Appurtenant refers to rights or restrictions that run with the land, such as easements and covenants. An appurtenance will either benefit or burden the use or enjoyment of property by its owner and continues to do so when title passes to another.
Whether an easement in a given case is appurtenant or in gross is determined mainly by the nature of the right and the intention of the parties creating it. It may be said to be a general rule that an easement is never presumed to attach to the person of the grantee when it can fairly be construed to be appurtenant to some other estate. Whenever the right in question is in its nature an appropriate and useful adjunct of the land owned by the grantee of the easement, having in view his intention as to its use, and there is nothing to show that the parties intended it to be a mere personal right, it will be held to be an easement appurtenant and not in gross. (Balestra v. Button (1942) 54 Cal.App.2d 192, 198.)
An appurtenance is something attached to something else, and has long been used in reference to land and easements. Accordingly, Civil Code § 662 defines an appurtenance to land as a thing deemed to be incidental or appurtenant to land when it is by right used with the land for its benefit, as in the case of a way, or watercourse, or of a passage for light, air, or heat. Thus, "appurtenant" denotes that the water right or interest is attached to land, but does not denote its type or scope. An appurtenant, appropriative water right is one associated with land. A right to water service can also be appurtenant to land. (Abatti v. Imperial Irrigation Dist. (2020) 52 Cal.App.5th 236, 255.)
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