What is an easement appurtenant?

Do you remember the days of memorizing definitions to pass tests? Well, if you’ve ever taken a real estate class, you’ve probably heard of an easement appurtenant. Here’s a visual refresher course in case the definition did not stick.

Easement Appurtenant An easement is when someone has the right to use another person’s land. One of the best examples of an easement is an easement appurtenant. This is a type of easement that “allows one party the use of his or her neighbor’s land and which runs with the land when the title is transferred to another party” (from RealEstateWords).

Easement Appurtenant example by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

As you can see in the example above, the rear lot at 6.38 acres is land-locked from the western road, but the easement appurtenant allows the home owner of this rear parcel to access his lot by driving across the adjoining frontage parcel. The rear lot is called the “dominant estate” (or tenement) because it enjoys the benefit of the easement, while the front lot that carries the burden of the easement is called the “servient estate” (or tenement). This type of easement is attached to the land permanently, which means the neighbor in front won’t be (shouldn’t be) doing anything to block the easement.

Now if only there was a “fridge easement” or “built-in pool easement” to allow me the rights to my neighbor’s property…   🙂

I hope this was helpful. Anything you’d like to add? Any stories to share?

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    • says

      Thanks for the question, Remy. I think the answer really comes down to what local zoning says about fencing. Most cities or counties have particular setback rules about fencing, so it would be best to check in with the governing authority in your area. Best wishes.

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