What Are Easement Disputes In Oklahoma and How To Resolve Them?

Easement Disputes

Easement disputes In Oklahoma are more common than many people believe. Sometimes a property owner will let someone else use part of their land for a limited purpose in Oklahoma–this is called an easement. Often called a “right-of-way” or access, an easement can be a part of the property owner’s land that someone else has received permission to go across, or it can be buried equipment like pipes or cables that go underneath the land, which the equipment owner has a right to access for repairs and improvements. This is the business of easements and read on for more helpful information.

Types Of Easements in Okla..

The two primary forms of easement in Oklahoma are:

  • Easement appurtenant: this easement allows some benefit to another landowner separate from the one it’s on, who may need the easement for access.
  • Easement in gross: this is an easement given for the use and benefit of a particular person or company that needs access to part of the land or across it.

Neither type of easement grants title to the property to the person with the right to use the easement. But, both types are common easement disputes that can be settled by a mediation or if need be the Court in the county the land is located.. An easement appurtenant may take the form of a driveway across part of a neighboring parcel of land that is the only access to a landlocked property.

For example, property owner Al had 100 acres that he was dividing and planned to sell two smaller, 20-acre lots from. He retained sixty acres of the original property that would be cut off from the main road if he didn’t keep a driveway easement across one of the 20-acre properties. That driveway easement would be an easement appurtenant that serves the dominant estate (the 60-acre parcel the original owner of the whole land retained for their property access).

An easement in gross, on the other hand, might be a pipeline that an oil company needs to get its product from the field to the refinery. The easement does not pertain to another piece of land necessarily, but it is owned by the oil company that has rights to access the land to service their oil pipeline as needed.

Ways To Get An Easement

There are a few ways to create an easement. One is an express easement where a landowner agrees with someone else to let them have a right-of-way or some use of their property by written agreement on specified terms. 

Another type of easement can be created in a way that is similar to adverse possession of land, called an easement by prescription. Just as with adverse possession, very specific standards must be met, followed by a court order that the easement has come into existence before the easement is recognized officially. The law does not favor easements by prescription simply because the terms and conditions of the easement are not as clear and undisputed as that which is agreed to in writing.

One other way to create an easement is called an easement by implication. These can be by necessity, where one landowner needs access across someone else’s property to get to their land, or by pre-existence, where that route has continually been used as access to another land, and no one has objected to or ended the access.

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Tulsa Easement Disputes Attorney Near You

Easement disputes in Oklahoma come in all shapes and sizes. Property law can have some surprising twists, turns, and complications that may not be apparent or seem like a common-sense result to someone who owns a piece of land. If you believe you may have or need an easement to get the maximum benefit of your property, or if someone else is claiming they need or have an easement across your property, an experienced easement lawyer in Tulsa is your best guide in getting clear on your rights and responsibilities. Call Kania Law Office at 918-743-2233 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

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