Sometimes when you own a piece of property, you’ll find that you have a neighbor who is also making use of your land in some capacity. This can happen in one of two ways: as an easement, or as an encroachment. The two terms can be easy to mix up, but one of the chief differences between them is permission.
Encroachments – An encroachment is the use of land without gaining permission from the rightful owner, such as building a structure (such as a fence or swing set) or by using the property in a way that changes the status of the property. Encroachment structures are almost always built without a proper permit.
Easements – Easements are a mutually agreed upon extension or use of a piece of property. A common example of an easement is the shared use of a driveway, or granting your neighbor permission to cross your property in order to access an otherwise unreachable area.
It should be noted that an encroachment can become an easement if the two property owners can come to an agreement on the use of the encroaching structure. An official easement agreement can generally be recorded with the county clerk’s office.
If there are any encroachments on your property, they should be addressed with neighbor before you think about selling, since they can not only scare off potential buyers, but can also cause issues with determining property lines and create title issues down the line, where the encroachment becomes an encumbrance until it’s resolved.
At Title Junction, we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. The experts at our title company have extensive knowledge about real estate not only in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, but all of Florida as well.
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