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What Is a Road Easement?

A road easement allows for construction of roads on a piece of land that is owned by another individual. Generally, easement allows individuals other than the owner to access a piece of land, but does not provide ownership. Usually, a road easement is obtained in order for other individuals to reach landlocked areas. There are scenarios wherein a piece of land is not accessible through a public road, thus the need for a road easement.

There are different scenarios wherein a road easement is obtained. Government agencies can also determine if a road easement is necessary in order to provide the public a necessary and accessible road.

There are 2 different kinds of easement that exist. The first kind is a private easement wherein a private entity or an individual is given sole access to a road over a piece of private land. The other kind is public easement wherein access to the road is given to the public.

A road easement can be obtained through various ways. It can be done through a verbal contract between the private owner and another party. This verbal contract can be oral or written. Another way to obtain a road easement is by going through court proceedings. Because a road easement is attained by court proceedings, it will be attached to the property title. Another less formalized method is through customary use, wherein individuals have been accessing a road on a private property for a certain time period. Because so many methods can result into obtaining a road easement, it is difficult to apply laws when a conflict arises.

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