Definition - What does Prescriptive Easement mean?
A prescriptive easement is when an owner of property does not consent to the use of a part of their property, yet the right to use it is granted by law. Prescriptive easements are granted when a certain amount of time has passed with the property being used, without the owner of the property complaining about it. An example of this would be if a person's property lined up against a bird sanctuary and people visiting the bird sanctuary frequently stood on the person's property to view the birds. If a certain number of years passed without the property owner complaining about this, then the bird sanctuary viewers could have a prescriptive easement to use the property.
Justipedia explains Prescriptive Easement
A prescriptive easement is essentially just when people get a right to use a part of someone else's property because they have already used it for a long time without complaint from the property owner. States have their own policies for the length of time that must pass without complaint. Another example of prescriptive easement would be if a maple syrup harvester had two properties on either side of another person's property. If they have been piping sap through the other person's property for ten years without complaint, the maple syrup harvester may be granted a prescriptive easement to keep piping his sap