Practical considerations inevitably place limits on absolute freedom and control. We have the right to free speech, but that right can be curtailed when the greater good of the community demands it. Such limits are definitely the case with real estate, where private ownership is occastionally curtailed in favor of the common good or the needs of the neighbor.
An easement is the right of an individual or group to use or limit the use of the property owned by another landowner. Technically, the easement's use is for a special purpose. But in effect, the property owner gives up control—one of the bundle of ownership rights property owners normally possess—of a portion of his or her property.
In most cities, the most common type of easement is the sidewalk. The sidewalk cuts across the property of homeowners and allows the general public to walk through the property. The sidewalk technically belongs to the property owner; but the community has an easement through the owner's property.
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