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Easements by grant or reservation: Real Estate License Explained

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In the world of real estate, there are various legal concepts that can be complex and confusing to understand. One such concept is easements by grant or reservation. This article aims to demystify this topic and provide a comprehensive explanation of easements by grant or reservation in the context of real estate licenses.

What is Easements by grant or reservation?

Easements by grant or reservation are legal rights granted to individuals or entities that allow them to use another person’s property for specific purposes. These rights are either granted voluntarily by the property owner (easement by grant) or reserved by the property owner during a land conveyance (easement by reservation). In simple terms, it means that even though you may own a piece of property, someone else can enjoy certain rights to use it.

When it comes to easements by grant, they are usually created by a written agreement between the property owner and the party being granted the easement. This agreement outlines the specific rights being granted, the duration of the easement, and any conditions or restrictions that come with it. For example, a property owner may grant an easement to a neighbor allowing them to access a nearby lake through their land.

On the other hand, easements by reservation are typically created when a property owner sells or transfers a piece of land but wants to retain certain rights over it. These reserved easements can include things like the right to access a water source on the property or the right to use a portion of the land for agricultural purposes. It’s important for both parties involved to clearly understand the terms of the easement to avoid any potential conflicts in the future.

Understanding Easements by grant or reservation

Now that we know the basic definition of easements by grant or reservation, let’s delve deeper into how they work. When a property owner grants an easement, they give another party the legal right to use their property for specific purposes. This can include granting access to utilities, driveways, or pathways.

On the other hand, when a property owner reserves an easement, they retain certain rights over the property they are selling or transferring. These reservations can include the right to access certain areas or use specific portions of the property for their benefit.

Both forms of easements by grant or reservation are legally binding and must be documented in the property’s deed or other legal instruments.

It’s important to note that easements by grant or reservation can have a significant impact on property values and land use. For example, a property with an easement for a utility company to access power lines may have restrictions on building structures near those lines. This limitation can affect the property’s potential for development or resale value.

Furthermore, easements by reservation can sometimes lead to disputes between property owners and the party holding the easement rights. Issues may arise if the property owner feels their rights are being infringed upon or if there are disagreements about the extent of the easement’s scope.

Easements by grant or reservation are a crucial aspect of real estate law that can have far-reaching implications for property owners and the surrounding community. In addition to ensuring access to essential services, such as water, electricity, and sewage systems, these easements can also serve to protect the environment and preserve natural resources. For instance, a landowner may grant an easement to a conservation organization to prevent development on a sensitive wetland area, thereby safeguarding local wildlife habitats and maintaining biodiversity.Moreover, easements by grant or reservation can foster community engagement and collaboration. In some cases, property owners may choose to grant easements for public use, allowing neighbors or local residents to access shared amenities like walking trails or community gardens. This not only enhances the quality of life for residents but also promotes a sense of unity and cooperation within the neighborhood.Furthermore, the presence of easements can have a significant impact on urban planning and development. By strategically implementing easements for green spaces or pedestrian pathways, city planners can create more sustainable and livable communities. These easements not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area but also contribute to improved air quality, reduced traffic congestion, and increased property values for nearby homeowners.

Example of Easements by grant or reservation

Let’s consider an example to illustrate the concept of easements by grant or reservation in real estate. Suppose you are purchasing a property located in a residential neighborhood. The property owner has granted an easement to the local utility company, allowing them access to the property to install and maintain utility lines.

In this scenario, even though you own the property, you cannot deny the utility company access to their utility lines. This easement ensures that you and your neighbors have access to electricity, water, and other essential utilities.

Furthermore, easements by grant or reservation can also be seen in scenarios where a property owner sells a portion of their land to a neighbor but reserves the right to use a pathway on that land to access a nearby road. This type of easement allows the property owner to continue using the pathway even after selling the land, ensuring they have a legal right to access their property.

It is important for property buyers to be aware of any existing easements on a property they are interested in purchasing, as these legal rights can impact how the property can be used. Easements by grant or reservation are just one example of the complexities involved in real estate transactions, highlighting the importance of conducting thorough due diligence before finalizing any property purchase.

Why Is Easements by grant or reservation Important in Real estate?

Easements by grant or reservation have significant implications for real estate transactions. When buying or selling a property, it is essential to understand and disclose any existing easements by grant or reservation. This ensures that all parties involved are aware of the rights and obligations associated with the property.

By understanding easements by grant or reservation, real estate professionals can better advise their clients and anticipate any potential issues that may arise during the buying or selling process. It is crucial to carefully review property deeds, land surveys, and other relevant documents to identify any easements by grant or reservation that may impact the property.

Moreover, easements by grant or reservation can also impact property development. Before undertaking any construction projects, property owners need to be aware of existing easements to avoid potential legal disputes.

One key aspect to consider is the different types of easements that can exist. Easements by grant can be created by a written agreement between the property owner and another party, granting the latter certain rights over the property. On the other hand, easements by reservation are created when a property owner sells a piece of land but reserves certain rights for themselves, such as access to a water source or a right of way.

Understanding the nature of these easements is crucial for both buyers and sellers. For buyers, it is important to know what rights others may have over the property they are purchasing. For sellers, disclosing any existing easements can prevent legal issues down the line and ensure a smoother transaction.


Easements by grant or reservation are an integral part of real estate law. Understanding these legal rights is crucial for both property owners and buyers. Whether it is granting access for essential services or protecting specific property rights, easements by grant or reservation play a vital role in shaping the landscape of real estate. By being aware of these rights and obligations, real estate professionals can navigate transactions with confidence and ensure a smooth and successful process for all parties involved.

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