Appurtenance In Real Estate

Definition of "Appurtenance in Real Estate"

Maybe you’re studying for your real estate exam, or you heard the word from your real estate agent and didn’t know what it means. Whichever your reason, we’ll go ahead and explain the appurtenance real estate definition. To put it simply, the term appurtenance is used for something that belongs to and is a part of something else. In real estate, appurtenance is used for a smaller and subordinate element that belongs to a building or piece of land.

Some examples of appurtenances in real estate are built-ins (appliances, swimming pools, light fixtures), fences, and unattached garages. These elements are a part of and belong to the building, property, or piece of land on which they are placed or built.

What is an Appurtenance in Real Estate?

To get into a deeper explanation of the term, appurtenances in real estate are either installed in or placed on the property. They are considered to be a part of the property, and when the property is sold, the appurtenances are sold with the house, included in the home’s price.

There are two types of appurtenances, tangible and intangible. Tangible appurtenances are trees, a barn, a water heater, a fireplace, or a furnace. Intangible appurtenances are easements. Because of this, appurtenances can be applied to items or property rights as they are permanent and are transferred along with the house to the next owner when the property is sold. 

Based on this, during the real estate transaction, through appurtenances, the ownership of certain elements is granted to the person who owns the property on which they are built or installed. An excellent example of how appurtenances work is when a renter installs a new water heater. Usually, once added to the property, under the legal application of appurtenances, the water heater can not be removed as it is considered part of the property. The same situation applies to in-ground swimming pools. The acreage behind a house or the lot on which the house is built is also considered an appurtenance of the house.


The term appurtenance can also be used for right of way and rights to access natural resources that were found in the land like minerals and oil or home improvements and, as mentioned before, easements.

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