One of the real estate legal matters small businesses can encounter are matters regarding easements. An easement is a right to perform certain uses on a piece of property possessed by someone else. Some small business owners have an easement on a nearby property. Also, sometimes, the property a small business owner's business is on has an easement on it.
Easements can vary quite a bit in their scope. How the scope of a given easement is set depends on how the easement was formed.
The main way easements are formed is through a written document, though there are a few other, less common ways in which easements are created. When an easement is formed through a written document, the document typically contains terms about the specifics of the easement and its scope. Thus, when it comes to written easements, the terms of the writing generally play a major role in outlining the easement's scope.
Sometimes, disputes arise between the party that owns a property an easement is on and the party the easement belongs to over the scope of the easement. When it comes to written easements, such disputes may be over differing interpretations over what the terms of the writing actually mean when it comes to a particular aspect of scope or over an aspect of scope that the writing was silent on. Disputes over scope also sometimes come up in connection to the less common types of easements.
What happens in an easement dispute over scope can have major impacts on the scope of the easement moving forward. This can have major financial and business implications for a small business owner involved in an easement dispute, whether the owner is an easement holder or the owner of a property an easement is on. So, when in a disagreement over the scope of an easement, a small business owner may want the advice and help of an attorney experienced in real estate dispute matters.
Source: FindLaw, "Easement Basics," Accessed April 20, 2016