The basics of property easement

Simply put, property easement is the right to use a property that you do not own, and that is owned by someone else.

The are several different categories when it comes to property easement, and in this blog we will go through the basics of different types of property easement, how they are created and how they are terminated.

Appurtenant and gross easement

The two most basic types of property easement are called "appurtenant" and "gross". In regards to an appurtenant easement, the most common reason to secure this type of easement is for the purpose of adjoining lands. Gross easement is initiated with the intention of granting usage rights to an individual person.

Affirmative and negative easement

Once the main types of easement are covered, let's look at two other categories. These categories are affirmative and negative easements. These describe how the property or land should be used. In an affirmative easement, the most common, there are guidelines set out to show what can be done on the property, for example, cross over the land. Negative easement conversely sets limits by saying what cannot be done on the land, for example building upon it.

Creating and terminating easements

Easements can be created through a will, deed, contract or they can be created through a prescriptive easement. They are terminated through an explicit expiration. This can be done through transference of property or through abandoning the easement.

Property easement can be a complex area that requires careful detail and a good understanding of the terminology.

Source: Findlaw, "What is a property easement?," accessed Aug. 24, 2017

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