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A non-possessory right to use another's property. An easement may be created by:

  • - Express words of grant in a written document or contract.
  • - Prescription, where unresetricted use over time leads to property rights, for example by someone crossing another's property openly for a certain period of time.
  • - Neccessity, for example when the law forces the grant of ingress and egress for a piece of landlocked property.

Easements are either appurtenant or in gross. Appurtenant means they stay with the land, regardless of who owns the land or how many times the land is bought or sold. An easement in gross benefits a person, not a particular property.

The property being benefited by an easement is called the dominant estate, dominant hereditament, or dominant tenement. The property being burdened by the easement is called the servient estate, servient hereditament, or servient tenement.

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