Many homeowners are not aware of the right-of-way or easements that may exist for their property. See below for descriptions of both.
Right-of-way: “A right-of-way is a type of easement granted or reserved over the land for transportation purposes, such as a highway, public footpath, rail transport, canal, as well as electrical transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines”.
- Within the Village of Germantown, the right-of-way is most typically denoted for the purpose of roadway construction or maintenance. The land itself is owned directly by the village and is not part of your property proper.
Easement: “A right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose”.
- Easements can be held by almost anyone, even between private property owners. In most cases, easements are used to install and maintain utilities in order to provide a service to neighboring properties. It’s important to remember that the land itself is still owned and maintained by the property owner directly. As an example, if there is a dead tree in a sanitary sewer easement within your property, you as the landowner are responsible for the removal of that tree. The easement itself only exists so that the utility can have access to maintain sanitary service within the area. Easements themselves often have restrictions. The details about a right-of-way or easement, including their location and other specific details can be found on your property survey. Many times, you may have received a property survey when purchasing your home, which can help you have a better understanding.