What Is Easement Right In A Property?
When Ramesh Gupta, 45, built a house in 1980, his house, built on a 1,000 sq ft plot, enjoyed all the natural sunlight and wind. However, 20 years later when Ravi Kant, 51, bought the adjoining plot and built his house on his 15,000 sq ft plot, the impact of the sunlight dimmed in Gupta's house. The placing of Kant's plot also restricted Gupta's passage to the main road. Now, the question is, does Gupta have any legal remedy against this? The answer is yes. In cases like this, the easement policy comes into picture.
Gupta's rights to way, right to air, right to light, right build and right to uninterrupted flow of water are some of the types of easements and he could take Kant to court for hindering any of it.
What is easement?
According to the Indian Easement Act, when a dominant owner (Gupta in this case) has enjoyed air and light and passage continuously for a period of two decades, he has a valid right on them without any condition or restriction. And, if a servient owner (Kant in this case) has to build a property that would hinder the dominant owner's right in anyway, the servient owner will have to take the former's permission for it.
An easement could be permanent or temporary, for a specific event or seasonal.
- However, an easement does not mean transfer of property. It can be made, altered or released.
- It must be in a written form, with easement by custom being the only exception.
- A servient owner is not obliged to do anything for the advantage of the dominant heritage. He has no liability to construct a way for the use of the dominant owner or to carry out repairs in case of any damage to the passageway.
- As the holder of the property, a servient owner is free to use the servient heritage in any manner but his acts should not dilute the rights of the dominant owner.