Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Creating a New Easement

    My question involves an easement in the state of:FL

    First off thank you for this great forum,your expertise is truly appreciated.
    We own a 1.16 acre lot (plain land,no structures) in a single home development,where only a few owners actually have houses built. We’ve had utilitiy service since we bought the property in 2005. Through a territorial agreement we are now serviced by a new utility company which approached me about a 15 feet Perpetual Utility Easement. Here’s the main part of their proposal:
    The Grantors (my wife and myself), in consideration of the sum of $1.00 or other good and valuable consideration, the sufficiency of which is acknowledged received from the Grantee, _____ Electronic Cooperative, INC, a corporation existing under the laws of the State of Florida, its successors and assigns, does herby on this day___... grant and convey to the Grantee (Utility corp) an easement, license and privilege of ingress and egress upon and/or under, to place, construct, operate, repair, maintain, relocate and replace thereon and/or thereunder and to retain ownership thereof, an electric transmission and/or distribution line or system and all associated appurtenances in connection with above-ground and/or underground facilities and the Grantee shall at all times have the right to keep the easement clear of all structures, obstructions, trees, shrubbery, undergrowth and roots or objects that might endanger said electric power line assembly on or under the real property in ___ County,FL
    My questions are:
    Can we grant the easement at a higher price and what is customary?
    Can we refuse to grant the easement?
    Can we change the wording to only allowing tree trimming and yard work to keep their lines clear?

    The previous utility company did not contact us about an easement, so this current proposal and especially the perpetual aspect of the easement has us very concerened.
    Thanks again for your time!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    "$1.00 or other good and valuable consideration" is a typical sentence in most deeds. You can expect to get more than $1.00 for the easement. The sentence itself is in one respect a method of masking the true monetary value of the exchange.
    So:

    (Can we grant the easement at a higher price and what is customary?) Yes.
    (Can we refuse to grant the easement?) Yes, but then the Utility Company is free to rip out their lines. An easement of this type helps protect the rights of both parties.
    (Can we change the wording to only allowing tree trimming and yard work to keep their lines clear?) You can try, but if you are considering building a structure, etc. on top of buried electric lines or under aerial lines, I might think again. It's dangerous, and most Town Ordinances prohibit this anyway.


    From what I see, this is actually a decent easement from a landowners point of view. A lot of the time a Utility will insert language which allows them to expand the scope of the easement at a later date. I don't see any of that type of language here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,488

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    We had $10 when I was trying to get an easement from the HOA. The big question at the board meeting was when did they get the $10.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    Thank you for your input. What would be fair price I could negotiate for? A percentage of the current market value?
    What if the utility company is not willing to pay for the easement?
    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    If you already have utility service to your property, I have to assume that the request for a new easement is to serve other parcels.

    If that is the case, you can expect fair market value for compensation. You can simply wait for them to file an appropriation action by eminent domain. If they do this, you will be going to court. They will have to have an appraisal from a certified appraiser as to the value of their proposed take. As their proposed take leaves you with just some grass to mow without other existing rights, they will have to pay compensation.

    You can get your own appraisal, of course, which can be a basis for negotiations.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    Thank you for your response. Let me clarify the Situation. There has been a Territorial Exchange “Consummating Order” and the new utility company is now asking every owner in their new territory for that 15 foot easement. I have been purposely slow in my response to them as I’ve never dealt with this before. They mentioned if they don’t hear from me, they will move forward with alternatives they have. Upon inquiring about said alternatives they wrote:
    "If a company cannot get a logical alternative (which we have exhausted),they as a critical service provider can ask the courts to grant them the right of an “Order of Taking”."
    I contacted them before their deadline and I bought a little more time.
    Could they get the easement by Order of taking without proper compensation?
    I’m trying to figure out whether it’s worth engaging a real estate lawyer ,as the lot has much depreciated in the last 4 years (as most people’s have).
    Any suggestion on your part is highly appreciated!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,572

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    Could they get the easement by Order of taking without proper compensation?
    Not likely if you have utilities already available on your lot without the proposed easement. They can likely get the easement by appropriation with compensation if they can prove a need for immediate use. In many cases eminent domain can only be used for appropriating land for current actual requirements, and not future theoretical needs.

    It's the compensation which needs to be negotiated. Your lot is about 50,530 square feet. If it were appraised at or near $50,500 (just for talking purposes) we would be looking at about a dollar a square foot appraised value for the take area. What percentage of that dollar per square foot would be reduced by the take? You obviously will not be able to landscape it with shrubs or trees. You couldn't reliably plant a garden there. You are just left with grass to mow.

    These are the factors an appraiser will look at, which will determine the reduction in value below the example (only) dollar per foot valuation. If the appraiser determines the reduction as 70% then your payable damages would be $0.70 per square foot by example. I'm not sure about your state laws but it would be expected in most cases that a fair market value offer must be made to you before the utility company proceeds with a court action.

    Paying for an hour or two of legal advice from an experienced real estate attorney will not break your bank and will at least give a better estimate of your chances. An attorney will also be better able to advise you as to whether the proposed easement grant allows for "piggy backing" additional services such as telephone, cable, etc. onto the easement.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Creating a New Easement

    Wow,great advice! You are very generous with your knowledge and it helps me a great deal.Thank you for taking the time.Have a great day!

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Disability Benefits: SSDI and Creating an LLC
    By rmosler in forum Social Security Law
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-17-2011, 06:35 PM
  2. Trying to Get Prepared for Creating a Will
    By laurie83833 in forum Estate Planning, Administration and Probate
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-22-2011, 09:05 PM
  3. Creating a New Trust
    By kemp in forum Estate Planning, Administration and Probate
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-15-2011, 11:49 AM
  4. Copyright Law: Creating New Art from Photos
    By jug53 in forum Intellectual Property
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-30-2009, 04:15 AM
  5. Trademarks: Creating A Guide
    By joebeaven in forum Intellectual Property
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 01:10 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources