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Definition of Easements

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Housing development under construction Seth Joel/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Definition: An easement is a right given to another person or entity to trespass upon land that person or entity does not own. Easements are used for roads, for example or given to utility companies for the right to bury cables or access utility lines. Landlocked home owners sometimes pay for an easement to cross the land of another to reach their home.

Easements run with the land. Almost every home has an easement. It is important to look for easements in the public records, especially if a prospective buyer plans to put in a swimming pool. A property owner cannot build on top of an easement.

Easements by prescription are acquired by hostile, open and notorious use for five years. For example, prescriptive easements could be claimed by a person who travels across a parcel of land owned by another and continuously for five years without the owner's permission or consent.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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