Purchasing real estate in Georgia should be an investment that you can take satisfaction from. However, if there is an easement that you do not know about when you buy the property, it could disrupt the gratification you feel about ownership.

Here is what Trulia.com says you need to know about easements before you buy real estate.

The definition of an easement

An easement provides the right for specified parties to use someone else’s land for a necessary purpose. The seller has to disclose whether there is an easement on the property, and whether it will remain on the property after you make the purchase.

Types of easements

An easement may provide access from public property to private property. For example, if the property next to yours is surrounded by private property, the owner may need a driveway or road across your land to reach the road. Or, if there is public property on the other side of your land, people may be able to walk across your land to reach it.

Utility companies often have the right to access pipes or electrical lines buried on the property. This is known as an affirmative easement because it allows an action to take place. A negative easement would prevent an action, such as keeping you from building a structure that would block a neighbor’s view.

Easement challenges

If you want to have an easement terminated, the first step would be to contact the easement holder. You may have to go to court to challenge the easement if the holder will not agree and there is no expiration date, but these challenges are often difficult to win.

Because an easement can affect your own use of your property, you may want to consider whether you should purchase the real estate or continue the search for a property that better suits your needs. This general information should not be interpreted as legal advice.