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A right enjoyed by the owner of land (the dominant tenement) to a benefit from other land (the servient tenement). An easement benefits and binds the land itself and therefore continues despite any change of ownership of either dominant or servient tenement, although it will be extinguished if the two tenements come into common ownership (compare quasi-easement). It may be acquired by statute (for example, local Acts of Parliament), expressly granted (e.g. by deed giving a right of way), arise by implication (e.g. an easement of support from an adjoining building), or be acquired by prescription. (See also profit à prendre.) An easement can exist as either a legal or an equitable interest in land. Only easements created by statute, deed, or prescription and held on terms equivalent to a fee simple absolute in possession or term of years absolute qualify as legal easements and are binding on all who acquire the unregistered servient tenement or any interest in it. Expressly created legal easements must be registered against the title of the servient tenement, or they will not bind future purchases of that tenement. All others are equitable easements and must generally be registered to be enforceable against a purchaser. Under section 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925, when land is conveyed, all easements appertaining to it automatically pass with it without the necessity for express words in the conveyance. See also registration of encumbrances.

Subjects: Law

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