Understanding the different types of easements is very important for ensuring that your property rights are being fully protected. Whether you own property or require access through your neighbor’s land, having knowledge of the applicable laws will help you better understand your rights.

Shinners & Cook can help businesses, individuals, and families in Michigan determine what is required of them when someone is requesting or requiring an easement on their land. We can ensure that any requisite legal documents are drawn up and properly executed.  Call us today to set up a consultation.

How many types of easements are there?

Easements can come in a variety of types:

Ingress and

Solar Farm

Cell Tower

Transmission Lines

Windmill Easements

There are also property rights which are very similar to easements
that provide similar but different rights:

of Way

Oil and
Gas Rights

Telecommunications Towers
and Transmission Lines

Licenses to
use Property

Adverse Possession

Many easements might seem similar, so it can be confusing to determine what kind of easement or other right you have or need. Our easement attorneys at Shinners & Cook can assist you with all your easement and property-related matters.

Easements can fall under the following broad categories:

This type of easement runs with the land, meaning it passes down from property owner to property owner for the benefit of a single property and the burden of another. This type of easement generally lasts forever unless the two property owners expressly agree to terminate the easement.

An easement in gross typically attaches to a person and does not run with the land. A person is granted permission, or an easement, to use someone else’s land. For example, you may have the right to hunt or fish game on your neighbor’s property – but that right doesn’t pass down to the next property owner.


An express easement arises out of a mutual agreement between landowners. An express easement is in writing and should be recorded. The written document should be unambiguous. This is important because confusing or ambiguous terms can lead to disagreements and possibly litigation.

An implied easement exists when there is no document or agreement expressly created that identifies the easement. An implied easement usually applies to parcels of land which were once larger parcels and later split into smaller pieces. To create an easement by implication, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The easement must be reasonably necessary to enjoy the original piece of the property;
  • The land must be divided, and the owner is either selling or retaining part or subdividing the property and selling pieces of it to a new owner(s);
  • The use of the land was apparent and continuous; and
  • The use for the implied easement must have existed before the severance or sale.

When a piece of land is locked in by another parcel, an easement by necessity is generally created. For example, one piece of land is behind another, and only the front parcel has road access.  An easement by necessity may be created to allow the owner of the back parcel to access his land. A landowner who is required to allow another party access over property can typically choose the route, within reason.

A prescriptive easement is created when someone uses another’s land for a period of at least 15 years. There is no express or mutual agreement. In order for a prescriptive easement to be created, the use of the land must be adverse, the user of the land must believe that they are entitled to use of the easement, the use must be continuous, open, notorious, and peaceable, and the property owner whose land is being used must have actual or presumed knowledge of the easement. The person who uses someone else’s land does not have ownership rights over the property they’re accessing; they simply have the right to use the property if they meet the above requirements.

Who Maintains an
Easement in Michigan?

Generally, the easement holder – the person who uses the other person’s land for access – is responsible for maintaining the easement. While the easement holder never becomes an owner of the land, they are using it for their own benefit, and they are responsible for the upkeep of the easement.

How Do I Terminate an Easement?

Easements that attach to the land remain in existence unless terminated. An easement can be terminated through a written agreement between the easement holder and the property owner. Additionally, an easement by necessity can be terminated if there is no longer a need for the easement.

For example, a new road is built giving the easement holder access to the road without crossing another person’s property. In that instance the easement would terminate automatically. Note that title to a property may still bear evidence of the easement and require action. Some express easements will specifically state the time period the easement is to last. Once the timeline runs out, the easement expires. Finally, an easement is terminated if the easement holder abandons the easement and ceases its use.

What is an Example
of an Easement
in Gross?

An easement in gross benefits a person rather than a parcel of land. An easement in gross does not transfer when a property when it is sold, it dies with the person.

When Do I Need to Hire an Easement Attorney?

If you’re the property owner and someone wants an easement on your land, or if you need access through someone else’s land, an easement attorney is a must.  At Shinners & Cook, we are very experienced in creating and enforcing easements, so no matter what issue you’re having, we can be of assistance.

It can be challenging to work out the proper terms of an easement and fully protecting your interests without the help of a professional. If this is the case, Shinners & Cook is here to help.

What Does an Easement Attorney Do?

Sometimes the easement holder is taking advantage of their access and disturbing your enjoyment of your property. Other times, someone might be using your property even though no easement exists.

No matter what situation in which you find yourself, Shinners & Cook can help you develop a plan. We can help you create, design, enforce, and terminate an easement, or negotiate with a neighbor who isn’t obeying an existing easement.

Contact Shinners & Cook
for Help with Your
Easement Issues

Easements, while sometimes necessary, can often be confusing and cause a lot of conflict between property owners. If you find yourself in a situation where you need help – whether you’re the easement holder or have an easement on your land – Shinners & Cook can assist you.


5195 Hampton
Place Saginaw, MI 48604

Shinner & Cook

Shinner & Cook