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Encumbrance Real Estate : What Does It Mean?



Encumbrance real estate :  A claim against a property by someone who isn’t the owner is known as an encumbrance.

An encumbrance can affect the property’s transferability and limit its free use until the impediment is removed.

Mortgages, easements, and property tax liens are the most frequent types of encumbrances on real land.


Non-financial encumbrances, such as easements, are an example of non-financial encumbrances.

Personal property, as opposed to real property, can be encumbered.

What is the definition of an encumbrance?

In accounting, the word refers to restricted funds inside an account that are set aside for a certain liability.

A claim made against a property by someone other than the present titleholder is known as an encumbrance.

Some claims have no bearing on the property’s worth. This is most common in commercial situations.


Leases, liens, easements, and mortgages are all frequent claims.

Understanding the Concept of Encumbrance

Encumbrance refers to a variety of financial and non-financial claims on a property made by parties other than the titleholder.

Property owners may be prevented from exercising complete—that is, unrestricted—control over their assets.

The property may be repossessed by a creditor or seized by the government in some situations.


Some encumbrances have an impact on a security’s marketability: an easement or a lien might render a title unmarketable.

While this does not necessarily preclude the title from being bought and sold, it does allow the buyer to cancel the transaction despite having signed a contract, and in some jurisdictions, seek damages.

Other encumbrances, such as zoning restrictions and environmental regulations, have no bearing on a property’s marketability, although they do limit specific uses and renovations.

In Hong Kong, for example, a property seller is obligated by law to advise the real estate agent of any encumbrances on the property in order to avoid problems later in the sales process.


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

Encumbrances come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Because of its varied applications, encumbrance in real estate occurs in a variety of forms.

Each kind is intended to safeguard parties while also defining exactly what each claim entails—and to which they are entitled.



An easement is a right granted to one party to use or improve portions of another’s land, or to restrict the owner from doing so in specific circumstances.

An affirmative easement is the first type of easement. A utility provider, for example, may have the right to build a gas line through someone’s property, or pedestrians may have the right to use a footpath that runs through it.

Jennifer might have the right to use her neighbor’s well, but that right would not pass on to someone who acquired Jennifer’s property because an easement in gross serves an individual rather than a property owner.

A negative easement, for example, prevents the title-holder from erecting a structure that would block a neighbor’s light.



Encroachment occurs when someone who isn’t the property owner intrudes on or interferes with the property, for as by erecting a fence across the lot line (trespassing) or planting a tree with branches that hang over onto another land (a nuisance).

Until the issue is resolved, an encroachment produces an encumbrance on both properties: the property with the encroachment has its free use encumbered, while the owner of the encroaching improvement does not have title to the land on which it is erected.


A lease is an agreement to rent a property for a set amount of time and at a set rate.

It is an encumbrance since the lessor does not relinquish title to the land, yet the lease agreement severely restricts one’s use of the property.



A lien is a form of security interest, or encumbrance, that encumbers a property’s title.

It allows a creditor to seize property as collateral for an unpaid obligation, most commonly a debt.

After then, the creditor can sell the property to repay at least some of their loan.

A tax lien is a government-issued lien that is used to compel the payment of taxes; in the United States, a federal tax lien takes precedence over all other claims on a debtor’s assets.


A mechanic’s lien is a claim against personal or real property that the claimant has worked on.

For instance, suppose a contractor made changes to your home that were never paid for.

The assets of a defendant in a lawsuit are secured by judgement liens.


One of the most prevalent sorts of security interests is a mortgage.


It’s essentially a lien on a piece of real estate. Until the mortgage is paid off, the lender, usually a bank, has an interest in the title to the house.

If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender may foreclose on the property, seizing it as collateral and evicting the occupants.

Covenant of Restraint

A restrictive covenant is an agreement written into a buyer’s deed of property by the seller that limits the buyer’s use of the property.

For example, there could be a clause requiring the buyer to keep a building’s original facade intact.


Restrictive covenants can be as particular and arbitrary as the parties are prepared to agree to, as long as they do not violate the law.

Use in Accounting is a special consideration

Encumbrance accounting is a type of accounting that sets aside certain assets to pay for future liabilities.

A company may, for example, set aside a sum of money to settle its accounts payable.

The presence of an encumbrance can make it appear as if there are more funds available in an account than there actually are.


The money that has been set aside is not available for any further purchases or transactions.

As a result, encumbrance accounting ensures that a company’s budget is not exceeded.

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