Understanding what an easement is, the rights associated with an easement and how an easement ends are all important pieces of information for easement holders and those with easements on their land to be familiar with. Sometimes, the use of an easement or the very nature and existence, or alleged existence, of the easement itself can lead to real estate litigation which is another reason why it is useful to be familiar with how easements work and can be ended.
An easement is essentially a property right that gives the easement holder an interest in property owned by another party. There are specific rules associated with the transfer of an easement and while permanent easements are common, there are some circumstances under which an easement may be terminated. One basic example is that an easement of limited duration, such as one that provides temporary access for the purpose of construction work, to come to an end once the construction work is complete.
In other circumstances, an easement can be bought out most commonly in two different ways. If the owner of the dominant estate buys the servient estate, the easement comes to an end. Additionally, if the holder of the easement releases their easement right to the owner of the servient estate in writing, the easement may be terminated. In some situations, the sale or misuse of the servient estate that has the easement across it may terminate the easement. Additionally, government actions such as condemnation of the servient estate can terminate an easement.
The servient estate refers to the estate that is subject to the easement and the dominant estate is subject to the easement. Easements can be complicated and technical property concerns. They are also important property rights to understand and be familiar with and know how to enforce or terminate as needed which is when real estate law can step in to help.