An easement is an interest to use real property which is in the possession of another person for a stated purpose. Easement does not give the right of possession of the property to the holder of easement. Under common law, an owner of land has no legal right to light and air unobstructed from the adjoining land in the absence of an easement[i].
An easement may be implied or express. An express easement may be “granted” or “reserved” in a deed or other legal instrument. Courts have consistently held that there is no private right to a view without an express easement[ii].
However, under some authority, an easement to enjoy light and air over the portion which the grantor retains can be impliedly brought into existence if it is reasonably necessary to the enjoyment of the portion conveyed[iii]. In other words, an easement to light and air can be implied because of necessity[iv].
The language of agreement for an easement of light, air, and view must be interpreted in a manner that reveals the purpose of the parties and the conditions existing when the deed or agreement was made[v].
[i] Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc., 114 So. 2d 357 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1959)
[ii] Bubis v. Kassin, 323 N.J. Super. 601 (App.Div. 1999)
[iii] Homewood Realty Corp. v. Safe Deposit & Trust Co., 160 Md. 457 (Md. 1931)
[iv] Maioriello v. Arlotta, 364 Pa. 557 (Pa. 1950)
[v] Irving Trust Co. v. Anahma Realty Corp., 285 N.Y. 416 (N.Y. 1941)