Is an easement the end of the line?

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Gateley Hamer

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When landowners and developers establish that there is an easement in place for utilities on their land, their initial assumption is often that the beneficiary of that easement has the right to do whatever they have proposed. However, this is not always the case.

Far too often we see landowners agreeing to allow utilities companies access or assume that their apparatus has a right to be there because an easement is in place. Landowners are strongly advised to obtain professional advice in relation to their easements before they take action or agree to anything. This is because every document is different and there can be clauses within the document that prove very useful.

Some of the typical clauses that can greatly impact a negotiating position are lift and shift provisions and compensation clauses. These can allow for apparatus to be diverted at the cost of the utilities provider or offer a landowner the provision to be compensated if their future activities are restricted by the presence of those utilities.

Easements also need to be checked to establish whether the right looking to be exercised is detailed correctly within the easement. For example, if an easement consents the installation of specific piece of apparatus, further permissions should be obtained for any additional items.

This blog post was written by Stuart Hastings, Associate, Specialist in Utilities & Compensation. For further information on easements please contact Stuart or a member of the team

Gateley Hamer is regulated by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)

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