Adverse Possession – the acquisition of title to property by establishing the following criteria: 1) actual and open occupation of the property in such a manner that constitutes reasonable notice to the owner; 2) the use is uninterrupted for a period of five years; 3) occupant must pay all property taxes during the five year period.
Dominant Property – property that enjoys the benefit of an easement over a servient property.
Dominant Tenement – the archaic term for property that enjoys the benefit of an easement over a servient tenement or servient property. A less confusing term would be “dominant property.”
Easement – An easement is an interest in the land of another that entitles the owner of the easement to a limited use or enjoyment of the other’s land.
Easements Appurtenant – An easement is appurtenant when it is attached to the land of the owner of the easement, and benefits him as the owner or possessor of that land the land served by the easement is the dominant tenement and the land burdened by the easement is the servient tenement.
Easements in Gross – is a personal interest in the property of another, it is a personal right as well as a personal interest in real property. Because the easement belongs to the holder individually there is no dominant tenement.
License – permission to do something on the land of another that, without permission, would be unlawful. A license is a personal right, is revocable, does not run with the land, and is usually not assignable. A license is not considered a property interest and does not have to be in writing.
Negative Easement — does not permit the holder to enter or use the servient estate; it limits the right of the servient owner to utilize the servient owner’s own land. Examples are the right to receive air and light or to have a view.
Secondary Easement — the holder of an easement is entitled to enter the burdened property (even beyond the boundaries of the easement) to maintain the easement and make necessary repairs.
Servient Property – property that is burdened by an easement in favor of a dominant property.
Servient Tenement – the archaic term for property that is burdened by an easement in favor of a dominant tenement or dominant property. A less confusing term would be “servient property.”
The words and phrases used by the courts throughout the years have become more misleading than accurate.
- Dominant tenement
- Servient tenement
- Fiction of the lost grant
- Under claim of right
- Actual, open and notorious
- Hostile and adverse
- Continuous and uninterrupted for 5 years
- Exclusive, not dependent on use by others
- Dominant Property
- Servient Property
- Actual and open
[so as to constitute notice to the owner]
- Adverse to the owner
[against the interests of the owner]
- 5 years of continuous use
- Cannot exclude use by the owner