Dominant Tenement

Dominant tenement describes land or landowners who benefit from easements that are detrimental to others.

Such legal entitlement can sometimes be the source of conflict between neighbors as one party is unhappy with encroachment and deems it as a form of trespass.

For example, an owner obtains easement for the use of the neighbor’s driveway. This can cause inconvenience to the neighbor.

Nobody would like to see people trampling all over a space which they feel is part of their property.

In this case, the party that obtains the easement is the dominant tenement. While the party that suffers from, and burdened by, it is the servient tenement.

The weirder part that increases all the irony is that these easements were probably erected decades ago before either of the neighbors have moved into the properties in question.

And the existence of such easements for such a long period only makes it more substantiated.

This is one big reason why careful planning of land has to have a long term view to encourage harmony within neighborhoods.

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