What Is Accession In Real Estate?


What Is Accession In Real Estate

When it comes to the meaning of accession, there are many different perspectives depending on what industry you're looking at.

For our purposes, we're going to focus on the definition of accession in real estate. In order to understand what accession in real estate is, it's important to first understand what accession is in general.

Accession is defined as the act of taking possession of something or the right to possess something.

With regards to real estate, accession is the act of taking ownership of improvements made to real property.

This can occur in a few different ways, but most commonly happens when a tenant makes improvements to a rental unit that they are currently living in.

For example, if a tenant were to install new countertops or put in a new backsplash in their rental kitchen, they would be said to be in "possession" of those improvements.

In most cases, the tenant would not have the right to take possession of these improvements once they moved out of the rental unit. However, there are some instances where the tenant may be able to negotiate with the landlord for the right of accession to their change of countertops or backsplash.

Overall, accession in real estate is a fairly complex concept that can have a big impact on the legal rights and obligations of tenants and landlords. If you're looking to buy or sell a property with existing improvements, it's important to understand how accession could potentially impact your transaction.

Accession in relation to land

Accession generally refers to the act of taking possession of something. When it comes to land, this typically happens when someone builds something on another person's land. But what about a land that has naturally formed?

Can a property be lost through avulsion?

Although avulsion is sometimes confused with accretion, the two terms actually describe different processes.

Accretion is when the surface area of the land grows or increases in size. This is most common when a body of water forces these types of land changes over a gradual period of time. However, it can happen rapidly in some cases as well. Importantly, accretion happens by natural means only...it cannot be done by man-made means.

Avulsion occurs when land is suddenly and forcibly separated from its original location. This can happen due to a natural event like a landslide or earthquake, or it can be caused by human activity like construction or dredging. When avulsion occurs, the land that has been separated is said to have "avulsed."

Unlike accretion, avulsion does not add any new land to a property. In fact, avulsion can actually result in the loss of land. For example, if a portion of a beach is eroded away by waves, the land that was lost to erosion would be considered avulsed.

Avulsion can have a major impact on property boundaries and ownership. If you live in an area that is susceptible to avulsion, it's important to be aware of the potential risks.

What is alluvion?

Alluvion is similar to accretion in that it describes the process of new land being added to a property.

However, unlike accretion, alluvion is caused by changes in the water level rather than the natural deposition of soil or sand.

For example, if a river were to overflow and deposit additional land onto the bank of coastal property, this would be considered alluvion.

While alluvion may seem like a positive event, it can actually have a negative impact on property owners.

Alluvion can change the boundaries of a property, which can lead to disputes over ownership. It can also result in the loss of land if the new land is not suitable for habitation or development.


Accession, accretion, avulsion, and alluvion are all terms that describe changes to the land.

Accession occurs when new land is added to a property through the deposition of soil or sand. This can be done by natural or man-made forces. Accretion is similar to accession but it happens only by natural forces only. Avulsion occurs when land is suddenly and forcibly separated from its original location. Alluvion occurs when changes in the water level result in new land being deposited onto a property.

All four of these terms can have a major impact on property ownership and boundaries. When you are taking your real estate exam, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and impacts of these terms.

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