What is an easement in gross in real estate?

What is an Easement in Gross?

An easement in gross is a type of easement where the right to use a portion of another person's land is granted for a specific purpose, but unlike a typical easement, it is not tied to the easement holder's ownership of adjoining land. This means the easement benefits an individual or entity rather than a particular piece of land. Common examples include utility companies having the right to run lines across a property or a business having access to a parking area. This right does not depend on owning neighboring property.

How is an Easement in Gross Typically Used in Real Estate?

Easements in gross are typically used in scenarios such as:

  1. Utility Easements: Utility companies often have easements in gross to install and maintain infrastructure like power lines, water pipes, or sewer systems on private property.
  2. Access Rights: An individual or company might have an easement in gross to cross someone's land to access a road, body of water, or another property.
  3. Conservation Easements: Organizations dedicated to preserving natural or historic land might hold an easement in gross to restrict the type of development that can occur on a property.
  4. Commercial Easements: Businesses might have easements in gross for signage, parking, or access to facilities not located on their property.

Easement in Gross Clause Example

"The Grantor hereby grants and conveys to the Grantee, its successors and assigns, a perpetual, non-exclusive easement in gross to install, inspect, repair, maintain, operate, replace, and remove [specify utility type, e.g., water, gas, electric, telecommunications] lines and related facilities, over, under, along, across, and through the Grantor's property located at [property address or description]. This easement includes the right of ingress and egress for such purposes. The Grantee agrees to restore any disturbed areas to their original condition, as reasonably possible."

This clause outlines the basic rights and responsibilities involved in granting an easement in gross, particularly for utility purposes.

What Rights do Owners Have Under an Easement in Gross?

Under an easement in gross, property owners retain their ownership rights and can use their land as they wish, as long as it doesn't interfere with the easement's use. For example, they can't build structures that would obstruct a utility company's access to its infrastructure. However, they can make any other reasonable use of the land, including selling or transferring it. The easement typically remains in place even if the property is sold, as it is tied to the land, not the owner.

Make real-time data your competitive advantage!

Schedule a demo below to see our multifamily analytics platform and APIs in action.