An easement is the right to use the property owned by someone else. Sometimes that easement is “exclusive” – which means only you get to use that area. Most times an easement is “non-exclusive” which means both people (or a group) get to use the same property at the same time; and the owner of the land can’t build something on the easement area to stop the others from using it. Some easements “run with the land” and can be transferred even if the easement is not specifically mentioned in the deed. Other easements are personal and can be used by only one person. An easement for a driveway alongside a fence to a neighbor’s farmhouse on 20 acres, cannot turn into a roadway for a 200 unit subdivision the farmhouse turns into years later.
Trees can block views when they grow. Is there such a thing as a “view easement?” There can be. But making it stick is often a difficult process. There can be neighborhood Covenants Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) that impose view easements; there might be a City Ordinance that preserves a right to a view. There are no Statewide statutes that provide for an easement or a right to a view however.
Can an easement be formed without a writing? What if someone has used the land for a long time (think surfers in LA using an old path – on private property!)? Can that use ripen into a legal ‘easement’? It sure can – given the right circumstances.