<--Back to Wiki Home
A servient tenement is a piece of land or property that is burdened or "serves" another property by allowing it to use a right of way or easement. In simpler terms, it's like being the host of a party and letting your guests park their cars in your driveway.
Imagine you own a piece of land with a driveway that leads to your house. However, your neighbor's house is located behind your property and they need to use your driveway to access their home. Your property would be the servient tenement because it is burdened with the right of way for your neighbor's property to use your driveway.
"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Agents and Appraisers"
Here are a few more points of contrast between servient tenement and dominant tenement:
Nature of the relationship: The relationship between a servient tenement and a dominant tenement is one of mutual dependence. The servient tenement is burdened with the easement, while the dominant tenement benefits from it. Without the servient tenement, the dominant tenement would not be able to use the easement.
Rights and responsibilities: The owner of a servient tenement has a responsibility to allow the owner of the dominant tenement to use the easement in the way it was intended. They must ensure that the easement is not obstructed or interfered with. The owner of the dominant tenement, on the other hand, has the right to use the easement for the specific purpose it was granted.
Transfer of ownership: When a servient tenement is sold or transferred to a new owner, the easement burden remains with the property. This means that the new owner of the servient tenement is still responsible for allowing the owner of the dominant tenement to use the easement. The same applies to the transfer of ownership of a dominant tenement - the easement right is transferred along with the property.
Termination of easement: An easement may be terminated if the dominant tenement no longer needs it or if the servient tenement is sold to someone who does not need the easement. Additionally, an easement may be terminated by a court order if the owner of the servient tenement can prove that the easement is no longer necessary or is causing undue hardship.
Overall, the relationship between a servient tenement and a dominant tenement is one of interdependence. The servient tenement is burdened with the easement, but the dominant tenement benefits from it. It's important for both parties to understand their rights and responsibilities to ensure that the easement is used effectively and fairly.
A few additional things you might find helpful to know about servient tenements and dominant tenements:
Types of easements: There are two main types of easements that can create a servient tenement/dominant tenement relationship. An easement appurtenant is an easement that benefits a particular property, while an easement in gross is an easement that benefits a particular individual or entity.
Scope of the easement: The scope of the easement defines the specific purpose for which the dominant tenement may use the servient tenement. For example, an easement may be granted to allow the owner of the dominant tenement to access a road, use a utility line, or cross over a piece of land.
Maintenance: The owner of the servient tenement is typically responsible for maintaining the property subject to the easement, including any improvements that are necessary to facilitate the use of the easement. However, the owner of the dominant tenement may be responsible for maintaining any improvements they make to the servient tenement.
Encroachments: An encroachment occurs when a structure or object belonging to the owner of the dominant tenement intrudes on the servient tenement beyond the scope of the easement. If this happens, the owner of the servient tenement may have the right to remove the encroachment or seek damages.
Understanding the concept of servient tenements and dominant tenements is an important as it can impact property values, access, and use. It's important to be familiar with the terms and to know when to consult an attorney if there are any disputes or questions regarding easements or property rights.
"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"
Oh, a servient tenement is quite a funny thing,
It's like being the host of a party in spring!
Your property is burdened, it serves another's need,
Like letting guests park their cars, indeed!
Your neighbor's house is behind your land,
But their way to it goes through your driveway, it's quite grand!
So remember, my friend, as you study with glee,
A servient tenement is like being the host of a party!