Easements vs Rights of Way
Easements and Rights of Way are a kind of a license to public utility companies to use private property for their construction. Gone are the times when power transmission companies and Telco companies got away with a verbal permission from the owner of the property to cross his land and to place wires and other facilities or to erect poles. In recent times, the right to use a property owner’s land is granted in the form of an agreement between the property owner and the company desirous to make use of the land. This can be considered as a license to the company. These agreements are referred to as easement or right of way depending upon terms and conditions. People are often confused with the difference between easements and rights of way which is made clear in this article.
It is an agreement that confers upon an individual, company or a municipality the right to use a landowner’s property in some way. On the one hand these agreements grant rights; on the other hand they also restrict property owner’s right to use affected portions of land. If you have entered into an agreement with a transmission company allowing them the right to lay transmission lines in your property, it also hampers your right to indulge in activities that hamper this access to the company.
Right of Way
This is the actual land area that has been acquired by a company from a land owner for a specific purpose.
Difference between Easements and Rights of Way
It is clear then that whereas easement is the agreement or license that a company requires to use the specified portion of the property, right of way is the actual piece of land that is mentioned in the agreement. The terms of easement are clearly written in the agreement and it is normally perpetual and there is no expiry date. Once a landowner signs an easement, the company acquiring the license has the right to use the land in the specified manner without owning any rights on the property. Landowners usually get compensation in lieu of easement which is one time, but this payment can be spread over a period if the property owner so desires.
• Easements and rights of way are words used in connection with the usage of land which is the property of an individual for special purposes by a company.
• While easements are the agreements or licenses granted by the courts, rights of way are the actual piece of land where activities are to be carried out
• Easements are perpetual and continue with the company even when the land is sold by the owner to another person
• Compensation is paid to the property owner in lieu of easements