Q&As

Are easements extinguished by unity of seisin where the servient tenement and part only of the dominant tenement are in common ownership? Will the remainder of the dominant tenement continue to enjoy the easements over the servient tenement?

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Produced in partnership with Carl Fain of Tanfield Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 09/04/2020

The following Property Q&A produced in partnership with Carl Fain of Tanfield Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are easements extinguished by unity of seisin where the servient tenement and part only of the dominant tenement are in common ownership? Will the remainder of the dominant tenement continue to enjoy the easements over the servient tenement?

Unity of seisin (in modern terms, unity of ownership) is where the ownership of the freehold interest in both the dominant and servient tenements come into the ownership and possession of the same person. This is in line with the principle that it is not possible to have an easement over one’s own land: Roe v Siddons.

It is generally accepted that for an easement to be extinguished by unity of ownership, the ownership in question must be for an estate in fee simple absolute, although there is no express authority on this point.

Where only part of the burdened land comes into the ownership of the person who owns the benefitted land, unity of seisin would appear to apply in relation to that part. In Wall v Collins, it was held that an easement cannot exist in gross but only as appurtenant to the

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