Easement Laws in Washington State

What is an Easement?

An Easement is a non-possessory right in real property.  What that means is that the person who has the right to use the Easement is not the owner of the property; the person merely has a limited right to use the property.

Easements can come into being without anyone even knowing that they exist, such as Prescriptive Easements, or Easements by Implication.  However, the best practice is to put the Easement in writing.  An experienced real estate attorney can draft the necessary documents, sometimes with the assistance of a surveyor.  Once established, in writing or otherwise, an Easement will normally last indefinitely, and will automatically transfer from one owner to the next.

The most common type of Easement will “benefit” one parcel of property, and “burden” another.  For example, if you have the right to maintain a driveway over someone else’s property, their property is “burdened” by the Easement, and your property is “benefited”.

Another common Easement might be for utilities, such as water, sewer, and/or electrical.  Frequently, access and utility easements are combined in a single document.

Unfortunately Easements are a common source of litigation, some common disputes include:

  • You are a property owner who wishes to stop someone from using your property;
  • Another property owner wants to block your legitimate use of his or her land;
  • You and your neighbor want to agree on an Easement, and need the agreement reduced to writing;
  • Someone wants you to sign an Easement, and you need help understanding the agreement;
  • Someone claims to have a right to use your property, even though no Express Easement was ever drafted.

One of the real estate lawyers at Deno Millikan Law Firm, PLLC, can take the necessary steps to ensure any Express Easement is thorough, and legally enforceable. Likewise, one of our lawyers can help you to fight for a favorable outcome in the event of a dispute over a Prescriptive Easement, or an Easement by Implication.

Regardless of the type of Easement, or whether it is in writing or otherwise, call the Deno Millikan Law Firm, PLLC at (425) 259-2222 or contact us online for further assistance.