What Are Property Rights?


What Are Property Rights?

Property in the real world is typically what gets with or for something, whether in tangible form as an element of said entity or as an intangible characteristic. This has not stopped real estate speculators from filling up cities, towns and countries with properties and then selling them off at rock-bottom prices. In fact, some of these homes are priced so low because they are technically still unsold. This begs the question: Is there such a thing as real property?

Well, property matters a great deal in most human societies. After all, without possessing something tangible people would have nothing to live on, and without homes, businesses and schools to operate from, society as we know it would come to an end. In humans, however, property usually means something immovable – land, a house, a piece of land on which to build something, a warehouse, a factory, a processing plant, a school, etc. More specifically, this translates to tangible personal property, immovable assets, and so on. However, you can also include intangibles like services (such as doctor visits, haircuts, computer maintenance, etc.) and intangible personal property (such as financial information, business skills, etc. ).

So, when talking about “personal property”, one can assume that this includes the things attached to a person’s body, as well as immovable possessions like houses, factories, and so on. However, there is one crucial distinction between tangible and intangible property. Real estate is definitely considered to be intangible personal property. The reason for this is that the ownership to these things solely rests with the person who owns them – it does not belong to or is held by anyone else. Real estate, on the other hand, is something that is owned by the state, which owns the rights to the use and value of the things attached to the property. So, real estate is a form of immovable property.

As for intangible personal property, it includes things like records of deeds, business information, records of ownership, inventions, innovations, trademarks, trade names, and the like. Again, it must be noted that the owner of such intangible property has no legal rights in it. He or she merely possesses the right to use it. But, he or she cannot gain any exclusive control over it, nor can he or she sell it without consulting the legal rights belonging to the original owner.

One will hardly find any difference between the terms “immovable property” and “public property”. The only major difference between them is that immovable property is not subject to sale, while public property is. In real estate terms, then, it is the rights to the use of a particular physical location, together with the ownership of the land itself that are called “public property”. On the other hand, all forms of intangible personal property are private property, and not part of the “public property” of a specific location. This includes books, magazines, papers, records, or items of permanent value.

Both public and intangible property rights are protected by common law, which provides that no one can do any harm to them, unless a statutory right to do so is found. In the United States, common law is the reason why people have different sets of property rights. However, in other countries, such as in most of the developed countries, common law tends to favor property rights of a few individuals, and tends to favor the development of large-scale industries. Private property rights are also considered as important parts of the social welfare state, as they give support to the right of access to resources.