How to Legally Terminate an Easement in Florida
Easements usually involve legal rights granted to someone giving them permission to use a portion of someone else’s property. Essentially, it is the legal right to pass through or use this part of the land for a specific purpose, not just general usage. One example of an easement is the utility companies who have a right to come on to your property and read your meter each period, or if the cable company needs to pass through to run new cable lines.
What happens if you need to terminate an easement? Terminating an easement may not be as simple as you think, which is why it’s important to speak with a Florida real estate attorney first to understand what your legal rights may be. Here’s a look at several possible methods of terminating an easement depending on the circumstances.
Easement is Expiring
Some easements may have a clause that says they will expire upon a specific date or when a certain event takes place. You would want to look through your easement documents or have your attorney review them to see if there is such a provision. If the utility company is accessing your property just for a specific event, you may have the easement documents drafted to say that their access ends when the repairs are done or the lines have been run, provided they have created other access to the location.
Abandon the Easement
Another way an easement can be terminated is if it’s abandoned. Using the case of the utility company, if they put up a fence that now blocks the original easement area, it could be construed that they are abandoning the easement since they blocked access to the area that the easement was originally designed to provide entry to.
Be careful with abandonment however, as some situations which you may construe as abandonment wouldn’t actually terminate the easement; for example, if a construction company just stopped construction for a while. In theory, they could start up again at any time, unless you can show proof that there was never an intent to resume construction there again.
Destruction of the Reason for the Easement
This may apply in situations where there is a shared wall that sits on the property line, serving both properties. Destruction of that wall would in theory terminate the easement.
Drafting a Release Agreement
This may apply in situations where an easement existed between previous owners of properties. If there is no longer any interest or use of the easement, the dominant property owner could sign a release that says it releases the servient property owner from the easement, which would release the property from being subject to an easement.
Contact a Florida Real Estate Attorney
It is not recommended that you attempt to deal with terminating an easement without speaking to a West Palm Beach real estate attorney first. If you are currently dealing with an easement issue or have questions about potential termination options, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A., today. We have offices conveniently located in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, and Boca Raton. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.