Owning a commercial property comes with different responsibilities, and potential liabilities, than residential property. You already know you must keep your property safe for the people who access it.

When someone has an easement on your property, it can raise many other questions. Now, instead of the people you expect to be on your property, the holder of the easement, and their guests, will have the right to cross and possibly use a portion of your property.

This is what you should know about the liability you could have regarding someone’s easement that goes across your property.

It comes down to control

If you already have an easement in place, you need to look at the document and what rights it gives the holder of the easement. Depending on the agreement, the person with the easement may only be able to cross that portion of the property, without making any changes that would prevent injury.

If your agreement is unclear about who is responsible, take care to maintain the easement until you can work out a more precise arrangement. You do not want to wait until there is an accident to determine who is supposed to be responsible for maintaining the area.

Negotiating the next one

Understanding who is responsible for maintaining an easement is critical in determining who will be liable for an accident or injury.

As you are talking about the terms for the easement, pay careful attention to who is responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Discuss your concerns about liability and who is prepared for the potential liability.

Communication is key. You need to have clear conversations with the person or entity who has an easement on your property.