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Neighbor Law

A guide discussing issues that may arise between neighbors on topics such as fencing, trees and noise.



An easement is a legal right to use someone else's private property for a specific purpose. An easement can be in writing or it can also be implied under the law if certain conditions are met.

Easements can be created for many reasons. Some of the most common types of easements that a property owner may run into are:

  • Utility easements - An easement given to a utility company to install and maintain equipment.

  • Public easements - An easement that allows the public at large use of a person's private property for things such as streets and sidewalks.

  • Private easements - An easement given to a private person or entity for a specific purpose. An example could be an easement given to a neighbor to use a private road to access their property.

Below you will find references to areas of Texas law that govern easements. The list of laws we provide on this page is not exhaustive as there are numerous statutes related to easements. The list we have created below is laws that we feel citizens may run into more frequently in their daily lives. Please contact the library if you need help locating any additional laws related to easements.

If you find these statutes difficult to understand, please see the "Understanding the Law" resources below for a "plain English" explanation of these laws.

Texas Law

In addition to state law, cities may have local laws regulating easements within their area. See our Municipal Laws and Ordinances page for assistance locating your local laws.

Understanding the Law

Landlocked Property

Landlocked property is land surrounded on all sides by other private land and no access to a public road. A common myth is that owners of landlocked property have an automatic right to use their neighbor's property. This is not true. Landlocked property owners will generally need to get an easement, either from their neighbor or from the court, to legally access their property.

See the resources below for more information.

Easement Maintenance

Another common question about easements is who is responsible for maintaining them. This is often discussed within the easement itself if it is in writing. If it does not, or the easement is not in writing, the person granted the easement is generally responsible for its maintenance under Texas common law. 

For a public easement, often the local government and property owner will share some responsibility in maintaining an easement. Property owners are often responsible for things such as mowing the grass and clearing overgrown vegetation so that it doesn't obstruct a sidewalk.

A property owner would need to refer to the easement or to their local laws to determine what they are responsible for maintaining. A local government may issue fines to a property owner who fails to maintain easements on their property.

See the resources below for more information.

Where to Find Easement Records

Written easements are often recorded in the county property records, which are kept at the county clerk's office. Some county clerk's offices in Texas offer an online database on their website for the public to search their property records.

To locate a utility easement, one could also try contacting the utility company. They will likely keep a record of the easement on file with their office.

E-Books at the Texas State Law Library

You can borrow the e-books below with your library account. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account online! Learn more about how to register online.

Books at the Texas State Law Library

These print books are not available online. They are available at the Texas State Law Library in Austin. If you can't visit the library in person, these books might be available at a law library near you or a public library near you.