ease·ment /'ēz-mənt/ n [Anglo-French esement, literally, benefit, convenience, from Old French aisement, from aisier to ease, assist]: an interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment (as the right to cross the land or have a view continue unobstructed over it) see also dominant estate and servient estate at estate 4 compare license, profit 2, right of way, servitude
affirmative easement: an easement entitling a person to do something affecting the land of another that would constitute trespass or a nuisance if not for the easement compare negative easement in this entry
apparent easement: an easement whose existence is detectable by its outward appearance (as by the presence of a water pipe)
ap·pur·te·nant easement /ə-'pərt-ən-ənt-/: easement appurtenant in this entry
common easement: an easement in which the owner of the land burdened by the easement retains the privilege of sharing the benefits of the easement – called also nonexclusive easement; compare exclusive easement in this entry
determinable easement: an easement that will terminate upon the happening of a specific event or contingency
easement appurtenant pl easements appurtenant: an easement attached to and benefiting a dominant estate and burdening a servient estate compare easement in gross in this entry
◇ Easements appurtenant run with the land and are therefore passed when the property is transferred.
easement by estoppel: an easement that is created when the conduct of the owner of land leads another to reasonably believe that he or she has an interest in the land so that he or she acts or does not act in reliance on that belief
easement by implication: an easement that is created by operation of law when an owner severs property into two parcels in such a way that an already existing, obvious, and continuous use of one parcel (as for access) is necessary for the reasonable enjoyment of the other parcel – called also easement by necessity, implied easement, way of necessity;
easement by prescription: an easement created by the open, notorious, uninterrupted, hostile, and adverse use of another's land for 20 years or for a period set by statute – called also prescriptive easement;
easement in gross: an easement that is a personal right of its holder to a use of another's land and that is not dependent on ownership of a dominant estate – called also personal easement; compare easement appurtenant in this entry
◇ Utility companies often own easements in gross.
exclusive easement: an easement that the holder has the right to enjoy to the exclusion of all others compare common easement in this entry
implied easement: easement by implication in this entry
neg·a·tive easement: an easement that entitles the holder to prevent the owner of land from using the land for a purpose or in a way that would otherwise be permitted
nonexclusive easement: common easement in this entry
per·son·al easement: easement in gross in this entry
prescriptive easement: easement by prescription in this entry
qua·si easement: the use by the owner of two adjoining parcels of land of one of the parcels to benefit the other
◇ A quasi easement may become an easement upon the transfer of one or both of the parcels.
reciprocal neg·a·tive easement: an easement created by operation of law and held by the owner of a lot in a residential development that entitles the holder to enforce restrictions that were part of the general development scheme against the developer and subsequent buyers who purchase free of the restrictions

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun advantage in land, convenience, gateway, interest in land, liberty of use, privilege, right of passage, right of use, right of way, serviceway, way over land associated concepts: affirmative easement, apparent easement, appurtenance, appurtenant easement, discontinuing easement, dominant and servient estates, easement by grant, easement by necessary implication, easement by prescription, easement in gross, easement of access, easement of convenience, easement of necessity, equitable easement, implied easement, implied reservation of easement, incorporeal hereditament, incumbrance, intermittent easement, irrevocable license, license in nature of easement, natural easement, necessary easement, negative easement, noncontinuous easement, prescription, private easement, profit a prendre, public easement, quasi easement, right of way, right of way in gross, secondary easement, servitude, visible easement foreign phrases:
- Iter est jus eundi, ambulandi hominis, non etiam jumentum agendi vel vehiculum. — A way is the right of going or walking by man, and does not include the right of driving a beast of burden or a vehicle.
II index advantage, droit, instigation, mollification, relief (release), solace

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A right to use someone else’s property (the servient estate or burdened property) for a specific purpose.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

an incorporeal hereditament that is enjoyed by one person in his capacity as owner of a parcel of land and that confers rights over neighbouring land belonging to another. The land benefited by the existence of this right is referred to as the dominant tenement while the neighbouring land burdened with this right is known as the servient tenement. For an easement to exist, it must be enjoyed by a fee simple owner against a fee simple owner; it cannot, for example, be enjoyed by a fee simple owner against a life tenant or a tenant for years. For an easement to exist as a legal interest, it requires to subsist 'for an interest equivalent to an estate in fee simple absolute in possession or a term of years absolute', i.e. in perpetuity or for a fixed terms of years (Law of Property Act 1925, Section 12). Attempts to create easements for other periods (e.g. for the duration of someone's life) will result in the right being, at most, equitable and as such being capable of being overridden by a bona fide purchaser of the legal estate without notice.
An easement of light exists uninterrupted enjoyment of light from a window for 20 years confers an absolute and indefeasible right to continue to receive such light without obstruction; the only exception is where the enjoyment took place under some deed or written permission or agreement: Prescription Act 1832. Rights acquired in this way are often referred to as ancient lights. Where an easement other than light has been actually enjoyed for 20 years it shall not be defeated by reason only that it can be shown that it must have commenced after 1189; however, it may be defeated in any other way possible at common law. An easement enjoyed for 40 years as of right and without interruption is deemed absolute and indefeasible unless enjoyed by written consent: Prescription Act 1832.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A right to use another person's real estate for a specific purpose. The most common type of easement is the right to travel over another person's land, known as a right of way. In addition, property owners commonly grant easements for the placement of utility poles, utility trenches, water lines, or sewer lines. An easement may be for an identified path or for use at any reasonable place.
Category: Real Estate & Rental Property

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

A right benefiting a piece of land (known as the dominant tenement) that is enjoyed over land owned by someone else (the servient tenement).
Usually, such a right allows the owner of the dominant tenement to do something on the other person's land, such as use a path, or run services over it. This type of easement is sometimes referred to as a positive easement. More rarely, an easement will limit what the owner of the servient tenement may do on the land. For example, the owner might not be allowed to construct buildings that would interfere with someone's right to light. This type of right is sometimes called a negative easement.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. A right of use of another's land for a particular purpose; for example, an easement permitting a person to cross another's land to fish in a pond located there, or use of a common driveway.
@ affirmative easement
An easement that grants another the right to perform certain related actions on the property.
=>> easement.
@ easement appurtenant
An easement that benefits another property; for example, a right to pass across land to reach a neighboring tract.
=>> easement.
@ easement by necessity
A statutory or natural encumbrance that occurs in situations such as its being necessary to cross another's land in order to gain access to water or to a road.
=>> easement.
@ easement in gross
An easement that benefits an individual who does not necessarily own any adjoining land; for example, an easement permitting someone to hunt or fish on the property.
=>> easement.
@ implied easement
An easement imposed by law where it is clear that the parties to a transaction intended an easement to exist, even if not specifically stated.
=>> easement.
@ negative easement
An easement that prohibits the property owner from performing some action.
=>> easement.
@ prescriptive easement
An easement gained by the uninterrupted occupation of a another person's land for a statutory period, often equal to that required for adverse possession.
=>> easement.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A right of use over the property of another. Traditionally the permitted kinds of uses were limited, the most important being rights of way and rights concerning flowing waters. The easement was normally for the benefit of adjoining lands, no matter who the owner was (an easement appurtenant), rather than for the benefit of a specific individual (easement in gross).

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A right of use over the property of another. Traditionally the permitted kinds of uses were limited, the most important being rights of way and rights concerning flowing waters. The easement was normally for the benefit of adjoining lands, no matter who the owner was (an easement appurtenant), rather than for the benefit of a specific individual (easement in gross).

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   the right to use the real property of another for a specific purpose. The easement is itself a real property interest, but legal title to the underlying land is retained by the original owner for all other purposes. Typical easements are for access to another property (often redundantly stated "access and egress," since entry and exit are over the same path), for utility or sewer lines both under and above ground, use of spring water, entry to make repairs on a fence or slide area, drive cattle across and other uses. Easements can be created by a deed to be recorded just like any real property interest, by continuous and open use by the non-owner against the rights of the property owner for a statutory number of years, typically five ("prescriptive easement"), or to do equity (fairness), including giving access to a "land-locked" piece of property (sometimes called an "easement of necessity"). Easements may be specifically described by boundaries ("24 feet wide along the northern line for a distance of 180 feet"), somewhat indefinite ("along the trail to the northern boundary") or just for a purpose ("to provide access to the Jones property" or "access to the spring") sometimes called a "floating easement." There is also a "negative easement" such as a prohibition against building a structure which blocks a view. Title reports and title abstracts will usually describe all existing easements upon a parcel of real property. Issues of maintenance, joint use, locking gates, damage to easement and other conflicts clog the judicial system, mostly due to misunderstandings at the time of creation.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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