Nature of Property


Property is the distinct set of rights over land. Land is defined in the Law of Property Act 1925 [1]. To begin with, it consists of ‘land of any tenure’. The particular phrase means that it encompasses both freehold and leasehold land. A distinction is made between ‘real property’ and ‘personal property’.

‘Real property’ is freehold land or anything that is is makes up that land such as buildings and roads. It also included rights attached to the land.

‘Personal property’ consists of chattels and all property that isn’t real. Land is three-dimensional; it encompasses the surface, the subterranean space beneath the surface and the airspace above. There are no limits to the subterranean space, but limits have been placed on the airspace through case law.

Furthermore, the definition includes ‘corporeal hereditaments’ and ‘incorporeal hereditaments’. The former refers to any real property with a physical form, while the latter makes reference to intangible rights in land such as the right to receive rent. However, it is important to note that other people may have rights over your land as well, such as the right of way. Lastly, there are fixtures which are chattels attached to the land in a way that form part of it [2].

Key Terms

Chattel – a physical object which never becomes attached to the land and does not pass with conveyances of the land

Property – compromises of the set of rights an individual possess over land that is enforceable against all other people.

Key References

[1] –  Law of Property Act 1925

[2] –  Section 205(1)(ix) of the Law of Property Act 1925.

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