The purchase of a commercial property is a significant investment that requires careful due diligence. One critical aspect that prospective buyers must thoroughly evaluate is the presence of easements registered on the property’s title. These legal mechanisms can have critical implications for the use and management of the property, making it essential for buyers to comprehend their nature and ramifications fully.

An easement grants specific rights to a third party to access or use a portion of the property for a designated purpose, without conferring ownership of that land. Common types encountered in Queensland include: 

  • Right of Way: Allowing individuals or entities to traverse the property to access their own land or public spaces.
  • Utility: Enabling relevant authorities to install, maintain, and access infrastructure such as power lines, water pipes, and sewage systems on the property.
  • Drainage: Permitting the flow of water across the property to prevent flooding or water damage on adjacent lands.

Other types of easements include conservation, agricultural, scenic, prescriptive, solar, view, beach access, and parking easements. Each type may impose limitations or grant privileges, emphasising the need for careful investigation before acquisition.

As a prospective buyer, it is important that you understand the rights and responsibilities associated with any easements registered on the property’s title. While the easement holder retains the right to access and use the designated portion of the land for its intended purpose, the property owner is often responsible for maintaining the easement area and adhering to any restrictions or conditions outlined in the easement agreement. These obligations may include: 

  • Allowing access to the easement holder for maintenance, repairs, or inspections.
  • Refraining from obstructing or interfering with the easement holder’s use of the designated area.
  • Maintaining the easement area in a safe and usable condition, such as keeping pathways clear or drainage channels unobstructed.
  • Bearing the costs associated with the upkeep and repairs of the easement area.

Easements are legally enforceable in Queensland, and failure to comply with the terms of the agreement may result in legal action, including injunctions or damages for breach of contract.

The presence of easements on a commercial property’s title is a significant factor that can impact the property’s value, usage, and management. Prospective buyers are strongly advised to engage the services of experienced property lawyers to conduct comprehensive due diligence and ensure a thorough understanding of the easements’ implications.

Get in touch with Ardor Legal today for experienced guidance and advice on your next commercial property purchase. Our team is committed to providing you with diligent service every step of the way.