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Are there different types of easements?

When you own a significant portion of land in California you may receive inquiries from people regarding easements. Agreeing to an easement means you agree to allow others to use your property even though you maintain the owner’s rights.

Understanding the different types of easements may help you to make a more informed decision as you determine the best use of your land.

Identifying a purpose

Determining a type of easement depends on the layout of your land and why people want to use it. According to SFGATE, there are four different types of easements including the following:

  • Implied easements grant use of your land to another based on a prior agreement between landowners
  • Prescriptive easements allow others to use your land continuously for a reasonable and specific purpose
  • Express easements follow when you grant permission for another to use your property as a convenience
  • Easement by necessity gives others access to your property when others need access for a crucial purpose and no other option exists

Implementing a contract

Knowing the characteristics of different easements can help you protect your rights as a landowner. Depending on the agreement in place, you may or may not have the jurisdiction to modify the agreement as circumstances change.

Some easements require written documentation while others do not. For example, because easement by necessity grants property use based on an obvious need for access, continued use does not require written documentation. However, an express easement, when you agree to allow others to access your property, does require written documentation to preserve the intentions of both parties.