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Monday, May 21, 2018

Easement Law in Connecticut

An easement is a right to cross or use someone else's land for a specified purpose. Once an easement has been granted, the landowner may not interfere with the grantee's use of the easement. Below is an overview of Connecticut easement law.

Easement creation

Easements can be created by contract, deed, or other written agreement. Easements created in this manner are called “express easements.” Express easements, however, are not the only method of easement creation. Easements may also be created in the following ways:

  • Easement by prescription – An easement by prescription arises upon a court finding that the use of another’s property has been visible, open, and continuous for at least fifteen years and made under claim of right. Once an easement by prescription has been established, it runs with the land and benefits all future owners of the property that benefit from the easement. An easement by prescription may be extinguished if the owner of the property burdened by the easement obtains, takes, or regains control and possession of the property over which the easement runs for a minimum of fifteen years. In addition, property owners can prevent an easement by prescription by serving the individual claiming the easement with a notice challenging his or her use of the property.

  • Easement by implication – An easement by implication arises when a piece of land is sold and the circumstances of the sale infer that the parties intended to create an easement necessary for the grantee's use of the subject property. An easement by implication may also arise based on the actions of a property’s adjoining landowners. In such situations, courts will examine the intention of the parties and whether the easement is necessary for the use of the property that benefits from the easement.

  • Easement by necessity – An easement by necessity is almost exactly the same as an easement by implication, the difference being that an easement by necessity arises only in instances where the dominant estate is landlocked.

Disputes involving easements

Easements can cause a number of different types of disputes between property owners. A common dispute involves encroaching improvements, such as the erection of a fence or shed that encroaches on a neighbor's property. In addition, disputes sometimes arise when:

  • The holder of an easement uses it in a manner inconsistent with its intended use;

  • A property owner interferes with an easement holder's use of the easement; and

  • A property owner claims that an easement has been abandoned by the easement holder.

Connecticut Legal Representation

Real estate transactions, whether residential or commercial, can be complicated, and it’s important to ensure that no details are overlooked during the process. At the Law Office of Benjamin S. Proto, Jr., our experienced Connecticut real estate professionals keep both buyers and sellers apprised of their rights and duties as they navigate the residential and commercial real estate transaction processes. Please contact us for a free consultation.

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