Right of Way and Easements (Part 6)

Our previous blogs covered various terms and examples of easements and rights of way. This blog covers other accesses and the differences between exclusive and non-exclusive rights.

Rights of way and easements can be exclusive or non-exclusive. Non-exclusive means shared rights with others. In other instances, exclusive rights are granted by a Servient Estate.

An apartment is an example of an exclusive grant. A landlord grants a tenant exclusive rights to a particular unit. While it does not happen often, an exclusive right of way to a particular land parcel (dominant estate) could be granted. The underlying landowner could not use or benefit from the right of way or the road built within the exclusive right of way.

Another typical example of an exclusive easement is the exclusive rights to a (usually small) piece of land for things like water standpipes, sewer pump stations, prefab communications equipment buildings (commonly seen near the sides of a road), or a cellular transmission tower site.

A cemetery site could also be an exclusive right to a particular and defined plot of land.

The land owner does not convey the property but grants an exclusive easement to the entity for a fixed amount of years. An exclusive easement grants the easement holder the sole use of the property. The property owner gives up their rights to use the land, usually in exchange for periodic or one-time payments.

Maine Revised Statues, Title 17 subsection 3860 grants access (a de facto right of way) to great ponds in the State of Maine to its citizenry. This law protects the passage by a person on foot across unimproved land. Similar colonial law protects the rights of the public to access tidal flats for fishing, fowling, and navigation.


Herrick & Salsbury, Inc. would be glad to discuss any questions you have regarding an easement or a right of way. We work with many attorneys with special knowledge of rights of way to help our clients understand their rights or how their land may be burdened by an easement or a right of way.