Real Estate Glossary

What is Encumbrance?

An encumbrance is a claim, liability, or other restriction that affects the ownership or use of a property. Encumbrances may be financial, such as a mortgage or a lien, or they may be non-financial, such as a zoning restriction or a conservation easement. Encumbrances may be recorded in public records, such as a deed or a title report, and they may be disclosed to a buyer or a lender as part of a real estate transaction. Encumbrances may be taken into account when determining the value or the marketability of a property.