How long does an easement last?

An easement usually is written so that it lasts forever. This is known as a perpetual easement. Where state law allows, an easement may be written for a specified period of years; this is known as a term easement. Only gifts of perpetual easement, however, can qualify a donor for income- and estate-tax benefits. Most land trusts accept only perpetual easements.

An easement runs with the land—that is, the original owner and all subsequent owners are bound by the restrictions of the easement. The easement is recorded at the county or town records office, so that all future owners and lenders will learn about the restrictions when they obtain title reports.