Servient Estate Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Servient Estate, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Servient Estate?

(n) Servient property is the property used and maintained for the effective utilization of another property. Example: The private approach road to the farmhouse

History and Meaning of Servient Estate

The term Servient Estate is a legal term used to describe a piece of property that is burdened with a servitude. A servitude is a right to use another's property in some way, such as a right of way or an easement. The Servient Estate is the property that is subject to the servitude and that must allow the benefiting property to use it as necessary.

The idea of Servient Estates comes from English common law, and it has been adopted by many other legal systems around the world. It is a way to balance the interests of neighboring property owners and ensure that everyone can use their property effectively.

Examples of Servient Estate

  1. A driveway servitude: If one property owner has a driveway that crosses over their neighbor's property, the neighbor's property is the Servient Estate.

  2. An easement for utilities: If a utility company has an easement on a property to allow them to install and maintain utility lines, the property is the Servient Estate.

  3. A conservation easement: If a property owner has agreed to permanently limit development on their property in order to protect the environment, the property is the Servient Estate.

Legal Terms Similar to Servient Estate

  1. Dominant Estate: The property that benefits from a servitude is called the Dominant Estate.

  2. Easement: A right to use another's property for a specific purpose, such as a right of way or a utility easement.

  3. Encumbrance: A burden on a property that affects its value or use, such as a mortgage or a lien.

  4. Right of way: A specific type of easement that allows someone to pass over another's property, usually for transportation purposes.