Last edited 01 Jun 2021


Encumbrances (sometimes spelled incumbrances) are interests that affect land. This might include an easement (such as a right of way), a lien (a right to retain possession of a property belonging to someone else until a debt is discharged) a mortgage, a wayleave and so on.

Encumbrances are registered against the land itself, not the owner or occupier of the land. Details of encumbrances may appear on the Land Register which can be inspected for payment of a fee.

As encumbrances may affect the value or marketability of land, it is common practice to commission an official search of the Land Register before purchasing land or property. However, the Land Register is not conclusive on all matters, (for example it may not include details of local land charges or the rights of occupiers) and so it can be wise to inspect the land itself and to question occupants.

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