Interest in land
There are there ways in which you can have an interest in land.
- Fee Simple Estate – most common when buying land. A person who has a fee simple estate has the right to exclusive possession of the land and the right to transfer the land, gift it, lease it out, or dispose of it for an infinite period of time.
- The Life Estate – this type of interest grants the owner the right to exclusive possession of the land for a particular lifetime. When the owner of a life estate dies the land will revert back to whoever granted it unless it was further granted as a life estate or fee simple estate to someone else. A person with a life estate can transfer the life estate to a third person but any rights transferred will seize upon the death of the owner transferring his or her life estate interests.
- Leasehold Estate– this grants the right to exclusive possession of the property for a specified period of time in return for payment of rent.
If you hear that you have an easement or that your property has an easement, what does that actually mean?
Easement is the right to use a portion of someone else’s land for a specific purpose, without requiring the owners’ permission each.
Easement interests attach to the land and not the owner, be sure to understand what easements if any are on your property.
Most common examples of easement, is for sewage, hydro, phones and so on. This means that your land can be used to run various lines and to maintain them these companies do not need your permission to enter your land.
Easements are very important as they can stand in the way of you building any sort of fixtures on your land, for example if there is an easement for a hydro line under your backyard this could stand in a way of you building a pool.
Another example of an easement could be your neighbor using your driveway to park on his land if he does not have his own or if the only access to his house is through your property.
Restrictive covenants impose some sort of limitations on the use of the property. For example, it could be forbidden to park a boat in a driveway. Sometimes builders will use restrictive covenants to maintain the appearance of homes.
A restrictive covenant attaches to the land and can bind subsequent owners of the property.