What is an Easement?

An Easement is a right attached to one piece of land (dominant tenement) which gives the owner of the land a right to use another person’s land (servient tenement). The owners of the dominant and servient tenements must both have estates in the land (i.e. they own the land or they have interest in that land.

Examples of Easements:

• Where a person has a right of way over their neighbour’s land to enable them to access their driveway.
• Where someone owns a flat and they have a right to use common parts in the flats such as the stairs.
• Water companies have easements over many properties to allow them access to drains.

What must be satisfied in order for a right to be an Easement?

The case Re Ellenborough Park [1956] laid down four characteristics that must exist if a right is to be capable of being an easement:

• There must be a ‘dominant’ and ‘servient’ piece of land, the dominant land must gain the benefit of the easement and the servient land granting the burden of it. (a public right of way is not an easement because it does not benefit specific land).
• Both the dominant and servient pieces of land must be owned and occupied by different people.
• The right must be capable of being granted by deed.

How is an Easement created?

• By a deed of Easement.
• they can also be created when an owner of land sells their land to another but retains the easement over the land (known as a reservation).
• Implied easements exist where there is no deed or agreement but the easement right is implied by a situation or circumstance. For example, an easement of necessity will be granted if the buyer of the land is completely landlocked and requires access over the seller’s retained land.

How Can Easements affect you?

When you buy a property the easements will pass with the Property should be aware of what these are and the potential implications.

Here at Emery Johnson Astills we have an experienced Conveyancing Team and If you require assistance regarding Easements, or any other Conveyancing matter, please do not hesitate a member of our Emery Johnson Astills Conveyancing Team on 0116 255 4855 who will be more than happy to help.