Easement by Prescription

Primary tabs

Easement by prescription (also called a prescriptive easement) is a type of adverse possession where someone acquires an easement (a right to use another person’s property in some way). Easement by prescription occurs where someone uses another's property for a certain amount of time without permission in a way in which the owner should be aware of. States set the time limits required for someone to achieve a prescriptive easement which can range from a few years to over twenty. Courts recognize prescriptive easements because the individual claiming the easement used the property for a long period of time and relied on being able to use the land. For example, Johnny bought property that did not have access to a public road, but he used the private gravel road of his neighbor to reach a public road for ten years. A court may grant him a prescriptive easement if the owner of the other property did not ask him to stop using the private road. 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team