Managing Third Party Easements & Interests

Many organizations need to manage third party easements on their properties. These can be simple access easements or full conservation easements held by other land trusts on your fee lands.  Since these are by definition not interests held by you, it doesn't make sense in most cases to create a separate property record to manage them. However, there are a few ways you can make sure that staff are aware of these interests and any restrictions or obligations that come with them.

Whichever method or methods you choose, it's important you remain consistent in applying the same method across all properties.

Note: If you're looking for where to add your own easement details, see this article.

Method 1: Add an Encumbrance asset.

Encumbrance assets belong to a property record, and can capture everything you need to know about the third party interest, including when it was recorded, who is associated with it, and where it is (encumbrances have their own map layers). Read more about encumbrance assets here.


Method 2: Add a Contact Record

In addition to adding an encumbrance asset, you can add a contact record to the parcel to highlight the third party interest at a more visible level:



You can also add details about the easement, and the easement itself, in the parcel contact record. Here I've added some additional details in 'Property Relationship Notes' and uploaded the easement as a parcel contact document.  Since you've added the town as an active contact, this document will also appear in all document lists (in assets and in the stewardship site documents section).




To make a view of all third party easements, simply start with the 'all property contacts' view and filter out the third party easement holders using the 'Active Contacts Contact Tags' field.






Method 3: Adding the 3rd Party Easement as a Lease/Contract

If you need to manage the interest and interactions with the interest holder, you can also add the easement details as a 'lease or contract' in the Stewardship Site's 'Use' tab. You probably want to do this in addition to Method 1.

From the Stewardship Site containing the parcel (or parcels) where the 3rd party easement is located, go to the 'Use' tab and click on the (+) button next to 'Leases and Contracts'.

You can then fill out the relevant details for the 3rd party easement.  You may need to add a new Type for '3rd Party Easement' via Settings --> List Items --> Stewardship Sites.  Leave 'Ended On' blank if the easement is in perpetuity.  In 'Size' put the number of acres. Disregard fields that do not apply.  Also, you can add a contact record (independent from the property contact record discussed in the above section).  Upload the easement itself in 'Documents', and add any communications or notes in their appropriate fields.




You can map the easement by editing 'Lease Areas' on the map. Learn more about adding map features here.  



Here I've drawn the easement, as well as changed the appearance and updated the layer name to '3rd Party Easement'.  The geography can also have its own description.  The layer will then be available to all of the Stewardship Site maps, including field staff using the mobile app.




If you were tracking these interests with leases but would like to transform them into encumbrance assets, you can do so.

Other Methods:

Simply adding a note in the stewardship site or property description fields can go a long way towards highlighting the presence of a 3rd party easement on your properties.  Adding a 'Third Party Interest' category to a property or stewardship site record can make it easy to pull out the records where these interests apply.  Obligations can also be used if you have regular reporting requirements regarding the easements.  Property records with the status of 'Partner Holding' can be used if you need to capture the full details of these interests. These property records can then be grouped with other interests held by you so that staff can know that the records are related.

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