An easement is the area of land that lies adjacent to the private property line. An easement allows public and private utilities to do work on approximately 10 feet either side of the property line without seeking permission from the property owner. The only difference between an easement and the right of way is the easement is private rather than public property.
Typically, easements are either included as part of the original plat of the property or have been established through negotiation with a property owner. The easement stays in effect until the easement is no longer needed and is vacated. If the property is bought and sold, the easement remains in effect.