What Is Encumbrance In Real Estate? (Best solution)

An encumbrance is a claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. An encumbrance can impact the transferability of the property and restrict its free use until the encumbrance is lifted. The most common types of encumbrance apply to real estate; these include mortgages, easements, and property tax liens.


What is an example of an encumbrance?

Encumbrances include security interests, liens, servitudes (for example, easements, wayleaves, real covenants, profits a prendre ), leases, restrictions, encroachments, and air and subsurface rights.

What is the meaning of encumbrance on property?

An encumbrance is a claim against an asset by an entity that is not the owner. Common types of encumbrances against real property include liens, easements, leases, mortgages, or restrictive covenants. Encumbrances impact the transferability and/or use of subjected properties.

What is the purpose of an encumbrance?

An encumbrance is a restriction placed on the use of funds. The concept is most commonly used in governmental accounting, where encumbrances are used to ensure that there will be sufficient cash available to pay for specific obligations.

What are types of encumbrance?

There are many types of encumbrances, but four of the most common are easements, deed restrictions, encroachments, and liens.

  • Property easements. An easement gives a non-owner the right to use your land.
  • Deed restrictions. Deed restrictions are another type of encumbrance on real estate.
  • Encroachments.
  • Liens.

What is the difference between encumbrance and mortgage?

An encumbrance is a legal claim on a property. A mortgage is an obvious encumbrance; if a homeowner doesn’t keep up with mortgage payments, the lender has the right to foreclose on the property. Any lien, or claim, on a property is an encumbrance.

Is the property free from encumbrances?

What is the Meaning of Encumbrance? An encumbrance is a charge by a party who is not the proprietor against a property. An encumbrance will affect the property’s transferability and limit its free use until the burden is lifted.

Does encumbrance mean burden?

The definition of an encumbrance is a burden or hindrance, or a claim attached to a piece of property or other asset by a lender until the loan is paid in full. A lien or claim on property that diminishes its value or affects transfer of ownership but does not prevent such transfer.

How do I remove encumbrances from my title?

Encumbrances may be removed by replotting property lines, paying off a lien, or could be excused. The document to remove an encumbrance is called a reconveyance deed. The reconveyance deed conveys a clear title to the property owner.

What is encumbrances on title?

A lien is an encumbrance ( legal liability on real property that does not prohibit transfer of the title, but instead, reduces its value) on a person’s property to secure a debt the property owner owes to another person.

Is encumbrance an asset?

Encumbered securities (or encumbered assets) are securities that are owned by one entity, but which are at the same time subject to a legal claim by another. A lien is a common example of a en encumbrance placed on a property that still has outstanding debts owed to creditors, such a an unpaid mortgage.

Do encumbrances go on the balance sheet?

At present, governments generally report such amounts as reserved fund balance. However, an encumbrance is not a purpose and, therefore, would not be appropriately shown as a separate restriction, limitation, or assignment of fund balance.

How is mortgage an encumbrance?

A Mortgage Is Registered On Your Title Deed The Title Deed will be held by them as security for their loan until such time as the loan or mortgage has been repaid. While the mortgage is still showing on the Title Deed, whether the loan has been repaid or not, the Title Deed is deemed to be encumbered by that mortgage.

How do you find encumbrances?

The encumbrance certificate can be obtained by the property owner at the local registrar’s office. The owner needs to provide relevant information about the property, such as proof of address and title details, and settle the fee for securing the certificate.

What is freehold estate in real estate?

A freehold estate is a type of real property. It comes with indefinite ownership, which you can essentially pass on forever. You can find three primary types of freehold estates, and each one requires you to meet certain conditions to maintain that ownership down the road.


An encumbrance is a claim made on a piece of property by a party other than the property’s owner. An encumbrance can have a negative influence on the transferability of a property and can prevent it from being used freely until the encumbrance is removed. Among the most prevalent forms of encumbrances that apply to real estate are mortgages, easements, and property tax liens, to name just a few. Not all types of encumbrances are pecuniary in nature; easements, for example, are a type of non-financial encumbrance.

The phrase is used in accounting to refer to funds that are confined inside an account and are reserved for the payment of a certain responsibility.

Key Takeaways

  • When someone other than the present titleholder makes a claim on a piece of property, this is known as an encumbrance. There are certain claims that do not have an impact on the value of the property. This is most commonly seen in business situations. Leases, liens, easements, and mortgages are some of the most frequent types of claims.

Understanding Encumbrance

When it comes to real estate, the phrase “encumbrance” refers to a broad variety of financial and non-financial claims on a property made by parties other than the title-holder. Property owners may be prevented from exerting complete—that is, unencumbered—control over their assets in certain circumstances. It is possible for property to be repossessed by a creditor or confiscated by the government in certain circumstances. The marketability of a security is affected by certain encumbrances. For example, an easement or a lien might render a title unmarketable.

The marketability of a property is not affected by encumbrances such as zoning restrictions and environmental regulations, but they do ban particular uses of the land as well as modifications to the property.

The buyer will get a land search paperwork from the real estate agent, which will include a list of any encumbrances on the property.

Types of Encumbrances

Because of the wide range of applications, there are many distinct forms of encumbrances when it comes to real estate. Each category is intended to both protect parties and describe exactly what each claim comprises — and what each party is entitled to — in a clear and understandable manner.


Easement is a legal right that a party has to use or improve sections of another party’s property, or to prevent the owner from using or developing the property in a particular way. The first type of easement is referred to as an affirmative easement. Examples include the right to run a gas line through someone’s land, or the right for people to use a walkway that passes across someone’s property. From the buyer’s standpoint, it is critical to be aware of any encumbrances on a property because they will frequently pass to them along with ownership of the property after the transaction is completed.

When a negative easement is in place, it inhibits the title-ability holder’s to do certain things, such as erecting a structure that might obstruct a neighbor’s light.


A person other than the property owner intrudes on or interferes with the property, for example, by erecting a fence over the lot line (trespassing), or by planting a tree whose branches droop over the boundary line of an adjacent property (encroachment) (a nuisance). Because of an encroachment, both the property housing the encroachment and the property housing the encroachment are burdened with encumbrances until the matter is handled. The owner of an encroaching improvement does not have title to the land on which it is constructed.


An agreement to rent a property for a specified length of time and at a predetermined fee is known as a lease. It is considered an encumbrance since the lessor does not relinquish ownership of the property, but one’s ability to utilize the property is considerably restricted by the terms of the lease agreement.


The term “lien” refers to a sort of security interest, or an encumbrance, that affects the title to a piece of real estate. It allows a creditor the authority to seize property as security for an unpaid obligation, which is often a debt that has not been paid. This gives the creditor the opportunity to liquidate their asset and recover some of their debt balance. An IRS tax lien is a lien placed on property by a government to compel the payment of taxes. In the United States, a federal tax lien takes precedence over all other claims against a debtor’s assets.

For example, if a contractor made changes to your property but never received payment for them, this would be considered fraud.


A mortgage is one of the most frequent forms of security interests, accounting for approximately one-third of all such interests. The term “lien” refers to a legal claim against a piece of real land. The lender, which is typically a bank, keeps an interest in the title to a home until the mortgage is fully paid off and the house is sold. A foreclosure occurs when a borrower is unable to make payments on his or her mortgage. The lender takes possession of the house as collateral and kicks the occupants out.

Restrictive Covenant

A restrictive covenant is an agreement that a seller enters into a buyer’s deed of property to restrict the buyer’s ability to use the property in a certain way. For example, there may be a condition in the contract that mandates the buyer to maintain the original facade of the building. Restriction covenants can be as detailed and arbitrary as the parties are prepared to agree to, as long as they do not violate the law.

Special Consideration: Use in Accounting

Encumbrance accounting is the practice of setting aside particular assets in order to pay for future liabilities. For example, a corporation may set aside a certain amount of cash in order to satisfy its accounts payable. It is possible that the presence of an encumbrance will give the impression that there are more money accessible in an account than there actually are.

Other expenditures or transactions are not permitted with the money that has been put aside for this purpose. As a result, encumbrance accounting helps to guarantee that a company does not go over its budget.

What are Real Estate Encumbrances?

The term “encumbrance” refers to a claim or limitation on real estate, as well as liability against real estate. Liens, deed restrictions, easements, encroachments, and licenses are some of the types of encumbrances that might exist on a property. An encumbrance might make it difficult for the owner to transfer title to the property or reduce the value of the property. It denotes some right or claim of another to a portion of the property or the use of the property, and it will appear in an abstract of title if the right or claim is recognized.


It is possible for lienscan to arise from a multitude of sources. If you fail to pay your property taxes or income taxes on time, a lien on your property may be filed against your property. When it comes to the Internal Revenue Service, you might even have blanket liens against you that are valid in several states. If you get significant repair done on your heating or air conditioning system and do not pay for it in full, you may discover a mechanic’s lien on your property when you seek to sell it.

  • It is possible that any work done on the property that is not paid for will result in one of these liens.
  • Nonpayment of local property taxes, or even of water and sewer bills, can result in a lien being placed on your property in addition.
  • If the city constructs sidewalks and you are lawfully assessed a share of the cost but do not pay it, the city will file a lien on your property.
  • Liens can also arise as a result of a case being lost.
  • Suppose you personally own your house, and your sole proprietorship firm is sued.

Deed Restrictions

Deed constraints, as the name indicates, are limits that are placed into deeds of ownership. They are passed on from owner to owner in perpetuity. Consequently, if a property owner decides to sell and has the deed amended to include restrictions on what future owners may and cannot do on the land, the limitation is considered an encumbrance. These may be problematic, particularly when vast portions of land are divided up and sold off as individual pieces of an estate. If the owners and heirs restrict the land’s use to agriculture or ranching and rule out the possibility of ever operating a business on the property, such restriction is passed down from owner to owner.

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Easements are quite frequent in the world. The installation and maintenance of electric, water, gas, and sewage lines necessitates the creation of easements around and along property lines by utilities.

Roads and streets have easements that take up a portion of the land along the property boundaries of the roads and streets. I’ve seen easements in rural areas that allow nearby property owners to cross one another’s property borders in order to get to their own land.


Consider the following scenario: a neighbor is unsure of a property border and builds a fence that extends one foot onto another’s land. That constitutes an intrusion. As long as it is not removed, it will be documented in surveys and title insurance policies. In some cases, this might apply to ancient fences that are no longer in use. If a surveyor comes across an old downed fence line, he or she will sketch it and make a note of it in the survey. A statement will be made in the title insurance policy stating that it is an exception, and it may also be recognized as an intrusion.

It will also be exempt from title insurance coverage, as previously stated.

The important thing is to be aware of all of these potential encumbrances and to thoroughly review any inspection, survey, and disclosure paperwork in order to identify items like this in the first place.

What You Need to Know About Real Estate Encumbrances

You may be familiar with the phrase, but what precisely is an encumbrance in real estate and what part does it play in the purchasing and selling process for real estate are two important questions to ask. Most real estate transactions will include dealing with one or more encumbrances at some point throughout the sale process. What exactly are encumbrances in the real estate industry? An encumbrance is a legal, financial, or personal obligation that prevents a person from using or transferring a piece of real property.

Types of Real Estate Encumbrances

The following is a list of the most common forms of real estate encumbrances, with brief descriptions of each. What exactly is a real estate encumbrance? Also covered is how to satisfy or work around these issues to make the sale or transfer of real estate as smooth as possible.

Deed of Trust or Mortgage Encumbrance

When it comes to real estate, the most common types of encumbrances are either a mortgage – which is an agreement between two parties who want to borrow money – or a deed of trust, which is an arrangement between three parties who want to lend money to someone who wants to buy a house. This encumbrance must be satisfied before any property may be sold or transferred from one owner to another, regardless of whether financial instrument is being used to accomplish the transaction. Generally, after a mortgage or deed of trust is paid off, a reconveyance deed is issued in lieu of the original one.

In the event of a bankruptcy, for example, the debt may not be legally removed from the property until the bankruptcy has been completed. If the following owners are reluctant to pay for the removal of the encumbrance, this might result in a cloud being placed over the title.

Voluntary Liens as an Encumbrance

A voluntary lien is a debt that is secured by real estate and that the property owner has willingly accepted to be secured by the property. As an illustration, consider a home equity line of credit. An very popular financial instrument that may be used to provide emergency cash, money for home repairs and improvements, or money for debt reduction. Equity in the residence serves as a security deposit for the loan. It does not matter if the borrower does not use the line of credit or if the loan has already been paid off; the voluntary lien must be declared as satisfied in order for the property to be transferred.

Involuntary Liens as an Encumbrance

Whether with or without the approval of the property owner, an involuntary lien is a lien that is established against a piece of property. Involuntary liens can take several forms, the most common of which are as follows:

  1. Tax Lien: A tax lien is a legal claim on a property that is used to settle a governmental debt, such as unpaid property taxes or unpaid income taxes. A federal tax lien takes precedence over all other sorts of financial encumbrances and claims against assets. It is possible to establish a lien on a piece of real estate in order to collect a debt owing to an independent contractor or subcontractor for work performed or supplies delivered in order to repair or enhance the property
  2. However, this is not recommended. Lis Pendens: This phrase refers to a “pending legal action,” and it is used to describe a situation in which a property is embroiled in a legal dispute over ownership or a contract issue. It is possible to file a lis pendens in order to prohibit the sale or transfer of a property in a number of different scenarios. Alternatively, if a seller unjustly ignores an existing sales contract in order to sell to someone else, the initial buyer may be allowed to file a lis pendens in order to halt the transaction until a court determines who is entitled to the purchase. Another heir who believes they are entitled to a portion of an inheritance seeks to sell real estate acquired via an inheritance can file a lis pendens to halt the sale of the property until a judge determines their eligibility to receive a share of the inheritance. An order to show cause can be issued in the case of divorce to prohibit a spouse from selling a property without the consent of the other spouse and without first reaching an agreement on the division of marital assets
  3. An order to show cause can also be filed in the event of a civil lawsuit.

Easements as an Encumbrance

Is an easement considered to be an encumbrance? Easements are legal agreements that allow persons or entities other than the property owner to utilize a part of a privately held piece of land. When it comes to accessing utility lines, for example, an easement might provide access to the street for a neighbor who lives on a landlocked property. This sort of easement regulates the use of a property and has an impact on the owner’s property rights.

Encroachments as an Encumbrance

Sometimes a fence may wander over a neighbor’s property, or a well-worn walkway will pass across a part of privately owned land. This is common. These forms of encroachments are referred to as encumbrances in legal terms. The need of noting such encroachments during surveys and inspections, as well as the necessity of putting in place easements or abatements, is critical in ensuring that the encroachments do not negatively impact the ownership, marketability, or insurability of the property in issue.

Deed Restrictions as an Encumbrance

Private owners may restrict the use of their land for specified purposes or prohibit specific uses in certain circumstances. After the land has been handed down to heirs or transferred to new ownership, these sorts of limitations continue to apply. It is critical to understand what limitations, if any, have been imposed on the property in issue prior to making a purchase decision. If a huge tract of property has been divided and sold off as individual chunks, this is extremely essential.

Restrictive Covenant as an Encumbrance

When it comes to restricted covenants, they are most commonly found in locations of significant historical or architectural significance, as well as in communities with rigorous standards about home types and property look. Homeowners associations, review boards, and other organizations may be tasked with determining whether or not a homeowner is in compliance with the precise criteria of a restrictive covenant in various instances. An informed buyer must consider whether or not the limitation in issue will interfere with their intended use and enjoyment of the property before making a purchase decision.

Additionally, throughout the due diligence process, the supervisory organization should determine whether or not the property is in compliance in order to guarantee that the buyer is not held accountable for any repairs, corrections, or fines stemming from the seller’s usage or activities. ‍

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What are Real Estate Encumbrances?

Real estate has traditionally been the preferred investment for people seeking to accumulate long-term wealth for their families and future generations. By subscribing to our complete real estate investment guide, you will receive assistance in navigating this asset class. It’s important to be on the lookout for a variety of red flags while purchasing real estate. Structural concerns, insect infestations, and mold are examples of things that you (or a skilled inspector) may observe and assess.

We’re talking about property encumbrances, which are claims against real estate that are held by people who are not the property’s owners.

Real property vs. personal property

An exclusive right to own, own, use, or dispose of anything is defined as a legal notion that provides and protects your unique right to do so. Personal property and real property are the two categories of property. Personal property can be moved around. It might be either physical – such as your automobile – or intangible – such as stock and bond investments. Real estate, on the other hand, is permanently attached to a specific area. Real estate includes things like your house and the land beneath it, as well as any other type of real estate you might own.

What are real estate encumbrances?

An encumbrance on real estate exists if someone other than the owner has the ability to assert a claim about the use of the property. This may restrict you from enjoying the full range of ownership privileges that you are entitled to. Not only that, but encumbrances can lower the value of your property and make it more difficult to sell. The term “encumbrance” refers to a variety of different forms of encumbrances, the four most frequent of which are easements, deed restrictions, encroachments, and mortgages.

Property easements

An easement grants the right to use your land in some way to someone who is not the owner of the land. When someone approaches you and begs for permission to use your property, an easement is formed. If you and the landowner come to an agreement, the easement is formalized via the use of a legal instrument such as a deed. Other parties may reimburse you for giving the easement, but succeeding owners are not normally compensated in the same manner. Easements can be divided into two categories:

  1. Easements in their entirety. This sort of easement is tied to a person or entity rather than to a piece of real estate in its entirety. Appurtenant easements are those that are attached to a property and cannot be sold, willed, or transferred
  2. They normally expire when the easement owner dies. This form of easement “runs with the land,” as the saying goes. Although the property may be sold or transferred to a new owner, the mortgage remains tied to the property.

Drainage ditches, public utility lines, rights-of-way, and easements by condemnation are all examples of easements that are commonly seen (eminent domain).

Deed restrictions

Deed limitations are another sort of encumbrance that may be placed on a piece of real estate. They are similar to appurtenant easements in that they run with the land. Deed restrictions, which are sometimes known as “conditions, covenants, and restrictions” (CC Rs), are private agreements that are recorded in the public record and affect the use of the property. When it comes to developing and maintaining a particular level of consistency inside the development or community, many developers and homeowner associations turn to deed restrictions.

Examples of deed restrictions include requiring homes to fulfill a certain size requirement or prohibiting owners from keeping recreational vehicles and boats on their land.


An encroachment is defined as a structure or a portion of a structure that goes beyond the boundaries of one owner’s land and illegally intrudes on the land of another neighboring landowner. In most cases, they are discovered during a physical inspection of the property or during a survey, which is usually done in preparation for selling a home. Encroachments frequently occur by chance, such as when a neighbor constructs a shed, fence, or retaining wall that crosses over your property line. In certain instances, the incursion is done on purpose.

  1. Some encroachments occur gradually over time, such as when a hedge grows overgrown or when a tree begins to droop over the boundary of a neighbor’s land.
  2. You may not be bothered by your neighbor’s invasion, and you are under no obligation to do anything about it if you do not like to.
  3. For example, your neighbor might prune down the hedge on your property or purchase the strip of ground beneath the shed they erected on your land.
  4. Also, bear in mind that any encroachments might cause a delay in the sale of your property and, as a result, diminish its value.


A lien is a claim made on a piece of real estate in exchange for the payment of a debt. The property serves as security, and if you fail to repay the obligation, the lienholder has the right to have it reimbursed out of the proceeds from the sale of your property (usually through a court sale). Liens that are commonly used include:

  • Mortgage liens (if you have a mortgage, you have one)
  • Tax liens, including real estate taxes
  • Special assessment taxes
  • Mechanics’ liens
  • And judgment liens are all types of liens that can be obtained.

Liens have been placed against the property (they run with the land). They are not affixed to the land or to the property owner. If you wish to sell your home, you must first pay off the debt in order to transfer ownership to the new owner.

Does my property have an encumbrance?

When purchasing real estate, conducting a title search is an important part of your due diligence. The results of these searches can reveal any title flaws that could have an impact on the usage (or value) of the property, including liens and other encumbrances on the land. Keep in mind that many properties are sold “subject to all liens and encumbrances,” which means that they are sold “as is.” Before making a final choice, it is in your best interests to investigate any potential stumbling blocks.

Unlike other types of deeds, this form of deed includes a “covenant against encumbrances” warranty, which ensures that the property is free of encumbrances other than those specifically listed in the deed.

Look for those red flags

Property encumbrances may be a major headache for a homeowner. Having an encumbrance on your property might restrict the amount of time you can spend on the property. It can also have a negative impact on the value of your house, making it more difficult to sell. Of course, a great deal of this is dependent on the particular encumbrance. Consider the following scenario: there is a high voltage line easement that runs across your property, complete with power lines and towers. This encumbrance will have a greater negative impact on the value of your property than, for example, an underground water line that skirts the corner of your lot.

Even so, it’s critical to check for encumbrances before making a purchase or selling decision. Long-term, it can save you a great deal of trouble and frustration. And the most effective approach to identify such red flags is to do a title search.

4 Common Encumbrances on Real Estate You Should Know About

It’s the last thing you want to hear when you’re attempting to close on a home or commercial property: that the property has encumbrances against it. A claim or duty against, or a restriction on, a piece of real land is referred to as an encumbrance. Depending on the nature, it might lower the value of the property, have an impact on its usage, and even prevent the seller from transferring title to his or her property. When purchasing real estate in Texas, you should be aware of four major types of encumbrances that you should be aware of before making your purchase.

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As a result, it has an impact on the title to the property because its aim is to secure a debt or obligation undertaken by a property owner.

Mortgages are the most prevalent kind of liens placed against real estate property.

If the borrower is unable to pay back the loan, the lender may foreclose on the property and evict the occupants.

  • The imposition of tax liens by the government in order to recover unpaid taxes
  • And Mechanic’s liens, which can be put on a property’s title by contractors who have worked on the property but have not been paid in the manner agreed upon
  • In a litigation, judgment liens are placed on the assets of the defendant and are secured by the court.

Most creditor claims, such as a judgment lien, are protected against seizure under Texas law, but there are certain measures that must be performed in order to free the homestead property from a judgment lien. A new buyer will not be able to take possession of a house until all liens against it have been resolved. Typically, these liens are resolved and paid off at the time of closing. In order for a title firm to give title insurance, the lien must be paid in full at the time of closing. This is another solid reason for buyers to insist on title insurance when purchasing a home.

They are particularly frequent in locations where new subdivisions are being created, as builders and developers seek to maintain specific standards of building throughout the development process.

It is critical to carefully review the restrictive covenants affecting the property you seek to purchase in order to ensure that the use or development you intend to do on the land will not be disallowed.

A general classification can be divided into two categories:

  • Easements in the broad sense, including those involving utilities. Examples are the right of a gas business to construct pipes or the right of an electric company to construct power lines. Cessation or sale of these easements is permitted. An appurtenant easement is a type of easement that takes effect when two properties are adjacent and one owner has the right to utilize the property of the other owner. A classic example is the construction of a driveway that goes through the property of a neighbor.

While easements normally do not have an influence on your ability to get title to a home, they can have an impact on the perceived worth of a home to potential purchasers if you decide to sell at some point. Encroachments Encroachments are a sort of encumbrance that might cause problems when it comes to title transfer. When a house corner crosses a legally defined boundary line, the owner of the encroached-upon property may file a lawsuit for damages or seek an injunction to compel the other owner to remove the encroaching structure.

These encumbrances are almost always inadvertent and are only discovered during a pre-sale survey or inspection.

As part of our service, we will work with you to verify the property’s title status to ensure that you are not purchasing into a future problem, make certain that you understand all restrictions on use, and assist you in resolving lien issues so that your ability to obtain title to the property is clear.

To arrange a consultation, please contact us at (254) 965-7270 right once.


In real estate, an encumbrance is a right or interest in a piece of property that belongs to someone other than the owner of the property. An encumbrance can be thought of as a responsibility attached to a piece of real estate. Because someone else has a legal interest in the property, such interest serves as a limit or limitation on the owner’s ability to utilize the land. There is typically a negative influence on the value of a property as a result of these factors, and they can also restrict how a property may be utilized.

What are some examples of an encumbrance?

Encumbrances can be classified into two sorts, which are as follows:

  1. An encumbrance that is a financial claim on a piece of property is referred to as an alien encumbrance. Leasehold improvements, encroachments, and deed limitations are all examples of encumbrances that restrict the use of real property.

Alienis a charge or claim that one person (lienor) has on the property of another person (lienee) as security for an obligation or debt, such as a mortgage or unpaid taxes, as you studied in your real estate pre-licensing course An easement is a non-possessory property right to use another’s land for a defined purpose that does not include ownership of the land. The right to utilize the airspace above the land or the surface below the land might be granted. Encroachments are defined as an uninvited trespass into another’s real property without their consent.

Got it, but what is a deed restriction?

Property restriction is a provision that can be included in a deed and used by a seller to restrict the use of the land. The limitation placed on the land is intended to limit the use of the land, such as the size or type of improvements that can be built on it. Restrictive covenants are another term used to describe deed limitations.

How would you know if a property has an encumbrance?

Encumbrances should be stated on the deed immediately following the description of the property. If there are no encumbrances recorded, the seller might make the assumption that there are none existent.

What else can help me prepare to pass my real estate licensing exam on my first attempt?

Here are some additional pointers to help you pass your real estate licensure test on your first try: Tips for Passing the Real Estate Exam How to Succeed in the Real Estate Examination Math for the Real Estate Exam Made Simple Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our videos on the issue of the day: YouTube Channel for PassMasters Real Estate Exam Preparation See the following term in our real estate dictionary for further information: Definitions that are related

Encumbrance, Defined And Explained

Encumbrances can include a wide range of financial and non-financial claims on a piece of real estate. In addition to legal encumbrances and financial encumbrances, easements, restrictive covenants and leases are some of the most frequent forms of encumbrances. Let’s take a closer look at each of these encumbrances and discuss the ramifications they may have for purchasers in general.

Legal Encumbrances

Encumbrances are formed through the operation of the law, such as environmental restrictions or zoning laws, among other things.

Although these limits do not apply to the sale of the land, they do apply to its usage. The expectation is that when dealing with legal encumbrances, purchasers would perform their due diligence in order to understand how a property they are interested in acquiring may be utilized in the future.

Financial Encumbrances

Financial encumbrances, also known as liens, are obligations committed by property owners that are recorded against the property’s title. Mortgage liens and mechanic’s liens are two of the most frequent forms of liens. Homeowners may afford a property over time instead of having to pay for it in full up front thanks to the utilization of mortgage liens. If you make your mortgage payments on time, lenders will utilize your house as collateral, but it will not be impacted in any way. A mechanic’s lien is a legal document that allows builders, contractors, and construction companies to recover the costs of building or repairing structures.


An easement is a legal right that a person or organization has to utilize another person’s land for a defined purpose that is restricted in scope. To service their equipment, for example, utility personnel may be granted an easement to enter the property of a homeowner. In addition, a landlocked neighbor may be able to get access to a homeowner’s property by an easement across the homeowner’s property. Easements are transferred with the property, therefore a new owner will not be able to prevent the easement beneficiary from taking advantage of it.

Restrictive Covenants

A restrictive covenant is a legal agreement that requires a property owner to either do or refrain from performing a certain action on the property in question. Restrictive covenants are frequent in areas where residents adhere to the restrictions of a homeowners organization. For example, a homeowner’s association may mandate that a home adhere to particular maintenance requirements, such as frequent grass mowing and house painting on a regular basis.


A lease is an agreement to rent a specific piece of real estate for a specified period of time for a specified price under certain conditions. In the case of a lease, the leaseholder retains all of his or her rights, even if the leased property is sold. It is a legal right to use the property in a certain way that cannot be taken away by a new owner of the land.

Encumbrance – Definition, Understanding, and How it Works?

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Encumbrances: What They Are And How They Work

The term “encumbrance” refers to a claim made against a piece of real estate by someone other than the owner of the property. In real estate, it can have an impact on the sale of the property and is normally resolved through a legal procedure. If you believe that your property may be subject to a claim against it, continue reading to learn about the many forms of encumbrances and what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

Encumbrance Definition

When a claim is filed against a piece of real land, this is referred to as an encumbrance. Claims are often filed when a structure has been constructed on two separate properties or when a lien has been placed on the land. Encumbrances can have a negative influence on the title to a property as well as the capacity to transfer ownership of a property. Encumbrances do not always have an impact on the value of a property and, depending on the type of encumbrance, may necessitate the use of a legal process to settle the issue.

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Types Of Encumbrances

Easements, encroachments, liens, and deed restrictions are some of the most common forms of encumbrances. Generally speaking, these forms of encumbrances establish what each party is entitled to and how each party is protected within the confines of the local legislation.


Easements can be put on a certain property, and they can have an influence on the property and the people who possess it. In this legal circumstance, the landowner retains ownership of the property in question. Nonetheless, it is granted to another person or group with the express permission to use it for a specified purpose. For example, a utility provider may have the legal authority to install an electricity pole on the land in question.


Encroachments occur when a neighbor constructs anything on a neighbor’s property or overhangs onto a neighbor’s land. Encroachments can have an impact on a house purchase because if a structure is located on two different properties, there may be a disparity in homeowner’s insurance claims or other legal concerns that arise. Additionally, it might have an impact on the resale value of the property owing to issues with property rights and other issues with the title of a residence.


A lien is a legal claim on a piece of property. Another type of lien is a mortgage lien, which grants a person or organization legal ownership of real estate while a debt is being paid off. A mortgage company, for example, will hold title to a property until the mortgage is paid off by the homeowner, which is when the homeowner will be able to sell the property.

Deed Restrictions

A deed restriction, also known as a restrictive covenant, is a set of restrictions included into a property’s deed that governs how a piece of real land may be used in the future. It is possible that these limits will be enforced by ahomeowners association(HOA) or another corporation or organization.

These restrictions may apply to property care, architectural rules, and the usage of the property. These deed limitations are an encumbrance that can have an impact on the sale of a property, depending on the restrictions set out in the restrictive covenants.


Zoning can be a hindrance to the development of a property. Zoning rules are a type of municipal regulation that dictates what a piece of property can be used for and for what purpose. In some cases, zoning restrictions can prevent a retail mall from being built in the center of a community or a huge apartment complex from being built on the land of your next-door neighbor in the suburbs, for example.

Can You Get Encumbrances Removed?

Removal of an encumbrance can be as simple as removing a structure from a property or as involved as going through a legal process to accomplish. Encumbrances can be eliminated by redrawing property borders, paying off a debt, or by being exempted from payment of taxes. A reconveyance deed is the legal instrument that is used to remove an encumbrance. The reconveyance deed ensures that the property owner has a valid title to his or her property.

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How To Find Out If A Property Has Encumbrances

When transferring ownership of a property, it is essential that the property has a clear title. With another way of putting it, the legal sale of a house requires that there be no encumbrances on the property when it is put up for sale. It is possible for house buyers to identify whether or not the property they are considering has encumbrances tied to it in a number of ways. The first step is to do a title search. Title searches should reveal any recorded encumbrances on a property if there are any on the property in question.

Title insurance protects both the homeowner and the mortgage company in the event that a claim against the title of a property arises after the property has been sold.

The Bottom Line

There are many different kinds of encumbrances, including easements, encroachments, liens, and other forms of claims. Before transferring ownership of a property, it is necessary to ensure that the title is clear of encumbrances. Depending on the type of encumbrance, it may be necessary to go through a legal process in order to address the encumbrance. As a result, it is highly recommended that every homeowner obtain title insurance and do a full title investigation before to acquiring a property.

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What Is an Encumbrance?

When it comes to real estate, an encumbrance is any legal object that burdens or inhibits the use or transfer of the property. A property that is completely free of all encumbrances is extremely unusual. Unencumbrances include amortization of debt, liens (either voluntary or involuntary), rights of way, easements, and restrictions on the transfer of ownership. An encumbrance can be monetary in nature, however that is not always the case. Read on to learn more about encumbrances and how they function.

What Is an Encumbrance?

An encumbrance is a legal claim on a piece of real estate. If a homeowner does not keep up with his or her mortgage payments, the lender has the legal right to foreclose on the property, which is an evident encumbrance.

Encumbrances are any claims or liens that are placed against a piece of real estate. Zoning regulations and environmental regulations are both instances of encumbrances in business.

How Encumbrances Work

Because encumbrances are classified according to their category, the way they function is different. Some encumbrances, such as liens, make it more difficult to transfer ownership of real estate. Others, such as zoning regulations, have only a little influence on the purchase or sale of real estate. When a property is no longer subject to any encumbrances, it is referred to as being unencumbered.

Types of Encumbrances

Here are some of the most frequent forms of encumbrances, as well as an explanation of how they function.

Deed of Trust or Mortgage

There are normally two papers involved in a homebuyer’s financial transaction: the promissory note, which serves as a legal obligation to pay; and the mortgage ordeed of trust, which serves as a security for the note and is registered with the county recorder’s office. A mortgage differs from a deed of trust in that both are encumbrances, but they are not the same thing. When a mortgage or deed of trust is paid off, the encumbrance is removed from the property’s official records and the property becomes free of debt.

Voluntary Liens

Unvoluntarily signed documents, such as a voluntary lien, are normally registered against a property in public records after the owner has signed them. It might be a lien given in return for money being exchanged, such as a second loan or a home equity line of credit, or it could be a refinancing of current secondary financing to make it more attractive to lenders. In other circumstances, such as when a homeowner takes out a line of credit, there may be no money exchanged until the homeowner actually uses the line of credit and borrows money.

It is still necessary for the homeowners to register a release of the lien even if the account is closed without ever being utilized.

Involuntary Liens

A mechanic’s lien and an alis pendens are two sorts of involuntary liens that are quite prevalent. The term “involuntary” refers to the fact that the homeowner did not necessarily consent to the filing of a lien on their property. Lis pendens indicates that a legal action is now pending. For example, a seller may have committed to sell to a buyer, but the buyer may have been unable to complete the transaction due to unforeseen circumstances. As a result, the seller unilaterally terminated the contract without the buyer’s permission.

Existing buyers who want to prevent the seller from transferring title to the new buyer might launch a court action and register an alis pendens against the seller to prevent this from happening.

A mechanic’s lien is often filed by a contractor or subcontractor in the event that work or supplies have been completed but have not been paid for.

A property’s involuntary encumbrances remain with it until they are discharged. Due to the fact that lenders and buyers want a free and clear title, it is important to eliminate any unintentional encumbrances as soon as possible.


An easement is a legal arrangement in which the property owner keeps ownership of the land, but another party also owns ownership of the land for a defined purpose. An easement for the upkeep of utilities is one of the most prevalent types of easement. If a portion of land is landlocked and without access to a road, an easement might be granted to provide access (right of way) to the parcel of land. Due to the fact that they limit specific behaviors and impair rights to property, easements are considered encumbrances.

If you fail to do so, the city will be able to dig up the swimming pool without your consent.

Key Takeaways

  • An encumbrance is any legal item that prevents a person from using or transferring a piece of property. The majority of properties are encumbered
  • Mortgages and deeds of trust are the most common types of encumbrances. It is possible to have the encumbrance released when the mortgage is paid off in full or when the house is sold Involuntary liens can impede house transactions. It is important to deal with these liens as soon as possible
  • Easements will be listed in your title insurance policy.

Encumbrance – Wikipedia

An encumbrance is a right to, interest in, or legal responsibility on property that does not prevent the transfer of ownership of the property, but which may reduce its value in the future. The many types of encumbrances can be categorised in numerous ways. They can be financial (for example, liens) or nonfinancial (for example, contracts) (for example,easements, private restrictions). Instead, they can be split into those that change title (for example, a lien, a legal or equitable charge) and those that influence the usage or physical condition of the encumbered property (for example, a judgment lien) (for example, restrictions, easements, encroachments).

Encumbrances, such as charge orders, building orders, and structure modifications, are also regarded to be potentially defeasible in the event that the title is challenged.


Hong Kong has a legislative meaning of the term “encumbrance.” “Encumbrance” () is defined as follows in the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance (Cap. 219): “a legal and equitable mortgage, a trust for securing money, a lien, a charge of a portion, annuity, or other capital or annual sum; and “encumbrancer” () has a meaning corresponding to that of “encumbrance” and includes any person entitled to the benefit of an encumbrance, or to

Other uses

As a result of late payment, late registration, or any other cause specified by the school, it is often used by colleges and universities to explain constraints put on a student’s account. The presence of an encumbrance can prevent students from registering for classes, prevent their transcripts from being released, and cause their diplomas to be delayed in their hands.


When it comes to management accounting, encumbrance is a management technique that is used to represent obligations in the accounting system while also attempting to prevent overspending. Encumbrances enable organizations to acknowledge future commitments of resources prior to making a monetary expenditure on those resources. Pre-encumbranceAmount that is projected to be spent, but for which there is no legal need to spend it at this time. A requisition is a transaction that occurs prior to the creation of an encumbrance.

A purchase order is an example of a common encumbrance transaction in business. An expenditure is a sum of money for which funds have been used to pay for something. Both vouchers payable and journal entries are expensed in Commitment Control, and the expense is documented in the system.

Intellectual property

Software that is “encumbered code” (software that cannot be freely disseminated owing to intellectual property rights) is an example of an Intellectual Property Encumbrance.


  1. Stephen H. Gifis, Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms, 4th edn., s.v. “encumbrance” (Barron’s Educational Series, 2008)
  2. Fillmore E. Galay and colleagues, Modern RealEstate Practice in Illinois, 4th edn. (Chicago: Dearborn RealEstate Education, 2001), 107
  3. And Steven H. Gifis, Barron’s Dictionary of Legal Terms, 4th edn.,

What are Encumbrances in Real Estate?

Purchasing real estate is a significant financial commitment. When your customer invests in a piece of real estate, they expect to have complete access to the property. However, there are legal limits that might prevent them from acquiring full ownership of the property. These restrictions are referred to as real estate encumbrances. If you are not familiar with encumbrances, it is important to understand how they operate. Your customer may spend their most valuable asset on a property that they do not entirely own if they do not know what they are doing.

What is an Encumbrance in Real Estate?

Real estate encumbrances are a type of burden, responsibility, or claim that is placed on a piece of property. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are several of them that might prevent you from transferring ownership of the property to another person. Real estate encumbrances are often seen as negative. Because of the burden they place on a property, they have the ability to restrict the freedoms that the owner enjoys when on the land. You may assume that the homebuyer will be dissatisfied with the constraints while making the largest financial investment of their lives.

When dealing with real estate encumbrances, it’s important to understand what your buyer wants, conduct your homework, and be completely transparent.

Types of Real Estate Encumbrances

Real estate encumbrances are legal constraints that prevent a property from being used for a specified purpose. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so depending on your situation, you may have to deal with a variety of various sorts of encumbrances. We’ve explained the many forms of encumbrances that you can encounter in the real estate market in the section below.

Deed Restriction in Real Estate

Deed restrictions are rules that have been agreed upon by the parties involved in the purchase of a property. All of these constraints are specific to each scenario. However, some frequent instances include where homeowners can park their vehicles and whether or not they are allowed to carry out building projects on their own property. Deed limitations in real estate are designed to ensure that a property’s usage is standardized within a defined geographic region. As a result, certain properties must adhere to strict regulations in order for its owners to be able to occupy the area.

Some purchasers will look for deed limitations while looking for a house.

Some people will be pleased with this development.

Easements in Real Estate

An easement permits third parties to utilize a piece of property without having to pay for it. This gives access to the property to a third party who is not linked to the owners. This is also a fairly prevalent type of real estate encumbrance, and it may take on a variety of shapes and sizes. An easement is commonly used when a utility provider need access to land in order to complete a construction project on the property.

Therefore, they will have a right of way in order for them to access the land in order to complete the project requirements. As another illustration, consider the situation in which a homeowner allows a neighbor to use their driveway for access to their property.

Encroachments in Real Estate

Encroachments are connected to the property lines that separate two neighbors’ properties. It is considered an intrusion when a tree limb crosses the property line and hangs over the boundary. Fences are frequently installed by homeowners as a method of clearly delineating the boundary between two neighboring parcels of land. When a land surveyor inspects a property prior to the transfer of title, encroachments are discovered and recorded. Furthermore, homeowners have the right to request that an encroachment on their land be removed.

Liens in Real Estate

A lien is a limitation put on a property as a result of unfulfilled financial obligations. Liens are formed to compel property owners to return money due to a third party by the property they possess. Another way to put it is when the owners of a property do not pay their obligation, a lien is placed on the property. Mortgages, taxes, and money owing from contract services are just a few examples of what might go unpaid. Your client’s property is subject to a lien if they have failed to make their mortgage payments on schedule.

Licenses in Real Estate

Licenses are permissions granted by the property owner, either verbally or in writing, to get access to their property. It is a voluntary agreement reached by two parties. For example, a homeowner could provide their neighbor permission to store their personal belongings in their garage or on their land. Furthermore, a license can be cancelled at any moment for any reason. The homeowner, who has granted authorization, has the right to withdraw their offer at any time they believe it is required.

Final Thoughts on Real Estate Encumbrances

It is critical to be aware of any real estate encumbrances that may exist on a property. You must be honest and transparent with your client so that they are not taken by surprise by any unexpected limits or constraints on their ability to acquire a property. That is why you should perform research and check the title in order to determine whether or not there are any encumbrances on the property. Now that you are familiar with the many sorts of real estate encumbrances, you will be able to describe them to your customer in a more concise manner.

Always be available as a resource to your client and anybody else who has a question about the real estate market.

So, what exactly are they, and how do they function, you might wonder.

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