An easement is a limited right to use, crossover and/or enter/exit the property in a certain way without possessing it. It’s not a full right of ownership. It's "A right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose". Easements can be helpful in providing pathways across two or more pieces of property, allowing individuals to access other properties or a resource.
Examples of easement: To run cattle by a private property, to go fishing in a privately owned pond, to build a railroad or to have access to a public beach. To have the municipality may need to run water pipes access under your land, you'll own the deed and the title of the property, but an easement should be mentioned in the title recorded by the county.
An easement is considered as a property right in itself at common law and is still treated as a type of property in most jurisdictions.
The rights of an easement holder can vary depending on the jurisdiction. The common law courts recognize the following types of easements that need to be understood:
- Right of way (easements of way)
- Easements of support (pertaining to excavations)
- Easements of "light and air"
- Rights pertaining to artificial waterways
Easements are mostly created in binding documents. Parties generally grant an easement to another, or reserve an easement for themselves. Courts have also recognized creation of easements in other ways. If you are buying a property, most likely you'll find if there's an easement described in the property deed.