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Creating Easements

Part of the Property Law For Dummies Cheat Sheet

An easement is a right of one person to use (or control the use of) another person’s land. You can create an easement in any of the following ways:

  • By express agreement: If the agreement isn’t evidenced by a writing satisfying the statute of frauds, you have to prove estoppel or part performance in order to enforce the agreement.

  • By implication: An easement is implied by prior use when an owner has been using part of his land to benefit another part of his land in some way that’s apparent, continuous, and reasonably necessary and then transfers one of those parts to someone else. An easement is implied by necessity when a landowner transfers part of his land and one of the resulting parts thereby loses any access to a public street. The filing of a subdivision plat also implies that lot owners have easements that are shown on the plat.

  • By prescription: You acquire an easement by using someone else’s land openly and continuously as if you have the right to do so for a period of time specified by state statute.

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