Possession Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Possession?

It is an act of possesing, holding, occupying or having a control over anything like asset, property or thing, with or without legal ownership.

History and Meaning of Possession

Possession is a legal term that is used to describe the physical control or occupation of a property, asset, or thing. Simply put, possession means having something under your control or ownership. Possession can be temporary or permanent and can be acquired either with or without legal ownership. The history of possession dates back to the early legal systems that were developed to regulate human relationships and ensure justice.

The concept of possession is essential to many legal systems as it helps to determine the ownership and control over assets and property. Possession is often a critical factor in determining who has the right to own, use, or control property. It also plays a significant role in many legal disputes, where the physical control over property is contested.

Examples of Possession

  1. If a person lives in a rented property, they possess the property during the rental term.
  2. If a person buys a car, they take physical possession of the vehicle, along with legal ownership.
  3. If a tenant vacates a rental property and leaves their belongings behind, the landlord can take possession of the items left behind.
  4. If a person finds a lost item on the street, they take temporary possession of the item, but the legal owner retains ownership.
  5. If a person borrows a book from the library, they have temporary possession of it until the due date.

Legal Terms Similar to Possession

  1. Custody: Refers to the control or care of something, typically involving responsibility and protection.
  2. Ownership: Refers to the legal right to control and enjoy certain property.
  3. Control: Refers to the power or authority to direct or regulate something.
  4. Occupancy: Refers to the act of holding, living or residing in a property or premises.
  5. Detention: Refers to the act of holding a person, property or item in custody or confinement.