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Understanding the purpose of an easement

Posted on November 8, 2018

A Missouri resident may spend years of their life looking for the right place to build their home. They may eventually discover it tucked away in the woods, far from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan living. The individual may find the property description of the land to figure out just where their property lines will lay, and in the process they may discover that their desired lot is lacking a location where it touches the local road.

A parcel without a means of ingress or egress may be a difficult plot to develop if no one can get to it. The interested party may have to work with surrounding property owners to attempt to secure an easement to get to their new parcel if they choose to buy it. An easement would give them the right to use another person’s property for the specific purpose of getting to their plot.

This simple example provides an overview of just what an easement is – a right to use another person’s property. The holder of the easement does not take ownership in the other’s land, but rather is granted permission to use it in a specific way. For example, the holder of the easement would not be allowed to build their home in the easement space or clear trees off of other parts of the property owner’s land: their use of the property would be limited.

An easement may affect the property rights of the party that has granted it. Depending upon how the easement is established it may appear on the party’s title and may be part of its record if the parcel is sold. Understanding easements is an important part of real property law and attorneys can be consulted by those who have specific questions about them.