Copyright

Easement Appurtenant: Definition, Features & Examples

Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Sometimes neighboring property owners will have the right to use your property without your consent. In this lesson, you'll learn about easements appurtenant, including their features and some examples. A short quiz follows.

Easement Defined

Let's say you just bought a new home on a nice piece of lakeshore property. Unfortunately, you really didn't pay too much attention to the title report presented to you prior to sale and had some surprises waiting for you as you settled into your new home.

You find out that part of your neighbor's garage is sitting on your property. You note that a trail on your property is used by another neighbor from across the street as a shortcut to a public beach. This pesky neighbor also interrupts you as you are building a fence claiming that you can't do it because it will obstruct his view of lake.

You get fed up and call an attorney. After some research, he informs you that the trail, the garage and even the building restrictions claimed by your neighbor are legally valid and enforceable pursuant to easements burdening your property. If you read the title report (i.e., a report on the title to the property), you'd have known about the easements.

An easement is a nonpossessory interest permitting someone else to make a specific use of your land or preventing you from making a specific use of it. If the easement lets another enter your land to make a specific use of the land, it can be classified as an affirmative easement. A negative easement is an easement that actually allows another person to restrict the manner in which the owner can use her own land, such as prohibiting the use of a residential lot for a business activity. The examples above are a specific type of easement called an easements appurtenant.

Easement Appurtenant Defined

An easement appurtenant is an easement where the right of use is attached to the land itself. The property that benefits from the easement is known as the dominant estate (or dominant tenement), while the property that is burdened by the easement is known as the servient estate (or servient tenement) because it serves the dominant estate.

Let's go back to our examples for a moment. In each of our examples, you own the servient estate while your neighbors hold the dominant estate because the easement burdens your land and benefits theirs.

The easement permitting a portion of your neighbor's garage on your property is an easement appurtenant that happens to be an affirmative easement. Your neighbor's right to use the trail along your property as a shortcut to the beach is also an easement appurtenant that is an affirmative easement. This type of easement is known as a right-of-way.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support