Personal Property Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Personal Property, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Personal Property?

n.Movable assets like car,furniture animals etc are called personal property.It is also called personalty.It is not real property,money or investments.

History and Meaning of Personal Property

Personal property refers to movable items, assets, and possessions which can be owned and transferred by an individual or entity. It is a legal concept that distinguishes it from real property, which includes buildings and land. The term personal property has been used in law since the time of Roman law and has evolved over the years to include a wide range of tangible and intangible items.

In early common law, personal property was divided into two categories, namely chattels personal and choses in action. Chattels personal referred to tangible movable property such as clothing, furniture, and livestock, while choses in action referred to intangible personal property such as debts and contractual rights. Today, personal property also includes intellectual property (IP) such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

Examples of Personal Property

  1. Vehicles such as cars, trucks, and motorcycles
  2. Household appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and televisions
  3. Portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets
  4. Furniture such as chairs, tables, and sofas
  5. Livestock such as horses, cattle, and chickens

Legal Terms Similar to Personal Property

  1. Intellectual Property: Refers to unique creations of the mind, including inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, and images.
  2. Real Property: Refers to land and everything that is permanently attached to it, such as buildings, trees, and natural resources.
  3. Tangible Property: Refers to physical assets that can be touched and felt, such as inventory, equipment, and machinery.
  4. Intangible Property: Refers to non-physical assets that have value, such as patents, copyrights, and goodwill.
  5. Chattel: Refers to any movable personal property, including tangible and intangible items.