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What Is an Easement?

Easements address the problem of individuals who need access to property that they do not own. Purposes for an easement may vary and provide the categories of easement. One such type of easement is a drainage easement. Easements are generally classified into easement appurtenant and easement in gross.


An easement appurtenant is an easement that benefits a dominant, adjacent piece of land. An easement in gross is an easement agreement made between 2 individuals, one of which owns the property and one who is given access to that property. The property in question is referred to as a servient teniment since it is the property upon which access is to be given to. Such an easement does not necessarily have to be set in a written contract, but a written contract would help settle any future disputes.


Other types of easements exist under such categories. The existence of the access easement is recorded and attached to the deed and title of the property. Another type of access easement is a right-of-way or necessity easement, which will allow access to private property thus categorizing it as a form of private easement as well. This usually involves access to a few individuals rather than the public. This type of easement is more commonly used for owners of landlocked property that need to pass through another piece of private property in order to reach theirs. When an individual passes through property without securing permission but faces no opposition in doing so, and does so for a certain period of time, this individual may gain a prescriptive easement.

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