Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Easements have to do with land and property rights. An easement, in general, is when one individual owns the rights to a plot of land but allows someone else to use them or access them, for whatever reason. The most common form of easement is in residential neighborhoods; homeowners own...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Easements have to do with land and property rights. An easement, in general, is when one individual owns the rights to a plot of land but allows someone else to use them or access them, for whatever reason. The most common form of easement is in residential neighborhoods; homeowners own their land, but certain officials (e.g., repair or maintenance for utilities) are allowed to access a small piece of it. If you have a sidewalk running through your front yard, chances are that a portion of your land (on the road-side of the sidewalk) is an easement of that sort.

A quasi-easement is more of a technicality, legally speaking. There are some scenarios where the owner of a plot of land will create an easement for themselves, for whatever reason. Since the owner is really only gaining access rights to their own land, it isn't a true easement. This is a common situation when someone owns a rental property. They will gain a quasi-easement so that they will have access to certain aspects of the property (such as utility spaces or a storage shed) without needing the approval of the tenants, who have legal rights to privacy.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The term "easement" refers to a stiuation in which one person (or company or governmental body, etc) has a right to use some part of another person's property.  So the person holding the easement has what's called a "nonpossessory interest" in the other's property.  They have the right to use it, but they do not actually own it.

So, for example, the local utility company has a "public utility easement" that allows them to use the first 10 feet of the front of my property and the first 5 feet of the other sides.  I own the property, but they can use it and I can't do anything about it.

In order to make an easement, the parties have to draw up a contract and go through as many formalities as if they were selling land.  So the public utility easement I referred to earlier is explicitly stated on the city planning documents (something called a plat).

A quasi-easement exists when the owner of a parcel of land uses part of that land for the benefit of some other part of his or her land.  This doesn't really start to matter unless the owner breaks up his/her land and sells one part to someone else.

So -- a quasi-easement is more or less an easement that a person grants to themself.

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team