EasementAn easement is the right of use over the real property of another. Historically it was limited to the right of way and rights over flowing waters. Traditionally it was a right that could only attach to an adjacent land and was for the benefit of all, not a specific person. The right is often described as the right to use the land of another for a special purpose. It is distinguished from a license that only gives one a personal privilege to do something on the land of another usually the right to pass over the property.
Easements may be considered public or private. A private easement is limited to a specific individual such as the owner of an adjoining land. A public easement is one that grants the right to a large group of individuals or to the public in general, such as the easement on public streets and highways or of the right to navigate a river.
- Storm drain easements. These carry rainwater to a river or other body of water.
- Sanitary sewer easements. These carry used water to a sewage treatment plant.
- Electrical power easements.
- Telephone easements.
- Sidewalk easements. Usually sidewalks are in the right-of-way, but sometimes they are on the lot.
- Driveway easements, also known as easement of access. A few lots do not border a road, so an easement through another lot must be provided for access. Sometimes adjacent lots have "mutual" driveways that both lot owners share to access garages in the backyard. The houses are so close together that there can only be a single driveway to both backyards. The same can also be the case for walkways to the backyard: the houses are so close together that there is only a single walkway between the houses and the walkway is shared. Even when the walkway is wide enough, easements may exist to allow for access to the roof and other parts of the house close to a lot boundary.