How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane T (LLC) Your Own Question
Jane T (LLC)
Jane T (LLC), Real Estate Law Answer Team
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8435
Experience:  Real Estate Law Expert
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Jane T (LLC) is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What is the specific definition of an easement for ingress

Customer Question

what is the specific definition of an easement for ingress and egress purpose? what can i the land owner do? and what can the easement owner do?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 10 years ago.
Dear Ranger,

You should review your land records to see what type of easement (rather than just for the purpose of ingress and egress) you have. An easement for ingress or egress generally means just the ability to enter and leave a plot of land. In addition to that, however, the easement itself may be any of the following types:

Necessity - where large parcels of land are subsequently subdivided so that one parcel does not have any way to reach a public road (is landlocked), then an easement of necessity is granted over the parcel that adjoins the land-locked parcel to allow exit and entrance. Such easements usually are recorded with the land deed and remain a part of the land thereafter.

Of Convenience - this easement grants the right of ingress and egress to a parcel of land for the convenience of the land owner. It is generally given to the owner of a parcel who sells a part of that parcel to someone else. If this is the case in your situation, then your neighbor's land was the parcel that was split and your lot was the one sold off and set to "serve" the other lot by allowing ingress and egress.

Granted - it is possible that a former owner of your land voluntarily granted an easement to your neighbor to permit him to enter and leave his lot by using your lot. Such grant may have been recorded with the deed and become a part of the land or may have only been granted to the person and not on the land. If only given to the person then you may have the rigth to terminate your current neighbor's use of the easement by filing a civil case against him in court. BUT, constant use of that easement may make it permanent. Only an attorney can tell you if you can argue to terminate the easement.

The land belongs to you, but, you cannot deny the easement owner the rigth to use the property if the proper record of the easement or time has granted him the easement. Real estate law is very complicated, however, and in cases like this requires not only a property search of you land records but those of your neighbors to determine what the rights are. If you are having difficulties with the easement owner you need to speak to an attorney who can peform the research and provide you with an explanation of the actions you can take.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Very vauge answer! The deed states " easement for ingress and egress purpose". What can I do as a land owner?( erect a 16'x16' building on the land?) or can the easement owner come in and cut trees and build a road on this piece of land to gain access to his land that is unaccessable other than by foot?
Expert:  Jane T (LLC) replied 10 years ago.

Sorry I did not explain my respons better. Your easement allows "ingress/egress," but that is not the type of easement - that is the purpose of the easement. Type means "of convenience," "of necessity," "granted," etc. The deed may only state "ingress/egress," that means that more research is needed. What does your neighbor's deed state? What do the deeds of the one plot that was divided to create both yours and your neighbor's lots state? This history needs to be tracked before you can determine the kind of deed you have and whether the easement can still be enforced.

What I tried to explain is that no one can tell you if you can go in and build a building or if he can cut trees at this point because you need to first find out what kind of easement you have. Until you "review your land records to see what type of easement (rather than just for the purpose of ingress and egress) you have" you will not know what rights you have.

The first step to finding out what rights you have will be to find out if the "ingress/egress" easement is an "ingress/egress easement of necessity"; an "ingress/egress easement of convenience"; or simply an "ingress/egress easement granted to a landowner". These are all legal terms which have different rights and responsibilities attached to them. Until you know what kind of "ingress/egress easement" you have, you will not be able to learn what your rights are.

As to whether you can build on an easement, although it is unlikely that you can, until you learn what your easement type is you will be unable to fully get an explanation of your rights. That is why I suggest you obtain legal counsel who will research through the land records and history to see what you are dealing with.