Question

Who is responsible for upkeep and maintenance on utility easements?

There is a utility easement that stretches along the back of our property from one end of our subdivision to the next. I'm not sure if it's considered our land or not since we never received any information about the easement during the closing of our house (we're first time homeowners). I'm wondering who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this easement. There are several trees that have fallen over in the recent storms and I'm not sure if we are responsible for removing them or if it's the job of the association or the city. Who can we go to to find out about the easement and who's property it actually falls on? Any advice is appreciated.

3 years ago - 5 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

You can call a local title company and obtain a copy of the easement and your HOAs/CCRs.

Typically, you own the property but grant the utility use of the easement to access the areas they need to get to. It is your property, so you take care of the trees.

I doubt your housing association will take care of it, again, it is your land, your trees, your responsibility. But once you obtain a copy of the easement and the housing association rules, you will know.

Source(s):

3 years ago

Other Answers

Not an easy question. Generally the property owner who has granted the easement is responsible; but not all easements have the same conditions. In addition as this is a subdivision, there as you point out may be some responsibility of the HOA/POA.

Only a lawyer reviewing the easement could tell you with any degree of certanity. I HAVE seen easements where in exchange for the ROW use of the property, power companies agree to maintain ingress and egress for line crews; and that MIGHT cover trees down.

NO one can tell you without reading the easement

by wizjp - 3 years ago

you may assume you are responsible; here's why--

the easement is a limited USE of property--for a utility. On our prop, we have high phone wires and
power wires. The vehicles that come and go which stay on the public roads but walk onto our
land, do not need permission to come and go 24/7. If they cause a problem, they must
correct it. IF a tree falls where they come and go, it is your responsibility to remove it.........unless
they have such tools-service.......

also, like the sidewalk in front of your home; anyone may use it 24/7, and you must keep it
free of hazards...........

it is best, to be sure, to call each utility and ask to speak to a supervisor -not a clerk--
about their policies about natural --weather--caused problems on THEIR easement.

luck to you

Source(s)

by kemperk - 3 years ago

It is your property, if the trees are yours you maintain them.

If they belong to the city, they do. If this is not on the street the trees are going to be yours. They commonly plant the same one in every ones front yard on a street, but I have never heard of them planting any in the back.

The easement is to get to utility lines, they do not mess with your landscaping. The only time they would is if they tore it up, then they would fix it.

If you are unsure if you own the tree City Works can help you, the same people that maintain the gutters and street lights keep track of the ttreesthe city oowns

by Landlord - 3 years ago

Ok. lets cover some first time homeowner basics.

Unless you paid cash for the home, you took out a loan and you bought title insurance. If you have a recorded easement across your land, that information will be shown in the title report under the 'Exceptions". list. Read thru that and see if it references that easement or perhaps any other.

(YOu should have actually been reading this before you signed the dotted line on the sale contract.. but remember that next time).

2) If there IS an easment shown, then the answer to the question will generally be found in the easement document that the exception item references. Typically this is a recorded document so you need to go to the county recorder (in the US) and request a copy. You MAY be able to call up the title company and ask for a copy but this is a courtesy on their part. THey do not have to give it to you (they may not even have it ).

3) Sometimes easements in subdivisions are shown on the subdivision map. A trip to your county recorder again. Your deed will contain the recording information for your subdivision.. typically a name or number and a book and page for the filing info.

4) Check your HOA documents.. they may reference the easement and may also tell you about responsibility.
(Again.. you should always read those BEFORE you buy a home or condo).

Those are the basics...

Despite the trees/easement.. welcome home.

.

by ca_surveyor - 3 years ago