Property Law – “Seminar” 1.1

Property Law – “Seminar” 1.1

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Property Law – “Seminar” 1.1 (DRAFT 1) Meaning of Property and its Role in Society What is property? The term “property” can mean different things depending on the person who is using the term and its context, thus it can mean different things (eg: land or various goods). o In lay terms, property generally refers to things people own (Eg: Land, buildings, cars, whitegoods, jewellery) Legally, it is known as an enforceable right to a particular thing to enforce their rights against all other people. A law of property can cover: o Real property o Personal property Law of property governs how those rights to things are established and the dealings of people in relation to them (eg: Transfer, use and enforceability). Real and personal property Real property = An interest or estate in land Personal property = Interest in other things than land (eg: Money, shares, copyright in a book or song, chattels, choses in action (such as a debt) etc.) Property rights are to be distinguished from personal rights, where a property right depends upon whether the item is in existence or not. o Personal rights do not depend on the existence of a good, but more so an obligation for someone to do something with a particular thing (eg: Contractual obligation). It therefore depends on someone’s obligation to fulfil that right. o Property rights are rights “in rem” and personal rights are rights “in personam”. Property rights – Two essential attributes Must have: o Existence of a particular thing which is to remain. (Eg: when a house is destroyed, the property right does not exist anymore) It can exist to other various goods, such as shares, debts and even some legal rights to sue. Sometimes there can also be legal rights to sue as well. However, our body does not count, thus such goods must be distinct from our bodies. Page 1 of 7
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o Able to enforce against a wide range of persons, thus can be defended from “the world at large”. Anyone wanting to attack the right to property can be prevented from infringing that right. Personal rights however are between one person and another or a group of people between another group. These other characteristics are shared by most, but not all property rights: o Property rights can be sold or transferred to others (alienable). Eg: Selling or renting land to someone else. o A person holding a property right can exclude others from making use of the thing subject to that right. Eg: Putting a fence along the property to exclude others from being on the land, prevent the public from walking on the land. o Most property rights have some value in the market place. Eg: Land can be sold in the market place when transferred to someone else in return for some payment. However, there are some property rights that do not have market place, such as children’s painting. They have sentimental value, but do not particularly have a market value. Something, a person can get value from something that has sentimental value
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course FINANCE 1001 taught by Professor Profassorted during the Three '11 term at University of Adelaide.

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Property Law – “Seminar” 1.1

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