Types of Property available under the Law

29 Nov 2022  Read 30478 Views

Property has a very broad meaning in its real sense. It is not only just restricted to financial wealth and other tangible (physical) things of value, but it even includes intangibles (non-physical) such as intellectual property rights, stocks & so. Both these tangibles and intangibles can be anything which serves as a source of income or wealth. If an individual owns a property, then the most common legal property rights are the right of possession, control, the right of exclusion, derive income, and disposition. So, property usually refers to anything a person or a business has a legal title over. On having a legal title, an owner can enforce rights over it. This article explores property, its meaning, examples and types. To begin with, firstly, remember these major types of property:

  • Movable property and Immovable property.

  • Tangible property and Intangible property.

  • Private property and Public property.

  • Personal property and Real property.

  • Corporeal property Incorporeal property.

Let’s discuss these kinds one by one in this article.

Kinds of Property

There are various types of properties under the law which are categorised as: 

1. Movable Property

Movable property can be moved from one place to another without causing any damage. These are the legislations which define movable property.

  • Section 2(9) of the Registration Act, 1908- “Movable property” includes standing timber, growing crops and grass, fruit upon and juice in trees, and property of every other description, except immovable property."
  • Section 22 of India Penal Code,1860- “Movable property” are intended to include corporeal property of every description, except land and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth.”
  • Section 3(36) of the General Clause Act,1897- “Movable property” shall mean the property of every description, except immovable property.”

2. Immovable Property

Immovable property is one that cannot be moved from one place to another place. This is the property which is attached to the earth or ground.

  • Section 2(6) of the Registration act, 1908 states that an “Immovable property means and includes land, buildings, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, ferries, fisheries, or any other benefit to arise out of the land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth, but not standing timber, growing crops nor grass.” 

  • This property of a value of more than Rs. 100/- is needed to be registered for which a registration fee and stamp duty are to be paid.

  • This property can be considered an ancestral joint property.

3. Tangible Property

Tangible property has a physical existence and can be touched. This type of property can be moved from one place to other, without causing any damage, from this, we can say that this property is movable in nature.

Examples: cars or other vehicles, books, timber, electronic devices, furniture, etc.

4. Intangible Property

Intangible property does not have any physical existence. These are properties with current or potential value, but no intrinsic value of their own & cannot be touched or felt but holds value.

Examples include intellectual property like copyright, patent or GI, stock and bond certificates. Franchises, securities, software& many more.

5. Public Property

Public property, as we can easily predict, means the property owned by the State for the Indian citizens. It belongs to the public with no claim from an individual. The government or any assigned community generally manages these properties for public utility.

A few common examples can be Government hospitals, parks, public toilets, etc.

6. Private Property

As the name suggests, private property permits a non-government body to own the property. It is property owned by a juristic person for their personal use or benefit which can be of any nature tangible or intangible, movable or immovable.

Common Examples include apartments, securities, trademarks, private wells, etc.

7. Personal Property  

The personal property acts like an umbrella which includes all types of property. Individuals own this kind of property, be it either tangible or intangible.

8. Real Property

Real property, also called real estate property, includes land and any development made on such land. This kind of property is covered in immovable property. But why is this covered in immovable property? See, for example, roads, mines, buildings, factory, crops, etc, which is created by development, are all fixed with the land. This is immovable property, + any development on it, a further deliberation of immovable property is a real property.

Other examples: Building (attached to the earth) using materials like cement, steel, mines, crops, etc. 

9. Corporeal Property

Don’t get confused here. Corporeal property is any tangible property that can be touched and felt, If this is similar to tangible property, then why a separate type of corporeal property came into existence? This is a tangible property but it is mainly the right of ownership in material things of such property. All kinds of tangible property can be considered corporeal property. it can be divided into two categories: movable and immovable property and personal and real property as it is ownership rights.

10. Incorporeal Property

Incorporeal property means all kinds of intangible property. Again, then why such a category is brought up? This type of property is also called intellectual property. It is an incorporeal right, meaning having legal rights over things that cannot be touched or felt.


The above-mentioned are classifications of property in jurisprudence notes. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of property and the procedure to obtain such type of property in India. It is also important to note that property disputes, whether over a piece of land, trademark infringement, or family dispute over property, are highly prevalent. And, hence, to avoid any such dispute it is recommended to approach property lawyers to understand the whole process.

About the Author: Kakoli Nath | 275 Post(s)

She is a Legal Content Manager at Finology Legal! With a Masters in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), a BBA.LL.B from ITM University, and patent analyst training from IIPTA, she truly specializes in her field. Her passion for IPR and Criminal laws is evident from her advanced certification in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Profiling from IFS, Pune.

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