Easement vs Covenant: Difference and Comparison

We enter into several property agreements in everyday life. At times, it may be hard to choose the correct property law to enter. Easements and Covenants are two such property laws that confuse. While the two may seem similar, they vary considerably.

Key Takeaways

  1. An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s property for a specific purpose, while Covenant is a legal agreement that imposes specific obligations on the property owner.
  2. Easement benefits a specific property or individual, while Covenant benefits the community or a group of individuals.
  3. An easement is a passive right, while Covenant is an active obligation.

Easement vs Covenant

The difference between an easement and a covenant is that an easement allows the individual to use another individual’s property. In contrast, a covenant is a common law that prohibits or encourages an action. Easements are affirmative. On the other hand, covenants are negative. 

Richter Scale vs Mercalli Scale 1

An easement refers to a non-possessory right that allows an individual to enter into or use another individual’s property without owning it. There is a negative and affirmative easements. In addition, an easement has a dominant and servient estate. It may be public or private.

 A covenant refers to the promise to participate in or refrain from performing a particular action. Covenants related to land are classified as real covenants. Real covenants form a massive proportion of land covenants. In addition, covenants may exclude certain sections of the population based on race, religion, or ethnicity. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEasementCovenant
Definition An easement refers to a non possessory right that allows an individual to enter into or use the property of another individual without owning it.A covenant refers to the promise to participate in or refrain from performing a certain action.
Components It comprises a dominant and servient estate.It comprises restricted land and benefited land. 
NatureEasements are affirmative in nature.Covenants are negative in nature.
Implication on future owners Easements cannot be imposed against future owners of land.Covenants may be imposed against future owners of land. 
ExampleThe provision of fishing in a private pond.The limitations on the measurement of a building to be built in a particular area.

What is Easement?

An easement refers to a non-possessory right that allows an individual to enter into or use another individual’s property without owning it. In addition, easements provide accessibility to the property of another individual. An example is the provision of fishing in a private pond. Another instance is the provision of a public park or a public beach. 

Also Read:  Novation vs Alteration: Difference and Comparison

Typically, there are four types of easements: the right of way, easements of light and air, easements of support, and rights about artificial waterways. Today, courts recognise a significant variety of easement laws. However, the four types of easements form the bulldog block of all the newly emerging easements. 

There is a negative and affirmative easements. A negative easement disallows the conduction of any unlawful or prohibited activity on private property. On the other hand, the positive easement allows an individual’s property usage for a specific purpose. An easement has a dominant and servient estate. 

The dominant estate refers to the individual or entity benefitting from the easement. In contrast, servient estate refers to the entity providing the benefits. In addition, an easement may be public or private. Public easement allows permission for the public to use a property. Private easement, on the other hand, is enjoyed by private individuals or entities. 

What is Covenant?

In its most basic sense, a covenant refers to the promise to participate in or refrain from performing a certain action. A covenant was differentiable from an ordinary contract by the presence of a seal. A covenant is similar to a contractual condition. The agreement may be negative or positive. 

A negative covenant is a law prohibiting an individual from engaging in a particular act. On the other hand, an affirmative covenant refers to a law that allows permission to engage in a specified action. Covenants related to land are real covenants. Real covenants form a massive proportion of land covenants. 

Covenants may exclude certain sections of the population based on race, religion, or ethnicity. They are mostly the disadvantaged or marginalised communities. Title covenants refer to the agreement that ensures that an individual receives the entity that he bargained for. Covenants come into existence for the benefit of common interest. 

Also Read:  Judicial Activism vs Judicial Restraint: Difference and Comparison

Another example is the limitations on the measurement of a building to be constructed in a particular area. The land may be burdened or benefitted. Thus, covenants are ideally the restrictions or benefits received for an action. 

Main Differences Between Easement and Covenant 

  1. An easement refers to a non-possessory right that allows an individual to enter into or use another individual’s property without owning it. On the other hand, a covenant refers to the promise to participate in or refrain from performing a particular action.
  2. An easement comprises a dominant and servient estate. In contrast, a covenant consists of restricted land and benefited land.
  3. Easements are affirmative. On the other hand, covenants are commonly negative. 
  4. Easements cannot be imposed against future owners of the land. In contrast, covenants may be imposed against future owners of the land. 
  5. An example of an easement is the provision of fishing in a private pond. On the other hand, an example of a covenant is the limitations on a building to be built in a particular area.
Difference Between Easement and Covenant
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=iYNMpznJGeEC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=covenant+vs+easement&ots=A4VRV3YH63&sig=S0Ssy8WGkkV-a0y1i9wRyqaADTw 
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/waslee43&section=23

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Easement vs Covenant: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Understanding the main differences between easements and covenants is essential when entering property agreements. Easements provide a non-possessory right, while covenants are promises to participate or refrain from specific actions. This distinction is important for informed decision-making.

    Reply
  2. Both easements and covenants have significant legal implications. It’s important to understand the components, nature, and implications on future owners of both concepts before entering property agreements. A thorough understanding of the difference between the two is crucial when making such decisions.

    Reply
    • The implications on future owners of the land when it comes to easements and covenants are significant. Thorough knowledge of these implications is necessary for making well-informed decisions regarding property agreements.

      Reply
    • The nature of easements and covenants is critical to grasp. While easements are of a non-possessory nature, covenants are promises to participate or refrain from certain actions. Understanding these legal concepts is essential for informed decision-making.

      Reply
  3. Easements and covenants may seem similar, but they have considerable differences that must be clearly understood. Easements are passive and benefit a specific property or individual, while covenants are active obligations that benefit the community or a group of individuals. These differences are key in property law.

    Reply
  4. The difference between an easement and a covenant is quite clear. The easement is a right to use someone else’s property, while a covenant is an agreement that imposes obligations on the property owner. Understanding the nature and implications of each one is crucial when entering property agreements.

    Reply
  5. The detailed explanations of easements and covenants provided in this article offer valuable insights into these legal concepts. The comparison table effectively outlines the differences, making it easier to comprehend the unique nature and implications of each property law.

    Reply
  6. The comparison table provided is very informative and helps to highlight the differences between easements and covenants. Understanding the components, nature, and implications of each concept is crucial when navigating property agreements and legal considerations.

    Reply
  7. Easements and covenants are legal concepts that require thorough understanding to make the best decisions. An easement allows access to another’s property, while a covenant imposes rules on the property owner, benefiting the community. These two differences are important to consider when deciding which property law to enter.

    Reply
  8. The real-life examples of easements and covenants presented here help to illustrate the practical applications of these legal concepts. Understanding the implications and practical implications of each property law is essential when engaging in property agreements.

    Reply

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