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May 17, 2024

Difference in Easement vs. License: 


An easement is a legal right granted by one landowner (the grantor) to another landowner (the grantee) to use a specific portion of the grantor’s property for a specific purpose. This right attaches to the land itself, not the individual owner.

Illustration: Imagine a landlocked property (no direct road access). The owner can obtain an easement from a neighbor for a right of way to access the public road. This easement allows the landlocked property owner to use the neighbor’s land for a defined purpose (creating a pathway) but doesn’t transfer ownership.


A license, on the other hand, is a personal permission granted by a landowner to someone (the licensee) to use their property for a specific purpose. It’s temporary and revocable at any time by the landowner. Unlike an easement, a license is not a property right and doesn’t run with the land.

Illustration: Granting permission to a neighbor to use your garden for a birthday party is a license. The neighbor has temporary access for a specific event, but this right doesn’t transfer to anyone else, and you can revoke it anytime.

Key Differences:

Feature Easement License
Type of Right Property Right Permission
Duration Relatively Permanent Temporary (Revocable by Landowner)
Transferable Yes, runs with the land No, personal to the licensee
Creation Formal (deed or prescription) Informal (verbal or implied)

Main Sections of the Indian Easements Act, 1882

The Indian Easements Act, 1882 governs easements in India. Here are some of the main sections:

  • Section 4: Defines an easement.
  • Section 5: Lists various types of easements, such as right of way, right to light, and right to water.
  • Section 6: Explains how easements are created (through express grant, implied grant, or prescription).
  • Section 7: Explains how easements can be extinguished (through surrender, release, abandonment, or variation).
  • Sections 8-15: Deal with specific types of easements, such as right of way and right to light.
  • Sections 16-64: Cover various aspects of easements, including dominant and servient tenements, user of easements, and restrictions on easements.

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