How Can an Easement be Terminated?
creating an easement
In order to terminate an easement, one must already exist. So, what is an easement? An easement is the right to cross over, under, or through the property of another person.
terminating an easement
Can an easement be terminated? There are four (4) basic ways an easement can be terminated:
- Expiration of an Easement: An easement can be terminated by the expiration of an agreed upon time event. For example, there could be an agreement that an easement will last for 10 years at which time the easement will automatically terminate.
- Agreement to Terminate an Easement: Some easements are terminated by agreement of the owner of the easement. Termination by agreement happens when the owner expressly conveys the easement back to the grantor.
For example, if Simon owns an easement over Garfunkel’s land, and Garfunkel requests that Simon release the easement, Simon may then execute the termination agreement and convey the easement back to Garfunkel. Once this agreement is signed by Simon, the easement in land will terminate.
3. Abandonment of an Easement: Easements can be terminated when the owner abandons his right to the easement. Usually, mere nonuse of an easement is not enough to qualify for termination. An easement may be terminated by abandonment only if the owner makes a clear, unequivocal, decisive act to abandon the easement.
What is a decisive act to abandon? A decisive act to abandon an easement could include creating a new alternate road to enter the property or putting fending/wall or some other time of barrier across the easement.
4. Merger of Easement and Land: Easements may be terminated by merger. Under the doctrine of merger, if one party acquires the property subject to and benefited by an easement. The easement will have been said to merge with the other rights held by the owner.
This makes sense, because an easement is the right to cross over the property belonging to another person. However, if you own the land, the easement will merge into the land because it is impossible to have an easement over your own property.
Understanding easements and how they affect your rights can be very confusing, in particular easements on shared water wells. So if you have questions about an easement on your Arizona property then contact the Dunaway Law Group at 480-389-6529 or by sending us a message HERE.