Property Law – Everything You Should Know

everything you should know about property law
a house with a for-sale sign in front

No matter what type of business you own, it’s important to understand the basics of property law. This essential area of law governs the ownership and use of physical property, such as landholdings, buildings, and equipment. 

By understanding property law, you can make sure that your business is operating within the bounds of the law and protect your interests in case of a dispute. In this post, we’ll explain the key concepts this law so that you can start protecting your business assets today.

People also ask

Intellectual property law is a broad term for the collection of intangible assets owned and legally protected by a company or individual from unauthorized use or implementation. An intangible asset is a non-physical asset owned by a company or individual.

Contract law is a branch of US law that deals with agreements between individuals, businesses, and groups.

What is Property Law?

what is property law?

Property law, also known as real estate law, deals with residential and commercial property transactions and includes specialized areas such as property finance, mortgage lending, and social housing.

The area of law that governs what people own is known as property law. It is the body of law that governs who can own land and personal property, how they can use them, and under what conditions. This law governs both real and personal property.

Property ownership and use is a legal topic that affects everyone in society. Estate law, family law, and municipal law all rely heavily on property law.

Different kinds of property

Personal property 

personal property

Personal property is any asset other than real estate that is classified as property. The difference between personal property and real estate, or real property, is that personal property is movable; that is, it is not permanently fixed to one location. It is not generally taxed in the same way that fixed property is.

Residential property

residential property

Residential property is a location where houses are constructed for the purpose of living in or staying in. These homes are strictly for personal use and cannot be used for industrial or commercial purposes.

A residential house can be broadly classified into the following types:

  • Stand-alone house: This is a type of free-standing residential building, as the name implies. A detached house is also known as a detached residence, a single-family home, or a single-detached dwelling.
  • Multi-family residential: This is also referred to as a multi-dwelling unit, or MDU. Inside one building, there will be multiple separate houses for residential purposes. This can be built either next to another or on top of another. Apartments, mixed-use buildings, row houses or brownstones, bedsits, cluster houses, condominiums, deck access, flats, four-plus ones, garage-apartment, Garlow, warehouse version, Maisonette, penthouse, plattenbau, terraced house, triple-decker, and so on are common examples.
  • Mobile home: This type of house is mobile and can be moved from one location to another. Park homes, trailer homes, caravans, RVs, motorhomes, and other similar structures are common examples.
  • Duplexes: These are houses with two distinct dwelling units with two separate entrances but a single structure..

Real property

real property

Property denotes the dominion or right of use, control, and disposition over things, objects, or land that one may lawfully exercise. One of the most fundamental property distinctions is that between real and personal property.

In general, real property refers to land. In its broadest sense, land includes not only the earth’s surface but also everything of a permanent nature over or beneath it. Structures and minerals are included.

Within the real estate classification, there are additional divisions. Freehold estates, nonfreehold estates, and concurrent estates are the most important. (Other types of interests include future interests, specialty estates, and incorporeal interests.)

  • Individuals who own freehold estates have ownership for an indefinite period of time. The “fee simple absolute,” which is inheritable and lasts as long as the individual and his heirs want to keep it, is an example of a freehold estate. Another example is the “life estate,” in which the individual owns the land for the rest of his or her life.
  • Non-freehold estates are short-term property interests. Tenancy for years, tenancy at will, and tenancy at sufferance are among them.
  • Concurrent estates exist when property is owned or possessed by two or more people at the same time.

What does Property Law include? 

Commercial Property Law

It deals with commercial properties or land that generates a profit for the owner. All legal aspects of buying and selling commercial properties are handled by commercial law. Clients can come from any industry, including farmers, hotel owners, and charities.

Residential Property Law

Personal Property Law encompasses all legal aspects of purchasing and selling personal or residential property. Property lawyers work with domestic and international clients who want to buy or sell property in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

The main subject of Property Law

  • Transfer of land
  • Ownership of land
  • Disputes over land
  • Tenancies
  • Licenses
  • Easements
  • Mortgages
  • Adverse possessions

The Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord and Tenant law

The rental of commercial and residential property is governed by landlord-tenant law. It is primarily made up of state statutes and common law. Many states have based their statutory law on the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (URLTA) or the Model Residential Landlord-Tenant Code. Furthermore, federal statutory law may be applicable during national/regional emergencies and in the prevention of forms of discrimination.

The Four Basic Types of Landlord-Tenant Relationships

The basis of the legal relationship between a landlord and tenant is grounded in both contract and property law. The tenant has a property interest in the land (historically, a non-freehold estate) for a given period of time before the property interest transfers back to the landlord.

While these four relationship types are generally true, they are subject to state statutes, as well as the actual lease agreed upon by the landlord and the tenant.

Term of Years Tenancy

The relationship lasts for a set amount of time that is agreed upon in advance by both the landlord and the tenant. When the period expires, the tenant’s possessory rights expire as well.

The tenant has the right to possess the landholding, to prohibit others (including the landlord) from entering the land, and to sublease or assign the property in this relationship.

Periodic Tenancy

Unless the landlord gives advance notice of termination, the relationship is automatically renewed. The tenant has the right to possess the land and to restrict others in this relationship (including the landlord from entering the ground, and to sublease or assign the property).

Tenancy at Will

There is no set time limit. The relationship will last as long as the tenant and landlord wish.

Tenancy at Sufferance

The tenant continues to inhabit the property after the lease expires.

Types of Property Law

Types of property law

Property law may involve many different topics, including:

Transfers of property and types of ownership

Property owners must understand how they can own their property and what steps they must take to legally transfer ownership through sale or gifting. For example, a person may have sole ownership of a piece of property or a joint tenancy with others. They may or may not have the right to transfer their share of ownership to someone else at any time or upon their death if they have joint tenancy.

What is a deed?

A deed is a legal document that establishes who owns real property. A person’s legal interest is highly dependent on the type of deed they have. A warranty deed, for example, guarantees the purchaser free and clear ownership of the property. A quitclaim deed, on the other hand, only signs over any rights that a person may have in the property. Each jurisdiction has its own set of rules for creating and recording an effective deed.

Zoning laws

A person’s property can be restricted by the government. Zoning laws are those that govern how real estate can be used. A government, for example, can limit the use of a property to residential, commercial, or industrial purposes. People who buy property in a specific area must be aware of and adhere to zoning restrictions. Zoning laws can be broad, such as restricting a property to residential use, or they can be very specific, such as requiring buildings to be set back from the road.

Private land use laws like homeowners association rules

Private associations, like the government, can impose restrictions on the use of property owned by others. Private homeowner association laws are created, enforced, and challenged in property law. While a government attorney may take action to enforce zoning violations, private association attorneys act on their behalf to enforce property restrictions. State laws govern how organizations establish themselves as authorities and what they must do in order to create enforceable law.

Eminent Domain

The government may want to take private property for public use at times. The government’s right to take real property from a private owner is known as eminent domain. Even if someone objects, the government may take the property; however, the person must be fairly compensated for the property. Eminent domain is restricted and frequently the subject of legal challenges. In the case of eminent domain, property attorneys represent both government agencies and individual landowners.

Adverse possession

In certain circumstances, the law allows people to claim ownership of property without having to pay for it. Adverse possession is the legal term for claiming property by right. A person must occupy the property for a number of years in order to acquire it through adverse possession.

Typically, they must live on the property, not in hiding, for a decade or more with a claim of ownership. Adverse possession is a common problem when neighboring property owners use incorrect border boundaries for an extended period of time. Adverse possession is used to settle land disputes and ensure that land is used.

What is an easement?

An easement allows a person to use someone else’s property. An easement or right of access is the right to use someone else’s property. If a person has no other way to access their property than by crossing someone else’s property, they most likely have an easement over it. The use of an easement is frequently contested and the subject of litigation.

Wild animals and natural resources

A piece of land may also contain wild animals and natural resources. These resources may be present on the land all of the time or only on occasion. Property laws govern when and how a landowner may use natural resources on his or her property. Oil and gas laws can also come into play because they govern how a person must treat wild animals and natural resources that occur on their property.

Personal property – gifts, lost property and abandoned property

Real estate issues are typically governed by state law. In some states, for example, an engagement ring is considered a gift. If the marriage does not take place, the person who receives the engagement ring keeps it. In some states, an engagement ring is considered a conditional gift. If the marriage does not take place, the person who receives the ring must return it. Each state has its own set of rules for dealing with lost and abandoned property.


As you can see, property law is a complex and nuanced area of the law. It’s important to consult with an experienced property lawyer if you have any questions about your specific situation.

Thank you for your support by visiting our blog, we hope that this article has given you a general overview of how property law works in the United States. You can search for more information and articles on the property law subject on the site, which might be helpful for you as well.

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