In a decision on June 27, 2018 (decision file no. 22 Cdo 1793/2018), the Czech Supreme Court considered whether a change of land ownership could be grounds for terminating an easement.

In general, an easement ceases to exist if (i) the parties so agree or the period for which the easement was established ends (Section 1300 of the Civil Code), (ii) the burdened land and the benefitting land come to be owned by the same person (Section 1301 of the Civil Code) or (iii) there is a permanent change which prevents the burdened land from being of service to the benefitting land or party (Section 1299 (1) of the Civil Code).

If the permanent change leads to a gross disparity between the burden on the burdened land and the gain for the benefitting land or party, the owner of the burdened land may ask a court to restrict or cancel the easement in return for reasonable compensation (Section 1299(2) of the Civil Code).

The Supreme Court concluded that neither the transfer of the burdened land nor its new owner’s wish to use the land for a new purpose amounted to a change of circumstances under Section 1299 (2) of the Civil Code.

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