What Is a Permanent Easement?

An easement is an interest in land that grants or limits the right to use that land by someone who doesn’t own or possess it, according to the legal firm Koley Jessen, and a permanent easement is one that is attached to the deed and continues to affect the land through subsequent changes in ownership. Easements, and their characteristics, are governed by state law.

An easement holder is not allowed to occupy or exclude others from using the land unless they interfere with the easement holder’s use. The owner of the land may continue to use it, according to FindLaw. Easements are usually held to be permanent unless the agreement states otherwise.

Permanent easements can be created in several ways, including through negotiation, by implication, by necessity, by adverse possession or by condemnation. Negotiation is an agreement between the parties and may include a financial transaction. An easement by implication can occur when a landowner sells two adjoining parcels of land to different buyers, but there is only one driveway. Necessity arises when someone buys a landlocked parcel and cannot access it without an easement. Adverse possession involves a long-term continuous use of property, such as a path or road, without the owner’s permission. Condemnation can create an easement when a government needs land for a roadway or sidewalk.