All properties have easements. They usually get put in place when the subdivision is created. The easements are often for a variety of reasons including power lines, phone lines, or gas lines as a few examples.
There are three types of easements – easement in gross, easement appurtenant, and prescriptive easement. In this article, we’ll discuss easement appurtenant in detail.
What is an Easement Appurtenant?
An easement appurtenant gives you the right to ‘cross over’ another person’s property in order to gain access to your property. Your right to use the adjoining property is the easement. There are two parts to an easement appurtenant:
- Dominant tenement – This is the part of the land that you have rights to use as it adjoins to your property.
- Servient Tenement – This is the total parcel of land that holds the part of the land that you have rights to use.
This easement will transfer with the land when you sell it unless you give up the rights to it prior to selling the land.
What is the Difference between an Easement Appurtenant and Easement in Gross?
An easement in gross is another easement but it has to do with public property. The most common examples of an easement in gross is public utility lines or gas lines. The utilities have the right to the property, as do the companies that oversee them.
If you are unaware of an easement in gross when you buy the home, you may have recourse with the title company. Your title insurance may pay you the difference in the home’s value that you lose due to the easement. You may also fight to have the easement removed, but this may be harder.
Who can Terminate an Easement Appurtenant?
The dominant owner of the land with the easement can release the easement. This must be done via the deed in order for it to be official. The dominant owner can also transfer the easement to the other owner. If one owner owns all of the land, the easement then no longer exists by default.
The easement appurtenant helps landowners that lock land with land they don’t own. It gives them rights to the land to gain access to their own property. You’ll be able to tell if your property has an easement appurtenant by reviewing the title and or land survey.