Updated on July 18, 2023
In general, there are two different types of easements that can be created by express grant – either an appurtenant easement or an easement in gross.
An easement that runs with the land lasts forever unless the two simultaneous property owners agree, in writing, to cancel it. Of course, there are other ways to extinguish an easement but that are not covered in this post.
In contrast, an easement in gross is a personal easement that necessarily does not run with the land. That means the owner of the easement owns the personal right to use the easement but that right does not pass to future owners. An example of an appurtenant easement would be an easement for having the rights of pasture, fishing and taking game.
An easement that runs with the land is called an appurtenant easement – meaning it is meant to be binding on successive owners of the dominant and servient tenements. An easement appurtenant allows one property owner (the dominant estate) to use another property (the servient estate) for a specific purpose.
The easement is “appurtenant” to the dominant estate, meaning that it is permanently attached to the property and passes to any subsequent owners of the dominant estate.
In layman’s terms, this means that one property is meant to be the beneficiary of the easement and the other property owner is meant to be burdened by the easement.
The key thing to remember about easements appurtenant is that they are rights to use someone else’s property that are permanently attached to the property.
Unlike an easement in gross, which is a personal right that can be transferred or sold independently of the land it grants access to, an easement appurtenant is a property right that is attached to the land and is transferred along with the property when it is sold.
In real estate law, an easement in gross is a type of non-possessory interest in land that allows the holder of the easement to use the land for a specific purpose, but does not grant them ownership or possession of the land.
This type of easement is typically granted to utility companies, allowing them to access and maintain equipment on the land, or to individuals who need access to a specific piece of land for a specific reason.
Unlike other types of easements, an easement in gross is not attached to a specific piece of property and can be transferred or sold independently of the land it grants access to.
The law provides that if an easement does not state the specific the type of easement that it is, then it is presumed to be appurtenant. Schmidt v. Bank of America 223 Cal.App.4th 1489,1499.
Over that past decade, our easement dispute attorney in Los Angeles have done extensive easement work that has allowed us to gain insight into the various types of easements that can be created. We have also extensively litigated competing easements claims throughout Los Angeles, in the Hollywood Hills, Brentwood, Palos Verdes and throughout Southern California.
Schorr Law has one of the top rated real estate attorney in Los Angeles. To schedule a consultation regarding your easement matter, contact us at (310) 954-1877, or you can email [email protected]. You can also directly message us here.