Last edited 01 Jun 2021


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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