Contacts involving easements right of way

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Contacts involving easements right of way

I have a high powered electrical
wires running thru my property
the previous owner signed a
contract with the power company
I want to renegotiate the terms
of that contract can this be
done also can I charge them a
usage fee or roll for crossing
my property that is not part of
there contractual rights

Asked on March 8, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Is it an actual easement--something affecting the deed and which is on the deed--or just a contractual license to let them run their lines?
If it's an easement, then you can't renegotiate it: the easement affects and goes with the property and is not personal to the owner(s). When you bought the property, you would have bought it with the easement, subject to the easement, and you cannot renegotiate this any more than you can renegotiate the property's boundaries. If it was on your deed or title and is recorded with the county, you are stuck with it.
But if it was not an actual easement but was just a contract personally between the former owner and the utility giving them some rights, then you can deny them access or renegotiate: a contract is personal--it only binds the parties who sign it, unless another person specifically agrees to be bound under (e.g. "assume") it. If you did not agree to be bound under any personal contract between the former owner and the utility, this does not obligate you.
Take a copy of this alleged "contract" and also your deed and title report to a RE attorney: he or she can help confirm whether this was an easement or just a contractual license, advise you of your rights, and help you with any renegotiation, if applicable.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Is it an actual easement--something affecting the deed and which is on the deed--or just a contractual license to let them run their lines?
If it's an easement, then you can't renegotiate it: the easement affects and goes with the property and is not personal to the owner(s). When you bought the property, you would have bought it with the easement, subject to the easement, and you cannot renegotiate this any more than you can renegotiate the property's boundaries. If it was on your deed or title and is recorded with the county, you are stuck with it.
But if it was not an actual easement but was just a contract personally between the former owner and the utility giving them some rights, then you can deny them access or renegotiate: a contract is personal--it only binds the parties who sign it, unless another person specifically agrees to be bound under (e.g. "assume") it. If you did not agree to be bound under any personal contract between the former owner and the utility, this does not obligate you.
Take a copy of this alleged "contract" and also your deed and title report to a RE attorney: he or she can help confirm whether this was an easement or just a contractual license, advise you of your rights, and help you with any renegotiation, if applicable.


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