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How to terminate an easement

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | Real Estate |

An easement is a legal right that allows someone who is not the landowner to use a portion of land for a specific purpose. While easements can be beneficial, they can also be burdensome.

Property owners may want to terminate them for various reasons. There are a few options that may allow them to do that.


One way to terminate an easement is through an agreement between the property owner and the easement holder. Both parties must agree to terminate the easement. The agreement should be in writing and include both parties signatures. When both parties sign, the document must go on record with the county recorder’s office to ensure that it is legally binding.


If the easement holder stops using the easement for an extended period of time and shows no intention of using it again, the property owner can argue that he or she abandoned the easement. However, proving abandonment can be challenging, making this one of the hardest ways to terminate and easement.

Through prescription

Terminating through prescription occurs when the property owner takes actions that are inconsistent with the easement holder’s rights for a specified period of time, which is typically five years. This can include blocking access to the easement or otherwise using the property in a manner that interferes with the easement holder’s rights. The termination would become effective if the easement holder takes no legal rights to regain access.

Through necessity

If the easement came about due to necessity, such as providing access to a landlocked property, and the necessity no longer exists, the easement may terminate.

Property owners in California have several options for terminating an easement on their property. Each method has its own requirements and complexities, so property owners should carefully consider their options.