/ˈēz-mənt/ An easement gives someone else the right to use your land. The most common easements in residential Real Estate usually involve utilities or homeowner’s associations.
A utility easement allows the (gas, water, electric, etc.) company to use part of your land to run lines and grants them access to perform maintenance or make repairs. This can even include trimming the trees!
An HOA easement might allow members of the community to use a path that cuts through your yard or they may insist that a parcel of land must be kept clear to aid water drainage. It is typical that (you!) the owner of the land is responsible for mowing and maintenance.
Remember that the entity holding the easement doesn’t own that land and never will. Legally, sellers must disclose if there is an easement on their property, so you should be well informed. If you aren’t sure, check your deed, HOA documents, and the property information with the city. A lesser-known, but very important easement might allow your neighbors to access your property for specific purposes. A friendly neighborhood Realtor (like me!) can also be a great resource for determining if an easement is likely and help you research it.