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What is an Easement?

An easement is a right to use the real property of another for a specific purpose. For example, an easement might allow you to cross your neighbor's property to get to your own, or to use their driveway to access your garage. Easements can be created in a variety of ways, including:

  • By express grant in a deed.

  • By implication from the circumstances surrounding the sale of a property.

  • By prescription, which means that you have used the property of another for a certain period of time (15 years in Kentucky) without the owner's permission.

Types of Easements

There are two main types of easements: affirmative and negative.

  • An affirmative easement gives you the right to do something on someone else's property, such as cross their land to get to your own.

  • A negative easement prevents the owner of the property from doing something, such as building a fence that would block your view.

Easement Rights and Responsibilities

The owner of an easement has the right to use the property for the specific purpose for which it was granted. They must also maintain the property in a reasonable manner. The owner of the property subject to the easement does not have the right to interfere with the easement holder's use of the property. However, they may terminate the easement if the holder fails to maintain the property or if the use of the easement becomes unreasonable.

Easements and Real Estate Transactions

Easements can be important considerations in real estate transactions. If you are buying a property with an easement, be sure to have an attorney review the easement agreement to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

If You Have Questions About Easements

If you have questions about easements, it is important to speak with an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities under an easement agreement, and can advise you on how to proceed if you are having problems with an easement holder.


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