Protecting Your Rights on The Easement Agreement
Make Sure It Is In Writing
Negotiating the terms of a proposed easement agreement by a pipeline company is one of the most important parts of the complex process of condemnation. Because an easement or right-of-way constitutes an interest in land, it is imperative that all aspects of the agreement be placed in writing. Section 26.01 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code provides that no promise or agreement involving a contract for the sale of real estate is enforceable unless the promise or agreement is in writing and is signed by the person to be charged with the promise or agreement.
When reading over the provisions provided in an easement agreement there are several factors one must consider and look at:
Does the agreement contain an accurate description of the location and width of the permanent pipeline easement with the centerline clearly depicted and surveyed? This is to protect against blanket easements.
When does the easement agreement terminate? In other words whenever the pipeline does not transport materials for a continuous period such as six to nine months the pipeline agreement should terminate.
Make sure the agreement requires the company to protect and indemnify the landowner from any lawsuits arising from the company’s activities on the property.
Make sure the lump-sum payment covers or addresses the following three items (1) payment for the easement, (2) any damages caused to the property by the easements construction and (3) damages for any impairment of direct access on and off the remaining, property caused by the presence of the pipeline