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Easements Definition of an Easement An easement confers the right to use the land of another in some way, or to prevent it being used in a certain way. Examples are a right of way Characteristics of an Easement • There must be a dominant and servient tenement; an easement must be attached to the land S.187 LPA 1925. • The right must benefit the land and not just a personal right Hill v Tupper(1863) 2 H&C 121 • The dominant and servient tenements must not be both owned and occupied by the same person, note quasi-easements • The right claimed must be capable of forming the subject matter of a grant Re Ellenborough Park  Ch 131 Features of an Easement (i) There must be both a capable grantor and grantee. (ii) The right must be within the nature of rights capable of being easements. (iii) The right must be sufficiently definite; Copeland v Greenhalf  Ch 488, Bryant v Lefever (1879) 4 CPD 172, Cable v Bryant  1 Ch 259, Phipps v Pears  1 QB 76, Miller v Emcer Products Ltd  Ch 304,  1 All ER 237 Sweet v Maxwell v Michael & Michael Advertising (1965) Features of an Easement (Cont) (iv) Generally the easement must not involve the servient owner in expenditure; Crow v Wood  1 QB 77,  3 All ER 425 (v) An intermittent consensual privilege cannot amount to an easement nor can a claim for exclusive or joint possession of the servient tenement exist as an easement. Copeland v Greenhalf (1952), Miller v Emcer Products Ltd  Ch 304,  1 All ER 237 Grigsby v Melville  1 WLR 80, (vi) The creation of new negative easements in the future is unlikely Legal and Equitable Easements are either legal or equitable. • A legal easement must be equivalent to a fee simple or a term of years S.(2) LPA 1925 and is usually created by deed S.52(1) LPA although may be created by prescription or by statute. Implied easements are incorporated into the transfer therefore deemed to be by deed. • An equitable easement will arise if there has been a failure to observe the formalities necessary to create a legal easement or if an easement is granted that is not equivalent to a fee simple or term of years e.g. for life. Registration of Easements Legal Easements 1. Easements expressly granted or reserved out of an unregistered estate (first registration) will be extracted and registered but if not fro some reason or implied then they have overriding status 2. An easement that is expressly granted or reserved out of a registered estate will not be legal unless it is registered. Therefore it will be equitable and so not binding unless registered. s 27(2)(d) LRA 2002 Registration of Easements Equitable Easements These must be registered to be binding. • Only a legal easement can be overriding on a first registration or disposition but this is limited. • This reverses Celsteel Ltd v Alton House Holdings Ltd  1 WLR 204 where it was held that an openly exercised equitable easement may amount to an overriding interest by virtue of rule 258 of the Land Registration Rules 1925. Registration of Easements Interests with overriding status Legal easements on First Registration Sch1 LRA 2002 Registration of Easements Interests with overriding status Legal Easements on Subsequent Registration Sch 3 LRA 2002 have overriding status if they are at the time of the disposition: • Within the actual knowledge of the person to whom the disposition was made or • Are obvious on a reasonably careful inspection of the land or • Have been exercised in the previous 12 months Registration of Easements • But if express legal easements must be registered what legal easements can be overriding on subsequent disposition? Implied Registration of Easements • If a legal easement is not expressly granted but implied by reason necessity, common intention, the doctrine in Wheeldon v Burrows, s 62 Law of Property Act 1925 or Prescription then it will only override a registered disposition where: It is within the actual knowledge of the person to whom the disposition was made and Would become obvious on a reasonably careful inspection of the land and Has been exercised in the period of one year ending with the day of the disposition. Acquisition of Easements EXPRESS • Statute - Utilities • Grant - Grants to a purchaser an easement over the land that is retained e.g. for services.Mills v Silver  Ch 271. White v Richards (1993) • Reservation - an owner of land sells off a part but in doing so reserves a rights in his or her own favour over the land sold Express grants or reservations must be by deed (legal) comply with S.2 LP(MP)A 1989 (equitable). Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED • Necessity • Common Intention • S 62 Law of Property Act 1925 • Wheeldon v Burrows Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Necessity. An easement giving access across retained land will be implied if an area of land that is sold is encircled by the retained land. • Corporation of London v Riggs (1880), • Nickerson v Barraclough  1 Ch 426 • Stafford v Lee (1993) 65 P & CR 172 CA Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Necessity • May be granted and reserved • Do not apply if there is an alternative access Manjeng v Drameh  61 P&CR 194 Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Common Intention. An easement will be implied if it is to give effect to the common intention of the parties (extension of necessity) • Pwllbach Colliery Co. Ltd. v Woodman (1915), • Re Webb's Lease (1951), • Wong v Beaumont Property Trust Ltd  1 QB 173. • Stafford v Lee (1993) 65 P & CR 172 CA Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED S.62 Law of property Act 1925 The statute implies easements where there has been "some diversity of ownership or occupation of the quasidominant and servient tenements prior to the conveyance". Provided the purchase is by deed these rights will be automatically transferred with the conveyance to the purchaser to the purchaser unless express words in the conveyance excluded them. Wright v Macadam  2 KB 173 Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED S.62 Law of property Act 1925 Requirements • There must be a conveyance Goldberg v Edwards, Borman v Griffith  1 Ch 493 • There must be diversity of occupation • The right or privilege must be enjoyed with the land at the time of the conveyance. • The right must be capable of being an easement and not just a permission - Green v Ashco Horticulturalist Ltd  1 WLR 889 Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Quasi-Easements & Rule in Wheeldon v Burrows - If A has perpetually used a right of way from his house across his own land then if A sells his house but retains the land across which the right of way existed then the purchaser will be able to use the right of way and a quasi-easement will have been created under the Rule in Wheeldon v Burrows. Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Quasi-Easements & Rule in Wheeldon v Burrows There are 4 requirements: • the use must have been "continuous"; • it must be apparent e.g. a pathway; • it must be necessary to the reasonable enjoyment of the property, in deciding this the courts will consider the inconvenience caused to the servient owner - Goldberg v Edwards(1950) Acquisition of Easements IMPLIED Quasi-Easements & Rule in Wheeldon v Burrows • it was actually enjoyed prior to the conveyance, because an easement cannot exist over a person's own land it is commonly called a quasi easement, however upon severance of the land the use enjoyed by the common owner becomes an easement under the Rule. Acquisition of Easements Difference between Wheeldon and S 62 • Wheeldon all land in one occupation before the conveyance S 62 each tenement in separate occupation • Wheeldon must be continuous and apparent and necessary for the enjoyment S 62 no limitation • Wheeldon can be legal and equitable S62 can only implies into a deed and so creates a legal easement • Both can be excluded in the conveyance Acquisition of Easements PRESCRIPTION This is acquisition of an easement through long user. It only applies to freehold land. Following conditions must exist: – continuous use, there may be periods of interruption provided these are not excessive; – the use must be against a fee simple owner of the servient tenement; – the user must be as of right: without secrecy, without force, without permission (nec vi, nec clam, nec precario) – it must be as an easement. Acquisition of Easements PRESCRIPTION At common law Lost Modern Grant Prescription Act 1832 Acquisition of Easements At common law • The use must have existed since time immemorial i.e. since 1189 (date of legal memory established by the Statute of Westminster I 1275 c.39) although it is usually sufficient to prove that it has existed since living memory. Diment v Foot (1974), Kilgour v Gaddes  1 KB 457, Mills v Silver(1991) Acquisition of Easements Lost Modern Grant • A fiction. It is presumed to have been made in modern times but the grant has been lost. Generally a period of 20 years will be sufficient to show the existence of the right. Bridle v Ruby  3 WLR 191; Mills v Silver  Ch 271. Acquisition of Easements Prescription Act 1832 The Act alters the rules of common law and lost modern grant as follows: If it can be shown that an easement has been enjoyed for 20 years (30 years if it is a profit) this will avoid the need for the claimant to prove at common law that the easement existed since 1189. However it will still be necessary to prove: continuous user and use as of right. S.2 In calculating the period of 20 years a time during which the servient owner was an infant or a patient must be deducted. S.7 Acquisition of Easements Prescription Act 1832 • The period relied upon must be "next before some suit or action". The periods must be calculated back from the time that the easement is tested in court. Tehidy Minerals Ltd v Norman  2 QB 528 S.4 • The period must be without interruption. A claim may be defeated if there has been an interruption of the easement and the dominant owner has acquiesced in that interruption for the period of one year. Davies v Du Paver  1 QB 184. • The self help remedy of removal of any obstruction is known as abatement.