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An easement refers to a person’s right to use or maintain another’s piece of land for a single purpose without assuming ownership. Some common examples are running underground cables and utilities, granting a path for land not bordered by any roads to reach one, and undeveloped lands retrofitted for recreational use.

The difference though, between an easement and outright ownership, is simple. An easement limits a person’s interest to do anything they like with the property, nor allow hem to reside on it. In the easement, it’ll detail exactly what’s allowed to happen on the plot until termination. Here’s 3 other things you didn’t know about easements that will help you out as a land owner.


  • There Are 2 Types of Easements
  • It’s Not Easy to Change an Easement
  • Land Surveys Help Identify Easements


Easements will always fall into one of two categories – an easement appurtenant or an easement in gross.

An easement appurtenant is part of the land itself. Should the owner of the land ever sell it, the easement descends upon the next owner. Same goes for the easement holder, if they ever sell their land the new owner will also have rights to the easement. For an easement appurtenant to stay intact, the owner of the easement must have a piece of property near or adjacent to the easement area.

The other type of easement, an easement in gross, works differently. This easement belongs to a person, regardless of location. Most often an easement in gross helps utility companies and communication networks, who set up the easement for their purposes before getting out of the way.


property owners have ultimate control over easementsIf you’re working for an easement and must negotiate one with the property owner, it’s important to get it right the first time. The scope of the project may change in an instant, and the landowner doesn’t have to renegotiate an easement with you. If they do, they’ll ask for a huge payout knowing you won’t risk losing all the money and progress already invested into the project.

On the other hand, owning the land underneath the easement is a lot easier. After all, it is your land. Ultimately, you’re able to change the easement guidelines at any time and even terminate the easement whenever you want.


It’s important to know whether your neighbors are upholding an easement agreement or are encroaching on your property. The latter can lead to severe consequences and can take lots of time and money to resolve the dispute. That’s why, before you buy land, you should consult with a land surveyor and have them tell you if there are any existing easements. That way, you won’t be stuck paying additional fees to get out of any mess you may find yourself in.

If you already hold land and someone wants an easement of their own on your land, getting a land survey is crucial. An updated land survey will outline your property boundaries, and help you negotiate rights to any easements that person may want.

So, for whatever side of getting an easement you’re on, be sure to have a land survey. Get in touch with us at Adkan Engineers today, and we’ll send out one of our highly-certified land surveyors to the property in question. For more information, check out the rest of our website, or contact us online or by phone at (951) 688-0241. We look forward to working with you.