What is Easement in Gross?

An easement in gross is a legal right to use another person's land for as long as the owner owns that land or the holder of the easement dies.

How Does Easement in Gross Work?

Let's say John Doe owns five acres of land, which includes a good fishing pond. John sells an easement in gross to his old college roommate, Bill, who likes to fish in the pond. Because the easement is an easement in gross, Bill can fish on the land for as long as he lives or until John Doe sells the property.

Utility companies often have easements on property so they can access utility lines, sewer pipes, cables and other physical components. In most cases, the easements dictate what sort of activity can occur (i.e., only for driving, not building).

Why Does Easement in Gross Matter?

Easements often can be negotiated, and often they accompany the deed to a piece of property (so that the users of an easement don't lose access if the property sells). Sometimes, easements become implied if the same parties use a portion of a property for a long period of time.