Easements and Statutory Rights of Way

What is an Easement?

An easement is a right to use or cross someone else's land for a specific purpose. Easements can be granted to neighbouring property owners, government authorities or utilities companies for purposes such as maintaining pipe-lines or accessing utilities services. Property owners and land purchasers should be aware of the potential for easements to restrict the use of land and diminish its value.

Easements Given to Municipalities

Municipalities have the legal authority to create easements on private land for the maintenance of public services, such as sewers and telephone-lines. This type of easement is referred as a statutory right of way and is acquired through the process of expropriation. A statutory right of way can significantly restrict an owner's use of land and compensation should be paid for those restrictions. While property owners may not be able to prevent a statutory right of way from forming, they can negotiate with the municipality for rights and remuneration equivalent to the lost interest in land. A property owner should not agree to provide a statutory right of way without first consulting an experienced lawyer. In many cases, the owner's cost for legal advice will be reimbursed by the municipality.

For over 40 years, the lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott have helped clients find timely and cost-effective resolutions to issues involving property interests, easements and statutory rights of way. We use our expertise and knowledge to protect our clients' rights and property interest and prevent the loss of land value. To discuss your legal position, contact Peterson Stark Scott at 604-588-9321 or book a consultation online.

Lawyer in Focus:

Bruce Melville has been working as a lawyer, author and teacher in the field of Municipal and Expropriation Law for more than 30 years. His expertise has been an invaluable asset for countless clients dealing with land issues such as easements and statutory rights of way. For more information about your legal rights and obligations in relation to easements and statutory rights of way contact Mr. Melville by phone at 604-588-9321 or by e-mail at [email protected]