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Categories of Easements

Posted by attorney James Tupitza

A. Broad Categories:

  1. Easements in Gross - “An easement in gross …. is a mere personal right in the real estate of another because it is not appurtenant to other land owned by the grantee. An easement in gross benefits a particular entity rather than a particular piece of land." Ladner on Conveyancing, § 11.01

a. Not related to a particular property

b. Example – utility line or pipe line easement

  1. Easements Appurtenant In contrast to an easement in gross, “[a]n easement appurtenant is a liberty, privilege or advantage without profit which the owner of one piece of land has in the land of another." Morning Call, Inc. v. Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania, Inc., 761 A.2d 139 (Pa.Super.2000). “It is a service which one estate owes to another-or a right or privilege in one man's estate for the advantage or convenience of the owner of another estate." Perkinpine v. Hogan, 47 Pa.Super. 22, 25 (1911)

a. Related to a specific property -- Creation of an easement appurtenant is accomplished by reserving to the grantor, an easement or right of way over the land conveyed. The easement or right of way is intended to benefit other lands retained by the grantor. This reservation is conceptually fused with the land that it benefits, and the easement or right of way passes with the land, if there is a subsequent conveyance. An expressly created easement appurtenant can conceivably last forever. See Brady v. Yodanza, 493 Pa. 186, 189, 425 A.2d 726, 727 (1981)

b. Servient tenement- the property subject to the easement

c. Dominant tenement – the property that has the right to “use" the easement

  1. Exclusive easements

a. Granted to one or more party for their exclusive use

b. Servient tenement cannot grant rights to additional users

c. Dominant tenement is excluded from use of the area

  1. Non-Exclusive Easements

a. Absent language to the contrary, non-exclusivity is presumed

b. Servient tenement may grant rights to additional users

c. Servient tenement may use the easement

(c) James S. Tuptiza 2010

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