Ownership – Easement Encumbrances – Real Estate Exam Prep
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Ownership – Easement Encumbrances – Real Estate Exam Prep


Another type of encumbrance is called an
easement. An easement is simply the right to cross
over another person’s property. There are several types of easements
we’ll discuss here. One is called an appurtenant easement,
which is basically what neighbors have to cross over each other’s property.
Recall, an appurtenance is a right,
privilege or improvement that runs with the land,
so an appurtenant easement would be tied to the property.
A different type of easement is called an easement in gross.
These are typically for companies such as railroads or utility companies.
They will acquire easements to put down their cables or railroad lines,
and these are called gross easements. A different type is called an easement
by prescription which deals with longterm use.
If you, for example crossover somebody else’s
property for 10 or 15 years, continuously,
openly and without permission, then you may be able to obtain an
easement in that property. Now,
in contrast to an encumbrance, a license is mere permission.
Such as you get a driver’s license to drive a car.
So if you receive a license to cross over someone’s property,
that is simply permission not an easement.
And finally, an encroachment is trespassing.
For example, someone builds a fence onto your
property. If that were the case,
the neighbor could possibly take you to court to remove the encroachment.
The point is something needs to be done because if someone encroaches on your
property and you never say anything, if they continue to use that property
long enough, they may end up with an easement by
prescription.

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