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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Default Utility Easement

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: new Mexico
    I am in the process of purchasing a landlocked piece of property that has an easement listed on the title, but it's not a specific "utility easement". There is no specific "utility easement" listed on the title for the property.
    Is it possible that I wouldn't be able to run power to the property without a new, specific "utility easement" being granted? Or is a generic easement all that's necessary?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,056

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    If you have an easement for ingress and egress to your property, it is not considered landlocked.

    The language of the grant doesn't have to specifically state that it is also for utilities. Some grants recite over and under the land of the servient estate. That would include utilities.

    Most state courts have ruled that an access easement includes utilities unless specifically excluded in the grant.

    You should consult with a land use attorney in your area who can review the case law and tell you if you need to quiet title on the easement's use for utilities.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    Is it possible that I wouldn't be able to run power to the property
    You could also call the utility companies.

    Just make sure you get this all ironed out before you buy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    4

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    We haven't signed yet and that's what we're trying to
    do, is figure out the utilities before we actually buy the
    property. The problem is we asked both real estate
    agents to help us with the situation and neither
    seemed to be able to help, they first told us to wait for
    a look at the deed, then told us to wait to look at the
    survey, neither of which state utility easements. The
    property actually has a right-of-way as well as an
    easement, in opposite corners.

    The property owner provided us with a very old survey,
    which is a plat survey, that has writing specifically on
    the easement that states the telephone company and
    the power companies names. The problem is, when we
    got the new Alta survey, it doesn't State these names
    any longer, itjust calls it an easement.

    We have also already contacted a local real estate
    attorney you can't seem to give us a definitive answer
    either. We just don't want to end up in a situation with a
    property that can't get utility company service for
    power. Everything else will have to be off grid
    considering water sewer and gas but we totally
    understand that going into this.

    We have already contacted the utility company, who gave us an estimate for the most logical path to service this property with utilities. It follows the easement in question, but they couldn't tell us definitively if they had the rights to do so. They said that we could pay them for a utility easement search, which would cost about $2,000 I believe, but I have a feeling they're just going to find the exact same thing that the title company and the survey company found. Not to mention, we've already waited so long, because we were told to wait by the real estate agents for a number of reasons, we're running out of time, and the utility company takes a long time to do anything. It took almost two months to get an engineer out to the piece of property to give us an estimate for running utilities long that easement.

    Thank you for the quick response has! I really
    appreciate your time!

    Sam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    We haven't signed yet and that's what we're trying to do, is figure out the utilities before we actually buy the property.
    I commend you on your wisdom. The vast majority of people who come here with questions are already in trouble after the fact.

    we asked both real estate agents to help us with the situation and neither seemed to be able to help,
    No surprise there. They want you in contract so they can secure their commissions. They don't care what your problems will be after you close. Don't trust either of them. Even your so called buyer's agent is a w-hore for the commission.

    The property owner provided us with a very old survey, which is a plat survey, that has writing specifically on the easement that states the telephone company and the power companies names.
    If that's the original county plat survey from when the subdivision was first developed, then it's probably the utility easement.

    Go to the county office and look up the original plat for the subdivision and you'll probably see that the easement runs through several properties and that there are similar easements elsewhere in the subdivision.

    We have also already contacted a local real estate attorney you can't seem to give us a definitive answer either.
    No surprise there either. Real estate attorneys provide minimal services for the flat fee that they charge for the transaction.

    We have already contacted the utility company, who gave us an estimate for the most logical path to service this property with utilities. It follows the easement in question, but they couldn't tell us definitively if they had the rights to do so. They said that we could pay them for a utility easement search, which would cost about $2,000 I believe, but I have a feeling they're just going to find the exact same thing that the title company and the survey company found. Not to mention, we've already waited so long, because we were told to wait by the real estate agents for a number of reasons, we're running out of time, and the utility company takes a long time to do anything. It took almost two months to get an engineer out to the piece of property to give us an estimate for running utilities long that easement.
    Well, is this a property you can walk away from because of all the uncertainties and unpredictable expenses?

    Or are you getting it cheap enough so that you can afford whatever unexpected money it takes to run utilities to the property?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    Not sure if we want to walk away at this point, but with the signing next week, we may have to. Definitely not the ideal situation, but better than being stuck without power, I suppose.

    Its frustrating that we're so close, yet so far away. We really like the property too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    Quote Quoting Samh1978
    View Post
    Not sure if we want to walk away at this point, but with the signing next week, we may have to. Definitely not the ideal situation, but better than being stuck without power, I suppose.

    Its frustrating that we're so close, yet so far away. We really like the property too.
    you could consider making it clear to the sellers that you are going to walk away unless they prove that there is a utility easement.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Utility Easement

    If you have a recorded plat of the subdivision that depicts the easement and names a power and telephone company (even if they no longer are in business) then you have a utility easement. The fact that this was not reduced to writing in a subsequent deed means nothing. The utility easement was created by the recording of the plat.

    I would look for a different local attorney that knows easement law. Obviously, the one you consulted doesn't.

    Now tell me if you are the dominant or servient estate on the right-of-way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    Everyone involved seems to think the opposite of the old plat survey. People are seeming to say that once the new surveys done, that's the law and the end of the story. I'm just not really understanding how they didn't find the plat survey when they did the new Ulta survey so that the utility easement would be recorded on the Alta survey. You would assume that would be important in that wouldn't be left out.

    The right of way is separate from the easement, I'm not sure if I made that totally clear in my original post. The easement enters the property we are looking to buy on the southwest corner and runs along the entire Southern property. The right of way enters the property that we are looking to purchase in the northeast corner. The right of way was noted as abandoned because it hasn't been used in decades and even though there is essentially a dirt road there, there are trees growing in the middle of it and such and it has been illegally fenced off at the main county road that it used to intersect. If we end up with this property, we would really like to use the right-of-way as an entrance to the property as it's a direct shot off of the main road. The easement is it the end of a longer private Road that's off of the main road. I'm not sure the definitions of dominant or servient in this circumstance, But the right of way is on someone else's property as an access road to the property that we were looking to buy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    16,474

    Default Re: Utility Easement

    Quote Quoting Samh1978
    View Post
    Everyone involved seems to think the opposite of the old plat survey. People are seeming to say that once the new surveys done, that's the law and the end of the story. I'm just not really understanding how they didn't find the plat survey when they did the new Ulta survey so that the utility easement would be recorded on the Alta survey. You would assume that would be important in that wouldn't be left out.

    The right of way is separate from the easement, I'm not sure if I made that totally clear in my original post. The easement enters the property we are looking to buy on the southwest corner and runs along the entire Southern property. The right of way enters the property that we are looking to purchase in the northeast corner. The right of way was noted as abandoned because it hasn't been used in decades and even though there is essentially a dirt road there, there are trees growing in the middle of it and such and it has been illegally fenced off at the main county road that it used to intersect. If we end up with this property, we would really like to use the right-of-way as an entrance to the property as it's a direct shot off of the main road. The easement is it the end of a longer private Road that's off of the main road. I'm not sure the definitions of dominant or servient in this circumstance, But the right of way is on someone else's property as an access road to the property that we were looking to buy.
    So, this property has a double problem. A fenced off right of way that clearly that property owner will fight you over, plus an iffy utility easement. I would be walking away from that property myself.

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