Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Personal Property Definition:

Chattels, goods, property other than real property.

Related Terms: Movable, Real Property, Chose In Action, Chattel, Goods, Property

Also known in law as chattels.

In Srebot Farms Ltd. v Bradford Co-operative Storage Ltd. (145 DLR 331, 1997), Justice Epstein of the Ontario Court of Justice adopted these words to define personal property:

"In broad and general sense, everything that is the subject of ownership, not coming under denomination of real estate. A right or interest in things personal, or right or interest less than a freehold in realty, or any right or interest which one has in things movable.

"Personal property is divisible into corporeal personal property, which includes movable and tangible things, ...and incorporeal personal property, which consists of such rights as personal annuities, stocks, shares, patents and copyrights."

Usually contrasted with real property. William Blackstone, in his 1756-1759 Commentaries on the Laws of England (Volume 2), wrote:

"Things real are such as are permanent, fixed and immovable; which cannot be carried out of their place, as lands and tenements.

"Things personal are goods, money and all other movable; which may attend the owner's person wherever he thinks proper to go."

In University of Southern Indiana Foundation (843 N.E. 2d 528, 2006), Justice Boehm of the Supreme Court of Indiana wrote:

"[P]ersonal property means any movable or intangible thing that is subject to ownership and not classified as real property."

As an example of a statute which defines the term, §1 of Ontario's Fraudulent Conveyance Act (RSO 1990, Chapter F29, published at canlii.org/on/laws/sta/f-29/index.html):

"'(P)ersonal property' includes goods, chattels, effects, bills, bonds, notes and securities, and shares, dividends, premiums and bonuses in a bank, company or corporation, and any interest therein."

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