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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31781
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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We have a local utility district asking the legal owners of

Customer Question

We have a local utility district asking the legal owners of the property in fee to sign a 10' wide permanent easement as well as an additional 15' temporary construction easement adjacent to the permanent easement. The area of the permanent easement includes approximately 50% of my asphalt driveway and the temporary easement will give the utility easement the right to remove three mature trees and additional shrubs.
JA: What property use does the easement allow?
Customer: The easement allows the utility to install an additional water line as well as a gas line. This easement area is adjacent to an existing 15' permanent easement and I don't see the need for an additional 10' wide permanent easement and a 15' wide temporary construction easement. I realize the utility has power to acquire through legal procedures. However within the easement document, the company has to repair damages but their history has not been acceptable in this area.
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Tipton County Tennessee
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not at this time
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 months ago.

HI - my name is ***** ***** I'm licensed in Tennessee. I'll be glad to assist.

If the utility is working on behalf of a county, municipality or other state entity, then it would have the power of eminent domain, which means it can force the condemnation of the easement area and take it by force if you don't agree. So, there's likely little chance you can successfully refuse. However, you do have a right to seek monetary compensation for the easement.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
This project ends at my property and the easement is not but 86' in length. Not large enough for eminent domain. I am trying to produce language that holds the grantee responsible for proper repairs.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
None at this time
Expert:  Roger replied 2 months ago.

Sorry for the delay - I lost power and my internet connection for quite a while.

If you are not opposed to the easement, then that is the main problem. However, if you want responsibilities for repairs, then the easement agreement would need to specifically state that the utility company agrees to cover all repairs and perform all maintenance within the easement area. There is no specific language.....anything that says the utility will cover all repairs and maintenance would suffice.