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Understanding Types of Easements in Tennessee

An easement is considered a "non-possessory" interest in another's land. Easements give an individual or company the right to use some of your land for designated purposes. When an easement is in place, neither of the involved parties can change the terms of that easement without consent of the other.

It is important to outline an easement in the property deed. However, disagreements about easements are not uncommon. This can result in inconvenient disputes and lengthy lawsuits.

Easements Recognized in Tennessee

Easements generally fall into one of two categories:

  • Easements Appurtenant - Benefits a specified parcel of land
  • Easements in Gross - Benefits the individual holder of the easement

Within these broad categories, Tennessee law allows easements to be created in several ways. 

The different types of easements in Tennessee include:

  • Public easements: Primarily created to benefit the public. Usually, in this case, the easement holder is a utility company or local government. Designated use for the land could sidewalks, roadways, parks or waterlines.
  • Private easementsInvolve and benefit private parties. This could be a property owner who has a driveway or fence line that stretches onto your land.
  • Express easements: An easement becomes a permanent part of the deed after the two parties put it in writing. Sometimes the agreement is temporary. Otherwise, the easement usually travels along with the sale of the property.
  • Implied easements: There are two types of implied easements. The court will consider easement by necessity, which means a part of the property is landlocked, therefore the use is valid. Easement by prior use means just like it sounds: A property owner can gain the right to an easement if they openly used the land for a long period of time.

Let Murfree & Goodman, PLLC Help You With Easements 

Real estate easements can get very complex. Property owners are not always aware of the details, and sometimes they are not even aware of an easement’s existence. Creating easements agreements can be complicated as well. It’s important for both the buyer and the seller that all the details make it into the deed.

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