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EASEMENTS

Art. 613 – concept of easement

Easement and servitude distinguished


Easement Servitude
English law term Roman law term
Always real Broader term – may be real or personal
Refers to the right enjoyed by one The burden imposed on another
Used synonymously in CC although it is more partial to easement

Characteristics of easement
1. Real right – but will affect third persons only when duly registered
2. It is enjoyed over another immovable, never on one’s own property
3. It involves two neighboring estates, the dominant to which a right belongs and the servient upon which an
obligation rests
4. It is inseparable from the estate to which it is attached and, therefore, cannot b alienated independently of the
estate
5. It is indivisible for it is not affected by the division of the estate between two or more persons
6. Right limited by the needs of the dominant owner or estate, without possession
7. It cannot consist in the doing of an act unless the act is accessory in relation to a real easement
8. It is a limitation on the servient owner’s rights of ownership for the benefit of the dominant owner and therefore,
it is not presumed

Easement distinguished from lease


Easement Lease
Real right – registered or not; real or personal Real right only which it is registered or when subject
is real property and duration exceeds 1 year
Imposed only on real property May involve real or personal property
Limited right to the use of real property or another There is a limited right to both the possession and
but without the right of possession use of another’s property

Easement distinguished from usufruct


Easement Usufruct
Imposed only on real property May involve real or personal property
Limited to a particular or specific use of the servient Includes all the uses (jus utendi) and the fruits (jus
estate fruendi) of the property
Non-possessory right over an immovable Involves a right of possession in an immovable or
movable
Not extinguished by the death of the dominant Extinguished by the death of the usufructuary
owner
Both are real rights, registered or not; transmissible

Art. 614 to 616 – Beneficiaries

Classifications of easement
1. As to recipient of benefit
a. Real When the easement is in favor of another immovable
b. Personal When it is in favor of a community or of one or more persons; may be public/private
2. As to its sources
a. Voluntary Easement is established by the will or agreement of the parties or by testator
b. Legal Imposed by law either for public use or in the interest of private persons
c. Mixed Created partly by will or agreement and partly by law
3. As to its exercise
a. Continuous Use of which is or may be incessant without the intervention of any act of man
b. Discontinuous Those which are used at intervals and depend upon the acts of man
4. As to W/N its existence is indicated
a. Apparent Those which are made known and are continually kept in view by external signs that
reveal the use and enjoyment of the same
b. Non-apparent Show no external indication of their existence
5. As to duty of servient owner
a. Positive Imposes upon the owner of the servient estate the obligation of allowing something to
be done or of doing something himself
b. Negative Prohibits the owner of the servient estate from doing something which e could lawfully
do if the easement did not exist

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Public and private easements – personal easements may be:
Public Vested in the public at large or in some class of indeterminate individuals
Private Vested in a determinate individual or certain persons

Art. 617 – Intransmissibility


• cannot be alienated or mortgaged independently of the estate
• servient estate may be the object of usufruct BUT an easement cannot be the object of usufruct because it has no
existence independent of the immovable to which it attaches
• If the dominant estate is alienated, such alienation carries with it also the easements established in its favor even
if they are not annotated as an encumbrance of the certificate of title

Art. 618 – Indivisibility

Art. 619 - Manner in which easements established


• Legal – by law; court cannot impose or constitute any servitude where none existed, they can only declare its
existence
• Voluntary – by will

Art. 620 – Acquisition of continuous and apparent easement

Modes of acquiring easements


1. By title – all easements
a. Continuous and apparent easements
b. Continuous and non-apparent easements
c. Discontinuous easements (apparent or non-apparent)
2. By prescription of 10 years
a. Continuous
b. Apparent
3. By deed of recognition
4. By final judgment
5. By apparent sign established by the owner of two adjoining estates

 ONLY continuous and apparent easement may be acquired either by virtue of a title or by prescription. The other kinds
of easement may be acquired by any one of the modes enumerated but not by prescription

• Title – refers to juridical act giving rise to easements (law, donation, contract, will)
• Prescription - continuous adverse possession or exercise of easement for a period of 10 years, no requirement
for good faith or just title
o Positive easement – possession counted from date dominant estate began to exercise easement right
o Negative easement – possession counted from date dominant estate forbid by “notarial prohibition” the
servient estate from acting to impede easement

Art. 621 – Computation of the prescriptive period


• Prescription - continuous adverse possession or exercise of easement for a period of 10 years, no requirement
for good faith or just title
o Positive easement – possession counted from date dominant estate began to exercise easement right
o Negative easement – possession counted from date dominant estate forbid by “notarial prohibition” the
servient estate from acting to impede easement

Art. 622 – Continuous non-apparent easement Acquired ONLY by title because their
• Continuous non-apparent easements possession or exercise is either NOT public or
• Discontinuous apparent or non-apparent it is public but NOT continuous or
uninterrupted

Art. 623 – Absence of proof of origin of easement


• applies to easements mentioned in art. 622 (can be acquired only by title)
• presupposes that it has been acquired by virtue of a valid title but there is no document or proof showing its
origin

Art. 624 – Existence of apparent sign of easement between two estates; division of ownership

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