Understanding All About Private Road Easement Rules

Private Road Easement Rules

Road easements are frequently necessary for someone to access their land. When there are no roads between a piece of land and public roadways, it can be very difficult to use that land legally. It’s crucial to understand private road easements and be well-versed in road easement rules before making a purchase. Knowing what is road easement is,  what distinguishes an easement from a road? And the various private road easement rules are paramount.

A Road Easement: What Is It?

Road easements are legally donated sections of land used for public highways. Their goal is to accommodate a broader population. It is also possible to use them for walkways, utility lines, or other infrastructure.

An easement holder does not require permission from the landowners when the easement is used for its intended purpose. A person who violates an easement will pay criminal fines or civil damages, depending on the legal basis for their acts.

Donations seldom lead to the government or another owner inheriting an easement. In these kinds of circumstances, using a right-of-way or utility easement is essential. While granting the user certain rights and obligations, the owner keeps some.

Usually, the goal of the donation is not to make money but rather to show goodwill. Nonetheless, there are instances where the donation is given in return for payment.

Sometimes landowners sell their property at full market value and donate the piece that will be a public utility line or highway, thus creating land development laws.

Private Road Easement Rules: What Makes Road Easement Crucial?

An easement on the road allows for entry into and out of a property. Easements are available to grant the general public access to land. The property owner pays the easement holder compensation in exchange for helping to pay for road upkeep and construction.

This requirement applies if there isn’t a public, government-owned road bordering the property. If your property is “landlocked,” you will require a road easement to enter and exit it. Buyers of real estate and land should guarantee access to a public road.

Obtaining a land survey before closing on the property can ensure that the house or land you plan to purchase is usable. For the land to be accessible without an easement, the right-of-way line on the property must precisely meet the border of the roadway.

You, the buyer, must guarantee an easement between the properties to guarantee the buyer’s right to cross over whatever property lies between the property and the public road. If you intend to live on the land, you also need to include the right to utilities in addition to the road easement.

Rules for Private Road Easements

In the case of a private road easement, the public has to utilize the road as it is. For private easements to be recognized, the land must be able to sustain a highway or another comparable physical building.

A contract between all parties at the time of sale will decide whether the property is suitable for use as a roadway. Different jurisdictions have different laws on construction and use, and private easements typically have more stringent regulations than public easements.

Private Road Easement Rules: Laws Regarding Road Easements

The landowner does not need to give consent for an easement to be built, but the other party may need to give their consent. If a seller permits the buyer to construct an access easement on a particular parcel of land as part of a land sale, the buyer must obtain this authorization.

Additionally, if more than one person uses an easement, permission from the government is important. Although state, local, and county legislation may vary, some laws control the formation and usage of easements.

Sometimes, a private road easement is confused with an implied easement since it is required to access a public highway but is not expressly transferred when ownership of the property changes. It is typically not possible to use a public road easement to get a road title.

According to the legislation of most jurisdictions, it is unlikely for a holder of a public road easement to obtain legal title to the road itself. Easements are only available to private roadways under the majority of state laws.

Thus, such rights may be greater even if someone else builds and maintains a right-of-way across public land.

What Distinguishes An Easement From A Road?

A right to traverse or use another person’s land for a certain purpose is an easement. A road is a designated area where cars, pedestrians, and animals travel.

There are a few crucial distinctions between easements and roadways that should be understood.

A road is a designated area for the primary purpose of carrying cars. Simultaneously, an easement is a right of way that is generally utilized for non-motorized transportation, such as pedestrians.

Although a municipality or other public body often owns a road, a private individual or group typically owns an easement.

An easement is normally exclusively accessible to those who have the legal right to use it, whereas a road is normally available to all users.

A road is a right-of-way that is owned and maintained by the government and is intended for motorized traffic. An easement is a right-of-way that is normally owned by an individual or organization and is used for a specific purpose, such as utility access.


What Distinguishes an Access Road from an Easement?

A right to go over someone else’s land for, you guessed it, access is an access easement. Other kinds of easements aren’t for access. An easement to erect and run a cell tower on someone’s property serves as an illustration. Access to one’s land is also possible via a private road.

How Much Do Most Easements Span?

Regarding driveway easements, different jurisdictions may have varying laws and regulations. In general, a width of thirty feet is somewhat typical.

Which Kind of Easement Is Most Prevalent?

explicit permission

In other words, an easement is an encumbrance on real property that places a burden on another property owner. Prescriptive and explicit easements are the two most prevalent kinds of property easements. The most prevalent kind of easement between the two is an express easement.

An Appurtenant Easement: What Is It?

An appurtenant easement is a property right that permits its proprietor to use an adjacent parcel of land. The land transfers together with this real property. The property parcel that benefits from the easement is a dominating tenement, while the land piece that grants the easement is a servant tenement.


You can access a section of someone else’s land through road easements. One of these grants is most likely to go to a landlocked property owner. Different easement regulations apply to states, towns, and different types of uses.

It is crucial to ascertain whether easements are already present when purchasing a property. Speak with a real estate lawyer in your area or a local real estate agent if you need assistance with these specifics.

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