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Personal property: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is Personal property ?

Personal property, also known as movable property, is anything that you can physically move with relative ease. It's the opposite of real property, which refers to land and things attached to the land, like buildings. This might seem a bit confusing, so let's break it down with some examples.

If you have a bicycle, that's personal property - you can move it around. What about things like your TV or your computer? Although they might be heavy, they're still considered personal property because you COULD move them if you had to. However, if you own a house, the house itself isn't personal property because you can't just pack it up and take it with you. That falls under real property.

Here's an interesting fact, movable property isn't just limited to belongings you can carry or drag around. It also covers intangible things like shares and bonds. Despite they're referred as 'intangible', these are considered personal property because they represent an amount that you own, which can be moved (or transferred) from one person to another.


  • Situations Description
    Mobile Phone Your mobile phone is personal property. It's something you can carry with you, from place to place, making it movable.
    Car A car is another perfect example of personal property. Despite being large, it's still movable.
    A pet dog A pet dog is considered personal property as it is movable and owned by a person.
    Intellectual Property Things like copyrights, patents, trademarks, these are all forms of personal property. Although they are intangible, they are owned by individuals or companies, and can be transferred.