A legally binding limitation on a specific parcel of real property. It may also refer to the effect of the limitation on the owner’s rights. To encumber the title is to establish a limitation. An encumbrance may lessen the value of the real property or burden, obstruct, or impair its use, but not necessarily prevent transfer of title. Many encumbrances, but not all, are recorded in a body of public records. An encumbrance may be any of the following:

(1) A right or interest in a property held by one who is the not the owner of the property, e.g., easements, profit à prendre, mineral rights, leases, or assignment of rights.

(2) Restriction of a new owner’s real property rights by reservation or deed restriction.

(3) A claim against the owner’s property rights as security for a debt, such as a mortgage, judgment lien, or tax lien.

(4) A liability binding on real property or its owner that requires a specific treatment of the land or management of the habitat. It may be in the form of a contract or condition(s) of a permit.

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