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Encyclopedia > Property law
Property law
Part of the common law series
Acquisition of property
Gift  · Adverse possession  · Deed
Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property
Alienation  · Bailment  · License
Estates in land
Allodial title  · Fee simple
Life estate  · Fee tail  · Future interest
Concurrent estate  · Leasehold estate
Conveyancing of interests in land
Bona fide purchaser  · Torrens title
Estoppel by deed  · Quitclaim deed
Mortgage  · Equitable conversion
Action to quiet title
Limiting control over future use
Restraint on alienation
Rule against perpetuities
Rule in Shelley's Case
Doctrine of worthier title
Nonpossessory interest in land
Easement  · Profit
Covenant running with the land
Equitable servitude
Related topics
Fixtures  · Waste  · Partition
Riparian water rights
Lateral and subjacent support
Assignment  · Nemo dat
Other areas of the common law
Contract law  · Tort law
Wills and trusts
Criminal Law  · Evidence

Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights and obligations thereon. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Image File history File links Scale_of_justice. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... A gift, in the law of property, has a very specific meaning. ... In common law, adverse possession is the name given to the process by which title to anothers real property is acquired without compensation, by, as the name suggests, holding the property in a manner that conflicts with the true owners rights for a specified period of time. ... A deed is a legal instrument used to grant a right. ... {{PropertyLaw}} In the [[common law]] of [[property]], personal belongings that have left the possession of their rightful owners without having directly entered the possession of another person are deemed to be lost, mislaid, or abandoned, depending on the circumstances under which they were found by the next party to come... Alienation, in property law, is the capacity for a piece of property or a property right to be sold or otherwise transferred from one party to another. ... Bailment describes a legal relationship where physical possession of personal property (chattels) is transferred from one person (the bailor) to another person (the bailee) who subsequently holds possession of the property. ... It has been suggested that Licensing (strategic alliance) be merged into this article or section. ... Estate is a term used in the common law. ... Allodial title is a concept in some systems of property law. ... Fee simple, also known as fee simple absolute or allodial, is a term of art in common law. ... A life estate, is a term used in common law to describe the ownership of land for the duration of a persons life. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... In property law and real estate, a future interest - is an interest that accompanies a defeasible estate. ... A concurrent estate or co-tenancy is a concept in property law, particularly derived from the common law of real property, which describes the various ways in which property can be owned by more than one person at a given time. ... A leasehold estate is an ownership interest in land in which a lessee or a tenant holds real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. ... This article refers to a form of housing. ... Conveyancing is the act of transferring the legal title in a property from one person to another. ... A bona fide purchaser (BFP)—or bona fide purchaser for value without notice (BFPFVWN)—in the law of real property, is an innocent party who purchases property for value, without notice of any other partys claim to the title of that property. ... Torrens title is a system of land title where a register of land holdings maintained by the state guarantees indefeasible title to those included in the register. ... Estoppel by deed is a doctrine in the law of real property that arises where a party conveys title to land that he does not own to a bona fide purchaser, and then acquires title to that land. ... A quitclaim deed is a term used in property law to describe a document by which a person disclaims any interest the grantor might have in a piece of real property, and passes that claim to another person (the grantee). ... This article is about the legal mechanism used to secure property in favor of a creditor. ... Equitable conversion is a doctrine of the law of real property under which a purchaser of real property becomes the equitable owner of title to the property at the time he/she signs a contract binding him/her to purchase the land at a later date. ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wiktionary. ... In property law and real estate, a future interest - is an interest that accompanies a defeasible estate. ... A restraint on alienation, in the law of real property, is a clause used in the conveyance of real property that seeks to prohibit the recipient from selling or otherwise transferring his interest in the property. ... The rule against perpetuities is a rule in property law which prohibits a contingent grant or will from vesting outside a certain period of time. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In the common law of England, the doctrine of worthier title was a legal doctrine that preferred taking title to real estate by descent over taking title by devise or by purchase. ... A nonpossessory interest in land is a term of the law of property to describe any of a category of rights held by one person to use land that is in the possession of another. ... An easement is the right to do something or the right to prevent something over the real property of another. ... A profit, in the law of real estate, is a nonpossessory interest in land similar to the better-known easement, which gives the holder the right to take natural resources such as petroleum, minerals, timber, and wild game from the land of another. ... A covenant running with the land, is a real covenant, in the law of real property. ... An equitable servitude is a term used in the law of real property to describe a nonpossessory interest in land that operates much like a covenant running with the land, requiring the landowner to maintain certain practices with respect to the land (e. ... In the law of real property, fixtures are anything that would otherwise be a chattel that have, by reason of incorporation or affixation, become permanently attached to the real property. ... Waste is a term used in the law of real property to describe a cause of action that can be brought in court to address a change in condition of real property brought about by a current tenant that damages or destroys the value of that property. ... A partition is a term used in the law of real property to describe the court-ordered division of a concurrent estate into separate portions representing the proportionate interests of the tenants. ... Riparian water rights is a system of allocating water among the property owners who abut its source. ... Lateral and subjacent support, in the law of property, describes the right a landowner has to have that land physically supported in its natural state by both adjoining land and underground structures. ... An assignment is a term used with similar meanings in the law of contracts and in the law of real estate. ... Nemo dat quod non habet, literally meaning no one [can] give what they dont have is a legal rule, sometimes called the nemo dat rule that states that the purchase of a possession from someone who has no ownership right to it also denies the purchaser any ownership title. ... A contract is any promise or set of promises made by one party to another for the breach of which the law provides a remedy. ... In the common law, a tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The law of trusts and estates is generally considered the body of law which governs the management of personal affairs and the disposition of property of an individual in anticipation and the event of such persons incapacity or death, also known as the law of successions in civil law. ... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of statutory and common law that deals with crime and the legal punishment of criminal offenses. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Real property is a legal term encompassing real estate and ownership interests in real estate (immovable property). ... Personal property is a type of property. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Civil law or continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. ... Real estate is a legal term that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. ...

The concept, idea or philosophy of property underlies all property law. In some jurisdictions, historically all property was owned by the monarch and it devolved through feudal land tenure or other feudal systems of loyalty and fealty. Property designates those things that are commonly recognized as being the possessions of a person or group. ... In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area... A monarch (see sovereignty) is a type of ruler or head of state. ... For the area of Sheffield, in England, see Manor, Sheffield. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ... (UTC):This page is about loyalty as faithfulness to a cause. ... Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste. ...

Though the Napoleonic code was among the first government acts of modern times to introduce the notion of absolute ownership into statute, protection of personal property rights was present in more feudalist forms in the common law courts of medieval and early modern England. The original Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally called the Code civil des francais, or civil code of the French), was the French civil code, established at the behest of Napoléon. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


Definition of property

In Roman law, property was defined as follows: ius utendi et abutendi re sua, quatenus iuris ratio patitur, 'the right to use and abuse a thing, within the limits of the law' (Justinian, Code 4, 35, 21; see also, commentary by P.J. Proudhon in ch. 2 of What is Property? [1]). Ordinary Magistrates Extraordinary Magistrates Titles and Honors Emperor Politics and Law Roman law is the legal system of ancient Rome. ... Justinian may refer to: Justinian I, a Roman Emperor; Justinian II, a Byzantine Emperor; Justinian, a storeship sent to the convict settlement at New South Wales in 1790. ... Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (pronounced [ˈpruːd ɒn] in British English, [pʁu dɔ̃] in French) (January 15, 1809 – January 19, 1865) was a French mutualist political philosopher of the socialist tradition. ...

One modern textbook on property law states:

When a layman is asked to define "property," he is likely to say that "property" is something tangible "owned" by a natural person (or persons), a corporation, or a unit of government. But such a response is inaccurate from a lawyer's viewpoint for at least two reasons: (1) it confuses "property" with the various subjects of "property," and (2) it fails to recognize that even the subjects of property may be intangible.
For a lawyer, "property" is not a "thing" at all, although "things" are the subject of property. Rather, as Jeremy Bentham asserted, property is a legally protected "expectation * * * of being able to draw such or such an advantage from the thing" in question [ . . . .][1]

Black's Law Dictionary (5th ed. 1979) states that "[i]n the strict legal sense, [property is] an aggregate of rights which are guaranteed and protected by the government" and that the term property "includes not only ownership and possession but also the right of use and enjoyment for lawful purposes." Jeremy Bentham (IPA: or ) (February 15, 1748 O.S. (February 26, 1748 N.S.) – June 6, 1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. ... Blacks Law Dictionary, 7th edition Blacks Law Dictionary is the definitive law dictionary for the law of the United States. ...

By contrast, Barron's Law Dictionary (2d ed. 1984) defines property as "one's exclusive right to possess, use, and dispose of a thing" [ . . . ] "as well as the object, benefit, or prerogative which constitutes the subject matter of that right."

Property law can be divided into personal and real property. Real property concerns itself with rights in rem, or relating to land. Personal property concerns itself with rights in personam, or relating to chattels. Gray & Gray (1998) describe the definition of property in the modern sense as oscillating between 'competing models of property as a fact, property as a right, and property as a responsibility'[2] Declared ownership in and of itself is insufficient to constitute property in a legal sense. Rather, the notion of property arises where one can have his/her right to land or chattels respected and enforced by a court of law. Therefore to possess good title (and thus enforceable rights) on property one must acquire it legitimately, according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which one seeks enforcement.

Theory of property

Early American theory

James Wilson, Supreme Court Justice and professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, in 1790 and 1791, undertook a survey of the philosophical grounds of American property law. He proceeds from two premises: “Every crime includes an injury: every injury includes a violation of a right.” (Lectures, III, ii.) The government’s role in protecting property depends upon an idea of right. Wilson traces the history of property in his essay On the History of Property. In his lecture, “Of the natural rights of individuals,” (Lectures II, xiibbbbbbb) he articulates related contemporary theory. Year 1790 (MDCCXC) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

That theory was brought to a focus on the question of whether man exists for the sake of government, or government for the sake of man – a distinction which may derive from, or lead to, the question of natural and absolute rights, and whether property is one of them. While he doubts this is so, he nonetheless states: “In his unrelated state, man has a natural right to his property, to his character, to liberty, and to safety.” Hblsh khljgbnv bcv,jgc,jgc e asks whether “the primary and principal object in the institution of government… was… to acquire new rights by human establishment? Or was it, by a human establishment, to acquire a new security for the possession or the recovery of those rights….?” He indicates a preference for the latter.

In the opening sentence of On the History of Property, he states quite clearly: “Property is the right or lawful power, which a person has to a thing.” He then divides the right into three degrees: possession, the lowest; possession and use; and, possession, use, and disposition – the highest. Further, he states: “Man is intended for action. Useful and skilful industry is the soul of an active life. But industry should have her just reward. That reward is property, for of useful and active industry, property is the natural result.” From this simple reasoning he is able to present the conclusion that exclusive, as opposed to communal property, is to be preferred. Wilson does, however, give a survey of communal property arrangements in history, not only in colonial Virginia but also ancient Sparta.

Property rights and contractual rights

Property rights are rights over things enforceable against other persons. By contrast, contractual rights are rights enforceable against particular persons. Property rights, however, may arise from a contract, so there is an overlap between the two systems of rights. In relation to the sale of land, for example, two sets of legal relationships exist alongside one another: the personal right to sue for damages on the contract, and the proprietary right exercisable over the thing. A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ...

A separate distinction is evident where rights granted are insufficiently substantial to confer on the non-owner a definable interest right in the thing. The clearest example of these rights is the licence. In general, even if licences are created by a binding contract, they do not give rise to proprietary interests. A license or licence is a document or agreement giving permission to do something. ...

Property rights and personal rights

Property rights are also distinguished from personal rights. Practically all contemporary societies acknowledge this basic ontological and ethical distinction. In the past, groups lacking political power have often been disqualified from the benefits of property. In an extreme form this has meant that persons have become "objects" of property right, legally "things", or chattels - see slavery. More commonly, marginalised groups have been denied legal rights to own property. These include Jews in England and married women in Western societies until the late 19th century. personal ryts are crap n shud b avoidied Categories: Law stubs ... This article is about the philosophical meaning of ontology. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ... Slave redirects here. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...

The dividing line between personal rights and property rights is not always easy to draw. For instance, is one's reputation property which can be commercially exploited by affording property rights to it? The question of the proprietary character of personal rights is particularly relevant in the case of rights over human tissue, organs and other body parts. The references in this article would be clearer with a different style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ... In biology, an organ (Latin: organum, instrument, tool) is a group of tissues that perform a specific function or group of functions. ...

There have been recent cases of women being subordinated to the fetus, through the imposition of unwanted caesarian sections. English judges have recently made the point that such women lack the right to exclusive control over their own bodies, formerly considered a fundamental common law right. In the United States, a "quasi-property" interest has been explicitly declared in the dead body. Also in the United States, it has been recognised that people have an alienable proprietary "right of publicity" over their "persona". The patenting of biotechnological processes and products based upon human genetic material may be characterised as creating property in human life. Human fetus at eight weeks. ... A caesarean section (cesarean section AE), is a surgical incision through a mothers abdomen (laparotomy) and uterus (hysterotomy) to deliver one or more fetuses. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Personality rights are generally considered to consist of two types of rights: the right to publicity, or to keep ones image and likeness from being commercialy exploited without permission or contractual compensation, which is similar to the use of a trademark; and the right to privacy, or the right... A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee (the inventor or assignee) for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ...


Property law is characterised by a great deal of historical continuity and technical terminology. The basic distinction in common law systems is between real property (land) and personal property (chattels). Terminology is the study of terms and their use — of words and compound words that are used in specific contexts. ...

Before the mid-19th century, the principles governing the devolution of real property and personal property on an intestacy were quite different. Though this dichotomy does not have the same significance anymore, the distinction is still fundamental because of the essential differences between the two categories. An obvious example is the fact that land is immovable, and thus the rules that govern its use must differ. A further reason for the distinction is that legislation is often drafted employing the traditional terminology. Intestacy is the condition of the estate of a person who dies owning property greater than the sum of his or her enforceable debts and funeral expenses without having made a valid will or other binding declaration; alternatively where such a will or declaration has been made, but only applies...

The division of land and chattels has been criticised as being not satisfactory as a basis for categorising the principles of property law since it concentrates attention not on the proprietary interests themselves but on the objects of those interests.[3] Moreover, in the case of fixtures, chattels which are affixed to or placed on land may become part of the land. In the law of real property, fixtures are anything that would otherwise be a chattel that have, by reason of incorporation or affixation, become permanently attached to the real property. ...

Real property is generally sub-classified into:

  1. corporeal hereditaments - tangible real property (land)
  2. incorporeal hereditaments - intangible real property such as an easement of way


The concept of possession developed from a legal system whose principal concern was to avoid civil disorder. The general principle is that a person in possession of land or goods, even as a wrongdoer, is entitled to take action against anyone interfering with the possession unless the person interfering is able to demonstrate a superior right to do so. Look up Possession in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

In the United Kingdom, the Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977 has significantly amended the law relating to wrongful interference with goods and abolished some longstanding remedies and doctrines. For the album by Ash, see 1977 (album). ...

Transfer of property

The most usual way of acquiring an interest in property is as the result of a consensual transaction with the previous owner, for example, a sale or a gift. Dispositions by will may also be regarded as consensual transactions, since the effect of a will is to provide for the distribution of the deceased person's property to nominated beneficiaries. A person may also obtain an interest in property under a trust established for his or her benefit by the owner of the property. Sale is the name of several places: Sale, Victoria, Australia Sale, Greater Manchester, England Sale, Italy (pronunciation: SAH-leh) - in the province of Alessandria Salè, Morocco Sale Marasino (first pronunciation: SAH-leh), an Italian commune in the province of Brescia Sale is also a type of contract for the exchange... Love gift Man presents a cut of meat to a youth with a hoop. ... In common law legal systems, a trust is a contractual relationship in which a person or entity (the trustee) has legal title to certain property (the trust property or trust corpus), but is bound by a fiduciary duty to exercise that legal control for the benefit of one or more...

It is also possible for property to pass from one person to another independently of the consent of the property owner. For example, this occurs when a person dies intestate, goes bankrupt, or has the property taken in execution of a court judgment. Intestacy refers to the body of common law that determines who is entitled to the property of a dead person in the absence of a last will and testament or other binding declaration. ... Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organization to pay their creditors. ...


Occasionally, as a result of fraud or mistake, several people claim interests in one object, the claims being inconsistent with each other. This may arise where the person purporting to create or transfer the interest has a valid title, but purports to create several interests wholly or partially inconsistent with each other. In this case it is necessary for the courts to resolve the priorities conflict by determining the ranking of these interests. The need to resolve such conflicts suggests that different classes of proprietary interests have different spheres of enforceability depending on their place in the hierarchy.


Over the centuries, leases have served many purposes and the nature of legal regulation has varied according to those purposes and the social and economic conditions of the times. Leaseholds, for example, were mainly used for agricultural purposes until the late 18th century and early 19th century when the growth of cities in industrialised countries had made the leasehold an important form of landholding in urban areas. This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... Crowded Shibuya, Tokyo shopping district An urban area is an area with an increased density of human-created structures in comparison to the areas surrounding it. ...

The modern law of landlord and tenant in common law jurisdictions retains the influence of the common law and, particularly, the laissez-faire philosophy that dominated the law of contract and the law of property in the 19th century. With the growth of consumerism, consumer protection legislation recognised that common law principles that assume equal bargaining power between the contracting parties are acknowledged to work hardship when that assumption is inaccurate. Consequently reformers have emphasised the need to assess residential tenancy laws in terms of protection they provide to tenants. Legislation to protect tenants is now common. A landlord, is the owner of a house, apartment, condominium, or real estate which is rented or leased to an individual or business, who is called the tenant. ... A tenant (from the Latin tenere, to hold), in legal contexts, holds real property by some form of title from a landlord. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... Consumerist redirects here. ... Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects the interests of consumers. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Intellectual Property Law Primer (6577 words)
Copyright law is a "federal" law and the law does not vary from state to state (although the interpretation of the law may be different in different courts).
While copyright law is the most important intellectual property law for protecting rights in multimedia works, a multimedia developer needs to know enough about patent, trademark, and trade secret law to avoid infringing intellectual property rights owned by others and to be able tote advantage of the protection these laws provide.
Trademark law in general, whether federal or state, protects a trademark owner's commercial identity (goodwill, reputation, and investment in advertising) by giving the trademark owner the exclusive right to use the trademark on the type of goods or services for which the owner is using the trademark.
Features - Researching Intellectual Property Law in an International Context | LLRX.com (4943 words)
However, intellectual property is interesting because of the number of multilateral conventions that have been concluded in an effort to harmonize national laws.
This area of law has also expanded to encompass licensing,; biotechnology and other legal or non-legal subject areas that are related to conceptions of property that are abstract in nature.
The intellectual property related legislation of the European Union is found in the CLEA database (http://clea.wipo.int/) under European Community.
  More results at FactBites »



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