What Do Ingress and Egress Mean In Real Estate?
Studying for your real estate exam or just curious about ingress and egress? Regardless, we can help!
Ingress and egress are the rights to enter and exit a property. It sounds simple, but ingress and egress in real estate don’t end there.
For example, purchasing a property’s ownership rights is separate from purchasing ingress and egress rights.
Many buyers aren’t aware of this. Ingress and egress rights also come into play when an owner has to access another property to get to their own.
Whatever it is, we’re here to help. This article covers what you need to know about egress, ingress, and property rights.
Ingress and Egress
Ingress is your legal right to enter a property. Egress, meanwhile, is your right to exit the property. Legal documents, like deeds, refer to them as such.
Not all ingress and egress rights are written into the deed.
So if you’re a property owner who’s read every page of their deed, don’t fret! Existing rights to ingress and egress may have been implied verbally or written in a separate document.
Why Do You Need to Know About Ingress and Egress Rights?
It dictates who and what homeowners allow access to their property.
On your way in or out of your house, you may need to enter someone else’s property and exit from it.
This doesn’t just apply to property that may be owned by your neighbor, but roads you can access as well.
Even making use of a vacant site is considered. This can count as trespassing without the legal right to ingress and egress!
Where Do Easements Come in With This?
If your property doesn’t have its rights to ingress and egress, you may need access easements.
A piece of land is a “landlocked parcel” or “landlocked property” if it doesn’t have any access points. Other properties surround it instead of a public road.
Landlocked parcels are usually the case for subdivisions. The large parcel of land is divided into smaller parcels and then individually sold off.
Different property owners then own these parcels of land situated in one area.
Think about a parking lot behind a mall. If a person has to walk through the mall to access the parking lot, then that space is landlocked.
So, Then: Easements
Let’s build on the trespassing situation above. You’re the owner of a landlocked house. Your home is beside your neighbor’s, but to enter or exit it, you have to use their driveway. Or maybe they have an adjacent road you could access.
An easement helps. It’s the right to use another person’s property for a limited time. An easement would be your neighbor, allowing you to use their path to get to your home.
Now that you’re using their driveway or path to enter and exit, you have the right to ingress and egress.
Others may have easement rights to your home to ingress and egress. Utility firms typically have a utility easement to assess and replace equipment.
How Do You Get An Easement?
A verbal agreement between two owners would be a hassle-free way to get an easement.
However, it’s better to get it in writing. Verbal agreements won’t hold if the other party’s mind changes or if the property changes ownership.
Real estate lawyers can help with this. They write down the easement, register it with the local deed office, and guarantee the property owner’s security.
An easement agreement doesn’t change land or property ownership. It is granted to anyone, from government agencies to private parties.
Main Types of Easements
1. Prescriptive Easement
This type of easement is implied and gained under adverse possession.
Someone other than the owner can gain usage rights. Once a person has routinely and continuously used land or property, they can establish and claim a prescriptive easement.
2. Easement by Necessity
The law creates this easement. Simply put, the easement needs to exist for just results.
It happens when there are two adjoining parcels of land. One can only access the landlocked land through the non-landlocked piece of property.
Remember the landlocked property example we spoke of above? Using their road or path can fall under this type of easement.
3. Negative Easements
This type of easement is usually created through deeds and private contracts. However, if not made through legal writing, it can still be recognized.
Negative easements occur when adjoining owners want to ensure that both of them won’t do anything that might hurt their land.
For example, both of you make use of a solar energy panel. Restrictions on buildings’ heights may be implemented in the terms so that solar energy access won’t be blocked.
Keep in mind that this only covers certain types of easements. There are other types like private and public easements.
Can You Secure Ingress and Egress Without Easements?
Of course! It could be in your property deeds. The right to exit and the right to enter a property is easy to document.
An owner also has the right to choose land-use agreements.
Responsibilities and negotiations between homeowners are settled here. You may consider a real estate lawyer’s help and register it to be part of public records.
Due Diligence Process
Rights to ingress and egress is a critical part of your due diligence process when purchasing homes.
Find Out Ingress and Egress Issues Beforehand
The tools to make your real estate investments much easier to handle is research and a lot of questions for your real estate agents.
Is the property for sale landlocked? Is there a public road nearby? What exactly are the terms included in the contracts?
Even before you become a property owner, find out if the deed comes with the rights to ingress and egress.
If it isn’t landlocked, track down ingress and egress documentation anyway.
Was there a verbal agreement made with the previous property owner? Get the terms into writing.
Find out if any other businesses or firms have the right to enter and exit your home. This research can help with any issues later on.
The right to ingress and egress are vital for any property owner. Make sure to consider all angles and information when investing in property, especially if it’s landlocked.