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easement 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 compare license, profit, 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
: 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 NOTE: 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 NOTE: 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 NOTE: 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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