Easements In Washington State
An easement is a right to use (not own) someone else’s land. The party who enjoys the “use” is referred to as the “benefitted party” or “grantee”, while the party who owns the land is referred to as the “burdened party” or “grantor”. Commonly, the right and burden of “use” stays with the land for the benefit and burden of subsequent owners. The nature of the “use” can vary widely depending on the circumstances. Easements can be created in a number of ways including by express (written) grant, implied from parties’ conduct, and by prescription. Similarly, easements can be terminated in several ways: by expiration, by prescription and by abandonment, to name just a few.
Whether an easement has arisen or terminated is the subject of many costly neighbor disputes as parties struggle to understand and assert their legal rights. Sometimes the relevant facts need to be gathered from current owners as well as several predecessors on both sides of the issue. Additionally, different parties may focus on different aspects of the law which support their desired position, making resolution time consuming and complex.
Resolving easement disputes and related issues is not a task for the faint of heart and as in most legal matters, starting with knowledgeable and experienced counsel is key to a successful outcome. At Beresford Booth our attorneys hold years of experience solving easement and other real-estate related disputes. It would be our privilege to work with you to help solve any real estate problem you may have.