An easement is the grant of a nonpossessory property interest that grants the easement holder permission to use another person's land. There are different kinds of easements. If an easement appurtenant is granted, it involves two pieces of land, where one serves as the servient tenement that bears the burden, and the other the dominant tenement, which benefits from the grant of the easement and has permission to use the servient land in some manner.
There are two types of easements: affirmative and negative. An affirmative easement gives the easement holder the right to do something on the grantor of the easement's land, such as travel on a road through the grantor's land. A negative easement, on the other hand, allows the easement holder to prevent the grantor of the easement from doing something on his land that is lawful for him to do, such as building a structure that obscures light or a scenic view.
Easements can be created in a variety of ways. They can be created by an express grant, by implication, by necessity, and by adverse possession. Easements are transferrable and transfer along with the dominant tenement.
Additionally, easements can also be terminated. An easement can be terminated if it was created by necessity and the necessity ceases to exist, if the servient land is destroyed, or if it was abandoned.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines, or sewer lines. An easement may be for an identified path or for use at any reasonable place.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:15 pm