What is Appurtenance?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2018
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An appurtenance is something lesser that is attached to something larger. In law, this term is often used in the context of real estate. One can be physical or intangible in nature, and it becomes attached to something else by law or by convention. Sometimes, people may refer to something “with appurtenances” as a reminder that there are things attached. People should take note of any attachments that go with something because they can affect its utility, function, or value.

In real estate, a physical appurtenance is something attached to a property that is of lesser value than the property itself. One example is a shed on a property holding a single family home. The shed goes with the property and is considered part of it, which means that it will not be removed when the property is sold. Other examples are things like garages, septic systems, wells, water storage tanks, and so forth.

Such attachments can also be things that are intangible in nature, such as easements. An easement gives someone else the legal right of enjoyment and is attached to a property in the same way that something physical like a well is. For example, a driveway easement is an appurtenance. When the property is sold, the easement goes with it. In this case, the attachment to the property is provided for the convenience of someone else, but the property owner is expected to respect it.


When evaluating real estate for purchase or rental, people should take note of the appurtenances. For example, someone renting a unit should ask if it comes with appliances, such as a stove and refrigerator, or not. If it does, they are considered attached to the home being leased and the landlord is responsible for maintaining them. If it does not, the tenant is expected to provide them and the landlord takes no responsibility for their installation and upkeep.

People purchasing property should be aware of what does and does not come with it, and some of these things can be negotiable. For example, a buyer could ask that a portable shed be left on the property as part of the sales agreement. Conversely, a buyer could ask that something attached to the property be removed as a condition of sale, or that the buyer be given a discount to handle the disposition of something that is attached to the property.


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Post 5

Are mineral rights considered an appurtenance?

Post 4

My sister bought a house with one major appurtenance. It had a guest house in the backyard. She like this, because she often had relatives and friends visit from out of town, and she could give them their privacy while keeping hers.

The brick guest house was small, containing only a kitchen, a living and sleeping area combined, and a bathroom. It came with its own furniture and appliances, appurtenances within an appurtenance. It had its own driveway that connected to the one at the main house, and it was far enough away from the house to feel like a separate home.

Post 3

When we began our search for a new apartment, my husband and I actually sought out one without appurtenances. We already had furniture and appliances, and we did not want to have to keep them in storage.

Lots of apartments in our area came with appliances. We finally were able to find one that was threadbare. It was in a new complex that had just been opened up to tenants. The landlord told us that he planned to put appliances in some of the apartments to give renters the option of getting one with or without appurtenances, so we were able to get one without any.

Post 2

My family moved into our new home when I was just nine, and it came with one major appurtenance - a swimming pool! I was overjoyed at this.

I’m sure that it raised the price of the home substantially. It was a rectangular in-ground pool, and it had been well maintained. My parents had to read a manual to learn how to care for it.

In my opinion, it was worth whatever extra they had to pay for it. It provided hours of entertainment for my sister and I, and it gave us something to do with our friends. My mother finally learned how to swim in it, and my disabled grandmother could do a water workout in it that kept her arthritis at bay and her muscles active.

Post 1

When my husband and I found a home to rent, we found that it did not technically come with appurtenances. An old dishwasher, a microwave, and an old stove were left behind by the previous tenant who died, but the landlord did not maintain that he owned these or that he would be responsible for their upkeep.

He did tell us that if we had appliances of our own, he would gladly remove the old ones. We had just gotten married and had none of these things, so we were glad they were there.

The stove had its quirks. You had to set the oven 100 degrees less than the temperature you actually needed, and one eye on the stove eventually went out. However, it served our purposes until we could get a new stove. We were grateful for the accidental appurtenances.

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