Appurtenance v. Encumbrance
Recently I was involved in a discussion with a Public Agency staff member who was concerned about an easement being an appurtenance or an encumbrance. He was a little unclear of the two definitions. After a brief attempt on my part, to talk “leagaleze” I resorted to putting the terms in human form.
Using an example of a hiker on the trail, I put it like this: A hiker, on a hike, carries a backpack full of stuff he may need. The backpack is an appurtenance,
NOW, that same hiker has to carry a backpack full of his Buddies stuff. That backpack is an encumbrance. Some encumbrances are legal, while others may be illegal or “undocumented”
ALSO, in the case of say. . . . . an easement for travel, which is 20 feet wide, being 10 feet on each line of a property line, is BOTH an appurtenance AND an encumbrance. Both property owners are encumbered by the 10 foot use on their own property, but enjoy the 10 feet on their neighbors.
Without siting numerous law cases, I am hoping this simple explanation help define the root of appurtenances and encumbrances.
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