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Reciprocal Negative Easement

Reciprocal Negative Easement

Definition

A doctrine that implies a restriction on the use of land in the absence of an express restriction. These implied restrictions often arise in the residential-subdivision context if a developer subdivides a tract into individual lots and includes restrictions intended to further a common plan of development in most but not all purchasers' deeds. The court may imply a restriction if the court finds (1) that the lots were developed pursuant to a common plan and (2) that the servient owner had legally effective notice of the restriction at the time the owner purchased the lot. The doctrine is often applied to subdivision lots purchased without an express restriction or to lots retained by the developer. The doctrine is known by multiple names: reciprocal negative easements, implied restrictive negative easements, implied reciprocal negative easements, or implied reciprocal negative servitudes.

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