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An Easy Guide to Easements

An Easy Guide to Easements

An easement is a legal term used to describe a right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose. An easement can be anything from using a private road to access a home to running a power line across a piece of land. Easements are an important aspect of property law, and understanding them is vital for anyone who owns, rents, or uses land. In this article, we’ll provide an easy guide to easements, so you can learn everything you need to know about these important legal tools.

What is an Easement?

An easement is a right to use someone else’s property in a specific way, without owning the property itself. Easements can be granted for a variety of purposes, such as access, drainage, or utilities. With an easement, the property owner retains ownership of the land, but gives someone else the right to use it for a specific purpose.

Types of Easements

There are two main types of easements: appurtenant and in gross.

Appurtenant Easements

Appurtenant easements are attached to a specific piece of land, meaning that the easement belongs to the property and not the individual. They’re typically created to provide access to a landlocked parcel of land, but can also be used for other purposes, such as running a utility line or accessing a shared driveway. Appurtenant easements transfer with the property, which means that if someone sells the land, the easement stays with the land.

In Gross Easements

In gross easements, on the other hand, are not attached to a specific piece of land. They’re typically granted for a specific purpose, such as allowing a utility company to run a power line across multiple parcels of land. In gross easements can be sold or transferred to someone else, and often exist independent of the ownership of any particular parcel of land.

Creating Easements

Easements can be created in several ways:

Express Grant

An easement can be created by an express grant, which is a written agreement between the property owner and the person who will be using the easement. The grant must be in writing, signed by the property owner, and typically recorded with the county recorder’s office. The grant should specify the location of the easement, the permitted use, and any other relevant information.

Easement by Necessity

An easement by necessity can be created when a property owner needs access to their land, but there is no other way to get to it. For example, if a piece of land is landlocked and has no access to public roads, the owner might be able to create an easement by necessity over a neighbor’s property. Easements by necessity typically terminate once the need for the easement is gone.


An easement by prescription is created through long-term use of someone else’s land without the owner’s permission. Generally, the use must be open, notorious, continuous, and adverse for a statutory period of time. The statutory period of time varies by state, but is typically between 5 and 20 years.

Eminent Domain

In some cases, an easement can be created through eminent domain. Eminent domain is the government’s power to take private property for public use, as long as the owner is justly compensated. If the government needs an easement to build a road, for example, they might use eminent domain to create the easement.

Using Easements

Once an easement is created, the person with the easement has the right to use the land for the specified purpose. They can do what is necessary to access the land, such as building a driveway or path. Additionally, they’re responsible for maintaining the easement, such as keeping it clear of debris or repairing any damage caused by their use.

Limitations on Easements

While an easement permits someone to use someone else’s property, it doesn’t give them free rein. An easement is typically limited to the specific purpose for which it was created. For example, if an easement allows someone to drive across a neighbor’s property to access their home, they can’t use the easement to park their car or store equipment. Additionally, the owner of the property is typically entitled to compensation for any damages caused by the easement.

What Happens to Easements Over Time?

Easements can be terminated in several ways. For example, if the need for an easement by necessity disappears, the easement can be terminated. An express easement can be terminated if both parties agree to it in writing. Additionally, some easements have a limited time duration and will expire after a specified period of time.


In summary, easements are an essential part of property law. They provide a way for people to use someone else’s land for a specific purpose, without having to own the property themselves. Easements can be created in several different ways, including through an express grant, by necessity, by prescription, or through eminent domain. If you’re dealing with easements, it’s important to understand the limitations on their use, as well as how they can be terminated. With this guide, you should have a better understanding of how easements work and what you need to know about them.

Easements are the right to use real property owned by another without possessing it. It is also typically called “running with the land.” It can be related to a general or specific allocation of the property land. Easements are helpful for providing an avenue across two or several more pieces of land. A survey can define the property land lines to prevent any confusion about land ownership.

There are several kinds of easements which are specific to different legal purposes.The four different easements that the common law courts would administer is the right of way, easement of support, easements of “light and air’ and rights pertaining to artificial waterways. The right-of-way is a type of easement that gives an individual the power to travel across the property land owned by another person.

There are several, various reasons why an entity may want or must utilize the real property land of another, so there have been several ways for easements to be created. Easements can be actualized by written agreement or consensus of the parties involved. A deed that conveys property land can create an easement. Easements by necessity is most commonly done by court order and authority. Contributing to the public good may also be a reason why there is a call for an easement by condemnation.

There can be a demand to create a right to property land through an easement by prescription. For example, a property land owner intentionally chooses to create a drive across the property of another and utilizes it to solely enter his property. After a certain number of years, this person may be able to claim an easement by prescription. Usually, the use of property must have been disregarding the consent of its owner, but open to the comprehension of the owner. Due to the fact that the owner did not stop the access, the owner could be forced to allow the easement of prescription.

An easement can surely benefit an individual’s property. If someone owns land that borders a popular area for hiking, and another lives next door, but this person’s land does not touch the hiking area. To avoid the illegal activity of trespassing, they must access the hiking venue by walking or driving to a public entry point. An easement can be granted so that the house that borders the hiking area is able to be crossed.

It becomes part of the deed and agreement for both property land. An easement can also help an individual or a business. The owner of the home bordering the hiking trail can grant another easement to another individual, but without the trouble of adding it to her deed. This type of easement commonly expires at a noted time or event.

Easements can also affect property land values. It is not a good idea to assume that because an easement is not being utilized that it will never be in the future. As long as an easement is a fixture of the deed, there is always that chance that the individual who benefits from it will decide to enforce it.