Real And Personal Property

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Real And Personal Property

Full Definition of Real And Personal Property

The terms ‘real property’ (or ‘realty’) and ‘personal property’ (‘personalty’) derive from the mediaeval judicial remedies that were available in disputes over ownership. A ‘real’ remedy involved the return of the thing itself, while a ‘personal’ remedy was satisfied by the award of the value of the thing. Where the thing in dispute was land (or, strictly speaking, an interest in land), then in most cases a personal remedy would not be adequate; for most people there would be no adequate substitute for the land itself. Land does not move: if someone else is occupying my land then I need him off, not another piece of land somewhere else. On the other hand one cow, for example, maybe as good as any other. Such considerations led to the notion that ownership of land was fundamentally different from ownership of other things (specifically, moveable things), and this, in turn, leads to our modern concept of ‘real property’. This term is difficult to accord a precise definition, but in practice, it is usually taken to mean interests in land, buildings and fixtures on land, and rights to the enjoyment of land. Everything else is ‘personal property’.

Cite Term

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Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Real And Personal Property. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. July 05, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Real And Personal Property. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: July 05, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Real And Personal Property. Retrieved July 05, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Real And Personal Property are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 7th April, 2020 | 0 Views.