What is an Easement?

Definition: An easement is a legal concept that defines a situation where a property is used by a third party for a specific purpose. In other words, it is a legal permission to use someone else’s property with a predefined motive.

What Does Easement Mean?

Easements are common in the field of real estate. They are mostly employed by utility companies to occupy a portion of the property to widen the reach of their services by building infrastructure on the place. These easements must be accepted by the property owner for them to be legal and the easement will normally be attached to the land itself, not the owner.

This means that the easement will be active even if the land is sold to someone else. Easements normally include a payment for the property owner, as a compensation for the land’s usage. In some cases, easements are enforced by federal or state laws, depending on the nature of the requirement. Either way, the purpose of these agreements is to allow a third party to use the property space for its own benefit.

Example

Let’s suppose a company called Domestic Gas Co. supplies gas for a given state in the U.S. The company is currently expanding its operations to some small towns in the state and, in order to do this, they need to add some pipelines in key neighborhoods of those towns.

The company is currently negotiating easements with the locals to make sure they have the required space to dig holes for the pipelines. There are currently 10 property owners that already showed willingness to take on the easement agreements.

The easement will start in 1 month and they are all set to last fifty years each. The company will pay the land owners a monthly fee of $750 as a compensation for the land’s usage.