Personal property

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Personal property is property that is movable. [1] In common law systems, personal property may also be called chattels or personalty. In civil law systems, personal property is often called movable property or movables – any property that can be moved from one location to another.

Contents

Personal property can be understood in comparison to real estate, immovable property or real property (such as land and buildings).

Movable property on land (larger livestock, for example) was not automatically sold with the land, it was "personal" to the owner and moved with the owner.

The word cattle is the Old Norman variant of Old French chatel, chattel (derived from Latin capitalis, “of the head”), which was once synonymous with general movable personal property. [2]

Classifications

Personal property may be classified in a variety of ways.

Intangible

Intangible personal property or "intangibles" refers to personal property that cannot actually be moved, touched or felt, but instead represents something of value such as negotiable instruments, securities, service (economics), and intangible assets including chose in action.

Tangible

Tangible personal property refers to any type of property that can generally be moved (i.e., it is not attached to real property or land), touched or felt. These generally include items such as furniture, clothing, jewelry, art, writings, or household goods. In some cases, there can be formal title documents that show the ownership and transfer rights of that property after a person's death (for example, motor vehicles, boats, etcetera) In many cases, however, tangible personal property will not be "titled" in an owner's name and is presumed to be whatever property he or she was in possession of at the time of his or her death.

Other distinctions

Accountants also distinguish personal property from real property because personal property can be depreciated faster than improvements (while land is not depreciable at all). It is an owner's right to get tax benefits for chattel, and there are businesses that specialize in appraising personal property, or chattel.

The distinction between these types of property is significant for a variety of reasons. Usually one's rights on movables are more attenuated than one's rights on immovables (or real property). The statutes of limitations or prescriptive periods are usually shorter when dealing with personal or movable property. Real property rights are usually enforceable for a much longer period of time and in most jurisdictions real estate and immovables are registered in government-sanctioned land registers. In some jurisdictions, rights (such as a lien or other security interest) can be registered against personal or movable property.

In the common law it is possible to place a mortgage upon real property. Such mortgage requires payment or the owner of the mortgage can seek foreclosure. Personal property can often be secured with similar kind of device, variously called a chattel mortgage, trust receipt, or security interest. In the United States, Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code governs the creation and enforcement of security interests in most (but not all) types of personal property.

There is no similar institution to the mortgage in the civil law, however a hypothec is a device to secure real rights against property. These real rights follow the property along with the ownership. In the common law a lien also remains on the property and it is not extinguished by alienation of the property; liens may be real or equitable.

Many jurisdictions levy a personal property tax, an annual tax on the privilege of owning or possessing personal property within the boundaries of the jurisdiction. Automobile and boat registration fees are a subset of this tax. Most household goods are exempt as long as they are kept or used within the household; the tax usually becomes a problem when the taxing authority discovers that expensive personal property like art is being regularly stored outside of the household.

The distinction between tangible and intangible personal property is also significant in some of the jurisdictions which impose sales taxes. In Canada, for example, provincial and federal sales taxes were imposed primarily on sales of tangible personal property whereas sales of intangibles tended to be exempt. The move to value added taxes, under which almost all transactions are taxable, has diminished the significance of the distinction.

Personal versus private property

In political/economic theory, notably socialist, Marxist, and most anarchist philosophies, the distinction between private and personal property is extremely important. Which items of property constitute which is open to debate. In some economic systems, such as capitalism, private and personal property are considered to be exactly equivalent.

See also

Related Research Articles

Property in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components, whether physical or incorporeal, of a person's estate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, alter, share, redefine, rent, mortgage, pawn, sell, exchange, transfer, give away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things, as well as to perhaps abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it, or at the very least exclusively keep it.

Property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property (land) and personal property. Property refers to legally protected claims to resources, such as land and personal property, including intellectual property. Property can be exchanged through contract law, and if property is violated, one could sue under tort law to protect it.

Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be any asset, including an object, land or real estate, intellectual property, or until the nineteenth century, human beings. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties.

A lien is a form of security interest granted over an item of property to secure the payment of a debt or performance of some other obligation. The owner of the property, who grants the lien, is referred to as the lienee and the person who has the benefit of the lien is referred to as the lienor or lien holder.

A mortgage is a legal instrument which is used to create a security interest in real property held by a lender as a security for a debt, usually a loan of money. A mortgage in itself is not a debt, it is the lender's security for a debt. It is a transfer of an interest in land from the owner to the mortgage lender, on the condition that this interest will be returned to the owner when the terms of the mortgage have been satisfied or performed. In other words, the mortgage is a security for the loan that the lender makes to the borrower.

This aims to be a complete list of the articles on real estate.

Foreclosure legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower

Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender attempts to recover the balance of a loan from a borrower who has stopped making payments to the lender by forcing the sale of the asset used as the collateral for the loan.

Hypothec, sometimes tacit hypothec, is a term used in mixed legal systems to refer to an express or implied non-possessory real security over corporeal movable property. At common law it is equivalent to an American non-possessory lien or English legal charge.

A capital asset is defined to include property of any kind held by an assessee, whether connected with their business or profession or not connected with their business or profession. It includes all kinds of property, movable or immovable, tangible or intangible, fixed or circulating. Thus, land and building, plant and machinery, motorcar, furniture, jewellery, route permits, goodwill, tenancy rights, patents, trademarks, shares, debentures, securities, units, mutual funds, zero-coupon bonds etc. are capital assets.

Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, describes something which a person or corporation can have ownership of and can transfer ownership to another person or corporation, but has no physical substance, for example brand identity or knowledge/intellectual property. It generally refers to statutory creations such as copyright, trademarks, or patents. It excludes tangible property like real property and personal property. In some jurisdictions intangible property are referred to as choses in action. Intangible property is used in distinction to tangible property. It is useful to note that there are two forms of intangible property: legal intangible property and competitive intangible property. Competitive intangible property disobeys the intellectual property test of voluntary extinguishment and therefore results in the sources that create intellectual property escaping quantification.

Security interest legal right granted by a debtor to a creditor over the debtors property

A security interest is a legal right granted by a debtor to a creditor over the debtor's property which enables the creditor to have recourse to the property if the debtor defaults in making payment or otherwise performing the secured obligations. One of the most common examples of a security interest is a mortgage: a person borrows money from the bank to buy a house, and they grant a mortgage over the house so that if they default in repaying the loan, the bank can sell the house and apply the proceeds to the outstanding loan.

Australian property law, or property law in Australia, is the system of laws regulating and prioritising the Property law rights, interests and responsibilities of individuals in relation to "things". These things are a form of "property" or "right" to possession or ownership of an object. The law orders or prioritises rights and classifies property as either real and tangible, such as land, or intangible, such as the right of an author to their literary works or personal but tangible, such as a book or a pencil. The scope of what constitutes a thing capable of being classified as property and when an individual or body corporate gains priority of interest over a thing has in legal scholarship been heavily debated on a philosophical level.

Chattel mortgage, sometimes abbreviated CM, is the legal term for a type of loan contract used in some states with legal systems derived from English law.

English property law refers to the law of acquisition, sharing and protection of valuable assets in England and Wales. While part of the United Kingdom, many elements of Scots property law are different. In England, property law encompasses four main topics:

Conversion is an intentional tort consisting of "taking with the intent of exercising over the chattel an ownership inconsistent with the real owner's right of possession". In England & Wales, it is a tort of strict liability. Its equivalents in criminal law include larceny or theft and criminal conversion. In those jurisdictions that recognise it, criminal conversion is a lesser crime than theft/larceny.

Property tax in the United States

Most local governments in the United States impose a property tax, also known as a millage rate, as a principal source of revenue. This tax may be imposed on real estate or personal property. The tax is nearly always computed as the fair market value of the property times an assessment ratio times a tax rate, and is generally an obligation of the owner of the property. Values are determined by local officials, and may be disputed by property owners. For the taxing authority, one advantage of the property tax over the sales tax or income tax is that the revenue always equals the tax levy, unlike the other taxes. The property tax typically produces the required revenue for municipalities' tax levies. A disadvantage to the taxpayer is that the tax liability is fixed, while the taxpayer's income is not.

South African property law

South African property law regulates the "rights of people in or over certain objects or things." It is concerned, in other words, with a person's ability to undertake certain actions with certain kinds of objects in accordance with South African law. Among the formal functions of South African property law is the harmonisation of individual interests in property,the guarantee and protection of individual rights with respect to property, and the control of proprietary relationships between persons, as well as their rights and obligations. The protective clause for property rights in the Constitution of South Africa stipulates those proprietary relationships which qualify for constitutional protection. The most important social function of property law in South Africa is to manage the competing interests of those who acquire property rights and interests. In recent times, restrictions on the use of and trade in private property have been on the rise.

The Personal Property Security Act ("PPSA") is the name given to each of the statutes passed by all common law provinces, as well as the territories, of Canada. They regulate the creation and registration of security interests in all personal property within their respective jurisdictions.

English personal property law is a branch of English property law concerned with non-land based property interests.

Real property Legal term; property consisting of land and the buildings on it

In English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, and roads, among other things. The term is historic, arising from the now-discontinued form of action, which distinguished between real property disputes and personal property disputes. Personal property was, and continues to be, all property that is not real property.

References

  1. "Personal property". Sir Robert Harry Inglis Palgrave. Dictionary of political economy, Volume 3. 1908. p. 96
  2. Origin of chattel Archived 2009-08-14 at the Wayback Machine , accessed August 15, 2009
  3. Friedland, William H.; Rosberg, Carl G. (1965). African Socialism. Stanford University Press. p. 25. ISBN   978-0804702034.
  4. "B.3 Why are anarchists against private property? - Anarchist Writers". anarchism.pageabode.com. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  5. "End Private Property, Not Kenny Loggins". jacobinmag.com. Archived from the original on 26 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.