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How is an easement appurtenant different from other easements?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

There are two main types of easements that can be used in real estate. The first is an easement in gross and the second is an easement appurtenant. These are similar in some ways, but there are some key differences to be aware of.

To start with, an easement in gross is often used for utility companies or neighbors who simply come to an agreement. This easement is not part of the deed. It just allows those who need to use the land to have permission and access when necessary. It simplifies the process. 

An easement appurtenant, on the other hand, is part of the deed. This makes it part of that property. The easement is not just an agreement that two people have come to, but a fundamental way that the property has been changed.

Why does this matter?

One of the big reasons why this matters is that these easements often last even when the property changes hands. An easement in gross may not have to be honored by a new property owner. But an easement appurtenant would be, so anyone who is buying a property that already includes an easement needs to be aware that they will have to honor it and that it can impact the value of their property.

For instance, a new property owner may not be able to use the land in a specific way because it would infringe on the easement. This would make that land less valuable to them, which could potentially reduce the market price for the property.

This is just one way that real estate transactions and ownership can get complicated. Those involved need to be aware of their legal options at all times.