, and how their existence may impact your property rights. Easements are often created by an express agreement between property owners, but it is possible for an easement to exist without the owner’s knowledge or permission. Disputes can involve complicated legal arguments and the outcome may impact property values or restrict a party’s use of property. For these reasons, it is important to consult with a knowledgeable real estate attorney when evaluating an easement issue. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
This series will focus on several key topics, including:
- How easements are created
- Easement challenges and disputes
- What to expect at trial for an easement dispute
Property owners often rely on the use of another’s property to access their property or provide utilities or amenities to their property, and many have similar burdens on their own property for the benefit of neighbors. Property owners and prospective purchasers should have a general understanding of the common types of easements and how they may impact values and use of real estate. Second, easements may be created in a variety of ways, possibly without the owner’s knowledge. Owners should have a general knowledge of how easements may come into being, especially if facing an easement dispute. Third, easements are often the source of disagreements between neighboring landowners. Challenging an easement or enforcing one’s rights under an existing or implied easement may be necessary to use or even access a property. It is even possible to seek monetary damages if one suffers losses due to an easement dispute. Finally, though many disputes are settled outside of the courtroom, some proceed to trial. Parties to a dispute should know what to expect if their case reaches the trial phase.
As mentioned above, given the potential impact an easement may have on your property values or your use and enjoyment of your land, it is essential to retain a lawyer with experience in real property easement matters. My firm has experience in commercial and residential real estate transactions, including easement disputes. If you need assistance, contact me today to speak with an Olympia property attorney. The firm also services the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, and Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.