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When a pipeline company offers you money to use part of your land for a pipeline, you may be tempted to immediately accept the money or you may feel angry at the thought of such an intrusion. In either situation, consider every possible implication of agreeing to an easement or choosing to fight against it.
Once you accept the money and agree to the easement, you may later realize that the effects on your land are greater than you first believed. However, once you agree to a payment, you cannot keep going back and asking for more each time you realize you have suffered another loss. Therefore, you should always be aware of all of the ways a pipeline and its construction can affect you and your land. An experienced condemnation attorney can evaluate your situation and estimate the full value of your potential losses.
A pipeline company will present you with a right-of-way agreement that sets out the scope of the easement. This will not only include the company’s right to use your land but can also include several restrictions limiting how you can use that part of your land in the future. For example, many agreements will prohibit the construction of any buildings or structures on the right-of-way. This can include patios, garages, or even fences, and may diminish the value of your land because you cannot use a portion of it as you wish.
Even if a pipeline is on a remote part of your land that is wooded and not regularly used, the pipeline company will want to clear part of the land for construction. This can not only include removal of many trees but can also disrupt any wildlife habitats you have on your land. In addition, companies generally inspect pipelines from the air, so they do not want any trees or vegetation blocking their views. Your land may need to be cleared and stay cleared, changing the nature of the environment.
Pipeline construction can cause unique agricultural issues when it takes place on farmland, and these issues can vary from case to case. It is important that every farm owner has a specially tailored agreement with provisions intended to mitigate adverse effects to their farms—and their livelihoods. You should carefully consider any affected profits or future earning abilities when negotiating just compensation for the easement.
More and more landowners are opening their doors to pipeline companies wanting to use their land. Even if you are willing, always seek help from a knowledgeable condemnation lawyer who can review any offers from the company and advise whether the offer is sufficient. At the law firm of Sever Storey, our legal team can help to limit the scope of an easement to limit the effects on your land, as well as fight for the full amount of compensation you deserve for an easement. Please call us today at (888) 318-3761 for more information.
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