Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Dominant Tenement Definition:

The property (i.e. tenement) or piece of land that benefits from, or has the advantage of, an easement.

Related Terms: Easement, Servient Tenement, Tenement, Appurtenant Easement

Also known as dominant estate.

Adjacent or nearby property to which an easement is due.

The property recipient of the benefit of an easement.

Distinguished from the servient tenement; that property from which the benefit of an easement is due.

The phrase has perpetuated a term which is no longer in use elsewhere in land law: tenement.

In Freightways Terminal Company, Justice Arend of the Supreme Court of Alaska offered these words as a summary of law, circa 1963:

"The term easement has been variously defined by legal authorities, but we shall confine ourselves in this case to the definition which states that an easement is the right which the owner of one parcel of land has by reason of such ownership to use the land of another for a specific purpose, such use being distinct from the occupation and enjoyment of the land itself.

"In figurative language, the land subject to the easement is described as a servient tenement and the land enjoying the easement as the dominant tenement. However, it is not necessary that the two tenements be contiguous or adjoining."

In Weeks v Wolf Creek Industries, Justice Woodall of the Supreme Court of Alabama adopted these words:

"A parcel of land benefited by an easement is described as the dominant estate or the dominant tenement."


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