What is the best way to settle a request for utility easement ?
Asher, OK |
We received a letter requesting 100' easement for utilities. The first offer for the easement purchase seems rather low. The easement is for the purpose of a water line and they have offered 112.60 rods @$60 a rod= $6756.60.
In order to determine how to handle this, you would first need to provide more factual information about the scope of the easement. The acquisition of an easement interest upon property may, in some cases impact the remaining property in various ways. The size, location and type of easement, together with the type(s) of uses on employed on your property will ordinarily determine whether the easement impacts the remainder of your property. Most public utility companies have the right to exercise eminent domain powers to acquire property (including easement interests) for public utility purposes.
If the easement will not cause any impact to the underlying or remaining property you own, then the appropriate measure of compensation would be to pay you for the value of the land rights that they are actually acquiring. This appears to be the way in which the offer was made to you. However, if the easement will cause an impact, then the proper measure of compensation must not only include consideration of the value of the property acquired, but also any diminution in value or impact to your remaining property. For instance, if the area of the easement restricted your access to and from your property, then it could easily impact the value of the remaining property.
In either scenario, you are entitled to receive the amount of monies which would make you whole, based upon the highest and best use of your property. With that in mind, I would make sure that the utility company has provided you with a real estate appraisal from a licensed appraiser which explains how the offer is calculated, and then have that appraisal and offer reviewed by a qualified attorney and possible an appraiser as well, in order to determine if the offer is too low or is fair. Good luck!
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.