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No lifetime use without the consent of all co-owners.

Easements for lifetime use are relatively common.

But what if the immovable property has several co-owners?

A co-owner of immovable property may not create an easement for lifetime use of part of that immovable property corresponding to that co-owner’s share in the common property because the easement encumbers the entire immovable property co-owned by several co-owners. In that case it is necessary under customary case law that all co-owners should be parties to the agreement creating a valid easement, otherwise the agreement is legally invalid.

The concept of co-ownership relies on the fact that several persons are co-owners of a common thing in certain ideal shares. This means that none of the co-owners owns a demarcated part of the common thing so as to correspond to the amount of their co-owner’s share. It is characteristic of a right corresponding to an easement for lifetime use of an immovable property that it is created either from the entire immovable property or a precisely delineated part of it (e.g. one room in a house), which results in a co-owner under the easement being entitled to use all or (a precisely delineated) part of immovable property. Given the fact that use of a common thing is considered treatment of the common thing in line with the law, use of a common thing is decided by a simple majority of co-owners calculated according to the size of their co-owner’s shares. By analogy, valid creation of a right corresponding to an easement for lifetime use of all or part of a common immovable property does not require the consent of all co-owners, but it is sufficient that creation of the easement is approved by a majority calculated on the basis of the size of their co-owners’ shares. However, by law the owner of an immovable property may create an easement, unless special legal regulation provides this right to others as well. It follows from the above that creating an easement for lifetime use of all or part of a common immovable property requires the consent of all co-owners, i.e. the parties to an agreement creating the easement in this case must be co-owners, while simple approval of the individual co-owners to creation of the easement is not sufficient. This legal conclusion is confirmed by the case law of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic.

Source: Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civil Code, as amended