Easements can be created four different ways: (1) by an express grant; (2) reservation in a deed or other legal document; (3) by survey; or (4) by implication. Today, we examine express grants, reservations and surveys.
An easement created by an express grant is a transfer of a real property interest. Because an express grant easement must satisfy the statute of frauds, the parties must create and record an easement document. The document must describe the benefitted and burdened properties, the reason for the easement and location and size of the easement area. A real estate agent may not draft this document as it is the practice of law.
An easement created by reservation is typically created in a deed when the seller of a piece of property reserves an easement unto themselves. For example, John conveys his land to Jane but reserves unto himself a ten-foot wide easement across Jane’s land to a road.
An easement can also be created by a survey or plat. This is the least favorable manner in which to create an easement because title questions concerning the creator’s intent and ability to grant the easement can arise. Typically an easement created by a plat would be found in a subdivision survey created and recorded by the developer.
If your seller informs you of an easement ask for a copy of the easement document and have a South Carolina attorney review it prior to advertising the easement rights. If you market transferable easement rights that do not exist or have been extinguished you could become responsible for securing those easement rights from another party.
Fun Fact: The City of Columbia has apparently grown tired of its city flag. The current flag is light blue with the Columbia Seal emblazoned on the middle and wrapped with corn and cotton stalks. Recently Columbia held a contest to design the new flag. Currently there are 19 designs being considered for the new flag. You can see the proposed designs and vote for your favorite at www.ColaFlag.org.
Photo by andyarthur