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What Is A Real Estate Easement And How Are They Created?

By Jamie Richardson | March 4, 2019

Buying a home and lot package is a dream that many work hard for. Some juggle two or more jobs just to raise funds; others forego some of their comforts just to secure the necessary amount for the mortgage.

Sacrifices truly are made just to realize the dream of home ownership, so it’s totally understandable that real estate buyers want to get the most out of their purchase. But properties are subject to several laws, and some of these statutes put limits on how they are enjoyed. To avoid disappointments, it is wise for would-be buyers like you to know these legal regulations early on.

In this article, we discuss real estate easements. We also identify and discuss three ways they are created.

What is an easement?

In a nutshell, an easement is the right to use a portion of an estate given not to the owner but to another interested party. Easements are usually awarded to owners whose enjoyment of or access to their property depends wholly on their use of a portion of the property of another. A right of way is a common example of an easement.

If you happen to the owner of land that is burdened by an easement (i.e. you have to give up control over a portion of your property in favor of your adjacent landowners), you have to understand that this is not a favor that you grant but a responsibility that you must stand by. However, just because you are bound by law to uphold this doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to look out for your own interests.

With the help of professionals like those from the McQuarrie real estate law firm, you can take some legal steps in order to recover or at least change the terms on how the property subjected to an easement is to be used. The legal steps that you take, however, can be influenced by how the easement was created or obtained in the first place. The remainder of this article discusses three of the most common ways easements are made.


US laws recognize the right of any landowner to access and exit from their property. If it so happens that land A is inaccessible from a major roadway because other parcels of land come in between them, the courts can issue an order that grants the owner of land A unrestricted use of a portion of the intervening parcels of land.

Should there be issues with such an order, any interested party is required to take their case to the courts.


Adjacent landowners can also agree amongst themselves to create a private road that will allow them access to a major roadway or even just to each other’s properties. They can simply draft a document that they legally agree to. Usually, this agreement also contains provisions that detail exactly how the private road is going to be maintained.

Though they can always hire real estate lawyers and go to court, landowners who enter into this kind of deal are encouraged to settle their differences amongst themselves.


A landowner might lose control over a portion of their property if they tolerated another’s unconsented use of it for a specific period of time. Their tolerance through time is said to have resulted in them losing their right through prescription. As to how long the period of tolerated usage should be varies from state to state.

Once an easement is created through prescription, only the courts can entertain and settle disputes pertaining to it.

Jamie is a 5-year freelance writer who enjoys real estate. He is currently a Realty Biz News Contributor.
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