What is an easement?

An easement or right-of-way is an agreement that confers on an individual, company or municipality the right to use a landowner’s property in some way. While these agreements grant rights, they also have the effect of partially restricting an owner’s use of the affected portions of land.

An easement or right-of-way usually describes a particular portion of the property, and although not visible on the ground, provides an area of access to the holder of the easement or right-of-way.


  • access roads

  • pathways/walkways

  • utilities

  • sewer/water lines

  • right to park

  • right of light

  • right to commit a nuisance (noise, dust, etc.)


  • utility corridors

  • power lines

  • gas/oil transmission line

Who owns an easement or right-of-way?

The holder (beneficiary or grantee) of an easement or right-of-way holds certain rights regarding usage of the property described in the agreement. The holder’s rights of use are described and restricted by the agreement. The landowner continues to own the land and has only given up defined rights on the portion of land used for the right-of-way or easement.

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