The Scope of an Express Easement – The Right to Improvement

As discussed in previous posts, an express easement is an easement that is created by agreement between the dominant and servient tenement. Although the express easement often specifies the purpose of the easement, e.g. ingress and egress, it can often be silent as to what alterations you can make to the easement to fulfill that purpose. However, case law provides some answers.

Generally speaking, the owner of an easement, i.e. the dominant tenement, can improve the easement or construct improvements on the easement which are reasonably required to make the use of the easement safe and convenient.  For example, if your neighbor granted you an easement for ingress and egress over a portion of their property that is a dirt road, you may have the right to grade or pave the road in connection with your use of the same. However, your right to alter the easement is limited – the easement owner is not permitted to increase the burden on, or unreasonably interfere with, the use of the servient tenement.

The attorneys at Schorr Law are well versed in all types of easement issues. To inquire about a free 30 minute consultation, contact us by phone at (310) 954-1877 or by email at You can also send us a message by filling out the contact form on this page.

By Stephanie Goldstein, esq.