Appurtenant refers to rights or restrictions that run with the land. The term is generally used in the context of easements or covenants, and is distinguished from rights or restrictions in gross, which only benefit or burden a particular person. Appurtenant rights or restrictions, in contrast, are tied to a specified parcel of land and pass on to subsequent owners when the parcel is transferred.
Appurtenant easements are distinguished by the existence of a dominant estate, which is the property that benefits from the easement and to which the easement attaches (or is “appurtenant” to). As the Supreme Court of New Jersey notes in Village of Ridgewood v. Bolger Foundation (1986), an appurtenant easement increases the value of the dominant estate and cannot exist separate from it.
[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]