Last edited 09 Sep 2016


An easement is a right which a person has over land owned by someone else. Easements are normally attached to the land rather than to a person and can be considered to last in perpetuity.

Examples of easements include:

An easement can be created by:

  • Express grant, for example it may be set out in a conveyance deed or a transfer deed.
  • Necessity, for example if there is only one means of access between a site and a public highway.
  • By prescription, i.e. the act is repeated for a period of at least twenty years.

Easements can be extinguished in several ways:

  • Agreement between the parties in the form of a deed.
  • By implied release, for example it has not been used for a long period of time.
  • Where the character of the dominant land has changed.
  • By limitation of time, if a limitation was agreed.
  • By a change in law.

Easements differ from wayleaves, which are temporary agreements typically used by utilities companies to allow them to install and maintain equipment on privately-owned land in return for payment to the landowner and occupier.

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