An easement is an interest in land owned by another person, such as the right to use or control the other person's land, or an area above or below it, for a specific limited purpose (such as to cross it for access to a public road or to share a common drive with a neighboring property). The land benefiting from an easement is called the dominant estate; the land burdened by an easement is called the servient estate.

Unlike a lease or license, an easement may last forever, but it usually does not give the holder the right to exclusively possess, take from, improve, or sell the land. Some common easements may include: (i) a right-of-way; (ii) a right of entry; (iii) a right to the support of land and buildings; (iv) a right of light and air; or (v) a right to water. The owner of the servient estate is normally free to use his/her property as he/she chooses as long as that use does not impair the rights of the holder of the dominant estate.

The owner of the easement is limited to using the servient estate only as set forth in the terms of the easement. The responsibilities of the landowner and the easement owner to maintain the part of the land subject to the easement depends on their relative use of the land.

Collins Law Corporation is experienced in creating and recording easements and negotiating resolutions of easement disputes. Contact Collins Law Corporation today if you have an easement issue.