Legal Dictionary

dominant estate

Definition of dominant estate

Further reading

A dominant estate is the parcel of real property that has an easement over another piece of property (the servient estate). The type of easement involved is almost always an appurtenant easement. Likewise, it is almost always an affirmative easement, that is, one that permits a person to do something. [1] estate is a common law concept.

A dominant estate is also called a dominant tenement, as noted in a section of an article on easements.

In real estate law, it is the property retained when the original owner (the seller or grantor) splits off a property and conveys part of the original property; the owner retains an easement for an access (such as a driveway or utilities). [2]

In certain cases, dominant estate refers specifically to a parcel or building premises that is subject to a cell tower or a solar panel: "that parcel of land to which the benefits of a solar access easement attach." [3]

Recognition by various jurisdictions

Most states in the United States recognize this common law notion of estate. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

It is not clear whether all community property states have the same concept, but it is recognized in Arizona and Texas.[10] [11]

It is recognized in Canadian law, where it is known, in French as Fond dominant. [12]


  1. Conservation easement law
  2. Law Dictionary
  3. Iowa Property Law about solar panels
  4. Colorado
  5. Hawaii
  6. Iowa
  7. North Carolina
  8. South Carolina
  9. Virginia
  10. Arizona law
  11. Texas law
  12. Canadian law article on dominant estate


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     landed property
2.     lex fori
3.     status quo
4.     ownership
5.     lex loci delicti commissi
6.     lex situs
7.     sodomy
8.     lex causae
9.     unjustified
10.     AORO