Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


A nonpossessory right to use another's property.Easements may be created by express words of grant in a written document, by prescription (unrestricted usage over time resulting in property rights),or by necessity,as when the law will force the grant of ingress and egress rights for landlocked property.

• Easements are said to be appurtenant or in gross. If appurtenant, then the easement bene fits one property and burdens another one. The property being benefited is called the dominant estate, dominant tenement, or dominant hereditament—they all mean much the same thing. The one with the burden is called the servient estate, tenement, or hereditament.

• Easements appurtenant stay with the land, no matter who owns it or how many times the land changes hands. An example is a right-of-way easement.

• If the easement is in gross, then it is personal to someone and does not benefit a particular property. A common example is a power line easement. The easement stays in effect no matter who owns the land burdened by the easement, but typically expires with the death of the owner of the easement.

• An easement may not unduly burden the property.

Example:  A right-of-way easement may have been originally granted so one farmer could cross the property of another to reach another field. Later, one farm is sold to someone who plans to build a 250-home subdivision and use the right-of-way as the construction entrance. Courts will not allow this.

References in periodicals archive ?
76, at 586-88 (providing language from an easement held by the National
76, at 590-91 (providing insurance requirements from an easement held by
terms of this Easement, in addition to the other remedies provided for
containing terms comparable to the terms of this Easement on land in the
Heirs may elect to place a conservation easement on inherited property, if done within nine months of the owner's death, further devaluing the estate for estate tax purposes.
But it was the passage of the "Uniform Conservation Easement Act" in 1981 that allowed private parties to enter into consensual arrangements with charitable organizations or governmental bodies to protect land and historical buildings plus the rapid appreciation of raw, farm land that has led to today's wider use.
Prioritize areas for easement clearance; reviewed aerial crossing from various mapping programs --about 50 miles of our utilities infrastructure is located in easements.
Survey easements and mark easement boundaries and pipelines; post or repost utility pipelines Surveyors accurately determined the easement boundaries and located the underground pipelines.
The uncertainty led residents to fear that if the property was developed, the easement could have been used to provide access, bringing additional traffic to residential streets there.
After much negotiation, the co-op agreed to sell a light and air easement to the developer.
This resulted in the Esgar and Temple conservation easements being valued at $49,774 and the Holmes easement valued at $49,502.
Whitehouse challenged the easement valuation and the penalty in the Tax Court.