Real Estate Word of the Day: Easement
An easement is a legal concept that grants a specific individual or entity the right to use a portion of another person's property for a particular purpose. This right doesn't involve ownership of the land itself, but rather a limited, non-possessory interest in the land. Easements can exist for various purposes, ranging from granting utility companies access to install and maintain infrastructure, to allowing neighbors a pathway across a property.
Types of Easements
There are several types of easements that can impact real estate:
- Easement Appurtenant: This type of easement involves two adjacent properties, with one property (the dominant estate) benefiting from the easement over the other property (the servient estate). An example would be a property with a driveway easement that crosses a neighbor's land.
- Easement in Gross: In this scenario, the easement benefits an individual or entity rather than a neighboring property. An example is a utility company's right to install power lines through a specific parcel of land.
- Prescriptive Easement: Also known as "easement by prescription," this is a right acquired through continuous and open use of another person's property for a certain period without the owner's permission. An example might be a footpath that neighbors have used for decades.
- Express Easement: This is an easement that is explicitly granted by the landowner through a written agreement, typically outlined in the property deed.
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