VIDEO: When Property is Sold, Do Easements Transfer to the New Owners?

Hi! My name is Greg George. I’m an attorney with Bristol George. This video addresses the question, “When a property is sold, do easements transfer to the new owners?”

The short answer is, it depends. Whether an easement transfers to new owners of the land depends on the type of easement. 

Generally speaking, there are two types of easements:

  • Easements in Gross
  • Easements Appurtenant

Easements in Gross are easements that grant the right to cross over someone else’s property to a specific individual or entity and, as such, are personal in nature. In other words, they do not transfer to a subsequent owner. 

For example, Alice grants Bill an easement to cross through her yard to go fishing at the public creek so long as he is her neighbor. However, if Bill sells his property to Conrad, Bill’s right to cross over Alice’s land does not transfer to Conrad.

Easements Appurtenant benefit the owner of a parcel of land, known as the dominant estate, by imposing a burden to allow passage across another parcel of land, known as the servient estate. An easement appurtenant is said to “run with the land” because it is not personal to the owners of the land. An easement appurtenant will transfer to new owners. A handy way to conceptualize an appurtenance is that it is attached to the title ownership of the land itself, and thus is transferred to the new title owner upon sale. 

For example, Alice may grant Bill and his successors and assigns an easement across her land. If Bill sells his property to Conrad, Conrad will also have the right to cross Alice’s land. 

I hope you found this video helpful. Thanks for watching!