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Land Law

Land Law (2nd edn)

Ben McFarlane, Nicholas Hopkins, and Sarah Nield
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date: 14 July 2024

p. 3179. Easementslocked

p. 3179. Easementslocked

  • Ben McFarlane, Ben McFarlaneProfessor of English Law, University of Oxford
  • Nicholas HopkinsNicholas HopkinsLaw Commissioner for England and Wales and Professor of Law, University of Reading
  •  and Sarah NieldSarah NieldProfessor of Law, University of Southampton


This chapter examines easements and how they relate to the content, acquisition and defences questions. Easement refers to the right of a landowner to enjoy a limited use of neighbouring land. An essential feature of an easement is the need for two pieces of land: the dominant land to which the benefit of the easement is attached and the servient land over which the easement is exercised. This chapter considers the four defining characteristics of an easement: there must be two distinct areas of land — dominant land and servient land; the dominant and servient land must be owned by different people; the easement must ‘accommodate’ the dominant land; and the right must be capable of forming the subject matter of a grant. It also discusses, in relation to the acquisition question, the express and implied creation of an easement, as well as the involuntary acquisition of an easement through prescription. It concludes by considering with the defences that can defeat an easement.

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