An easement is a non-possessory right of use over the land of another. This means that the easement holder has the right to use the landowner’s property for a specific purpose and cannot change her use of the easement without the permission of the property owner.

An easement may be either appurtenant or in gross. An easement appurtenant benefits an adjoining parcel of land, regardless of its owner. If the land that benefits from the easement is sold or inherited, the easement does not terminate. An easement in gross is a personal right that benefits a specific individual. If the easement in gross is exclusive, the easement holder has the sole right to utilize the easement. In the event it is non-exclusive, the easement holder does not possess this sole privilege.

Easement can also be categorized as express, implied, or by prescription. Express easements are created by deed or another written document. They specifically delineate the location and dimensions of the easement as well as its permissible use. Implied easements may arise where the facts and circumstances surrounding a transaction show that the parties intended there to be an easement. An easement by prescription will be found upon a showing that the claimant’s use of the land over which he claims the easement has been exclusive, continuous, uninterrupted, adverse and under claim of right for a period of twenty years and that such use was with the knowledge and acquiescence of the true owner of the land.

For more information concerning easements and other real property issues, please contact an experienced attorney at the law firm of Paulson & Paulson, PLC.