All residential homes in MUD 208 have utility easements either along the back of the property, the sides of the property or both.
An easement is a legal document that provides the right to use an owner’s property for a particular purpose. A utility easement allows power, gas, water, sewer, drainage, telephone, cable utilities the right to use an owner’s property for specific purposes such as to construct, repair, maintain, operate, and manage utility facilities.
The property owner owns the land upon which the easement is located. However, utility companies have the right of way to enter upon that land to gain access to the easement for specified utility purposes. These companies have the right to enter your private property to access the easement.
Generally, utility easements are created by plat when a platted subdivision is approved by the city or county. Utility easements may also be created by a separate agreement between the owner of the property and the utility. Easements are generally located along streets, lot lines, or between two lots when created by a subdivision of land.
Easements are usually recorded in the real property records of the county in which the land is located. The existence of a recorded easement should have been identified by the title company handling the purchase of your property. You may presume there is an easement over a portion of your property if you see utility lines or equipment on your property.
A utility easement restricts your ability to use the easement portion of your land in a variety of ways. For example, you are restricted in placing structures in the easement that would interfere with access to utility facilities located in the easement. Storage buildings, pools, patios, decks, spas, or other permanent structures that are located in the easement prevent unobstructed access, and therefore cannot be located in the easement. Vegetation, and especially trees can interfere with access or with trees, the roots can damage utilities buried below it, and should be avoided on easements.
*Utility companies have no obligation to replace or repair structures or vegetation damaged/trees while working in the easement area. In fact, if a utility incurs additional cost as a result of the structure or vegetation/trees in the easement, the owner may be held liable for the additional cost. In addition, an owner of property, where access to the easement is denied or obstructed, may be held financially liable for construction delays.