What Are the Three Different Types of Property Law?

Posted on August 2, 2023


Property law in the United States is complex and multifaceted, but these laws pertain specifically to three distinct types of property. Both state and federal laws exist to protect real property, personal property, and intellectual property. It’s vital to understand the property laws that pertain to the type of property in question in your current case.

Avenue Law Firm specializes in real property law, which applies to the real estate market and the buying and selling of real property in New York. However, everyone should have some working knowledge of the three main types of property law in the United States. When you encounter any legal issue regarding property law, it’s vital to find legal representation from an attorney who knows how to handle the type of property law to which your case pertains. At Avenue Law Firm, our team of New York real estate attorneys are well-versed in the complexities of property law and may be able to provide comprehensive legal assistance for all your real property needs.

Whether you are buying or selling a property, dealing with landlord-tenant disputes, facing property disputes, or encountering any other real estate legal matter, our team may be able to guide you through the process and protect your interests. Contact us today at (212) 729-4090 to schedule a consultation.

Property Law

Property law deals with the rules and regulations governing the rights, interests, and ownership of real, intellectual, and personal property. It encompasses a wide range of legal principles that dictate how individuals and entities can acquire, use, transfer, and protect their assets. Property can include land, buildings, vehicles, intellectual property, and other tangible or intangible possessions.

The fundamental aspects of property law revolve around the concept of ownership. It establishes the ways in which an individual or entity can gain legal title to property through various means such as purchase, inheritance, or gift. Additionally, property law governs the rights and responsibilities of owners towards their property, including the right to exclude others from using it, the right to sell or transfer it, and the right to use it in a manner that does not infringe on others’ rights.

Property law also deals with numerous legal issues like easements, mortgages, leases, and adverse possession. Easements grant individuals the right to use a portion of another person’s property for specific purposes, while mortgages enable individuals to secure loans using their property as collateral. Leases determine the terms and conditions of renting property, while adverse possession allows someone who has occupied a property for an extended period without the owner’s objection to claim ownership.

Disputes over property are common, and property law facilitates the resolution of such conflicts through court proceedings. Overall, property law plays a vital role in maintaining order and ensuring that individuals’ and entities’ property rights are protected within society.

Intellectual Property Law

“Intellectual property” refers to creative works of the mind. If you write a story, that story can become your intellectual property. If you compose a piece of music, create a work of art, or develop a video game, all of these works can potentially become intellectual property. However, you must follow the appropriate procedures to establish your intellectual property rights.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is one of the most important federal agencies when it comes to intellectual property rights. If you want to profit from your intellectual property, you must register it appropriately. This ensures other parties cannot capitalize on the work you have put into your brand.

When you establish intellectual property and someone else attempts to use it for profit, you have the right to file a civil claim against that party for infringement of your intellectual property rights. These cases often involve substantial damages. If you encounter any such problems with your intellectual property, it’s vital to work with an attorney who understands this area of property law in extreme detail. Intellectual property laws also play important roles in the realm of business law. Companies must protect trade secrets, copyrights, and other intellectual property to maintain profitability and continue operating.

Personal Property Law

“Personal property” includes items that you purchased and own other than real property. For example, your home would be real property, and the furniture, appliances, artwork, decorations, and electronics you purchase and place inside of your home would be your personal property. The items you carry with you on your person and/or in your vehicle on an everyday basis also count as personal property.

You have the right to purchase property for your personal use, keep them on your person, in your vehicle, or in your home at your discretion, and you also have the right to dispose of or sell personal property as you see fit, as long as you are not violating any laws in doing so.

Property ownership rights extend to personal property in the capacity of buying, selling, or transferring ownership of personal property at the owner’s discretion. If you have any item of personal property that another person wants, they may buy it from you, and you have the right to sell it if you so choose. Most of the legal issues surrounding personal property fall within the purview of criminal law.

For example, theft and fraud are property crimes that typically involve personal property. If you are the victim of an armed robbery, this means another person forcibly stole personal property from your possession. Burglary of a home would be an example of violating both real property ownership rights via trespassing and personal property rights via stealing property from inside the home.

Real Property Law

“Real property” includes real estate, structures, and buildings. Real property can extend to residential buildings, such as apartment buildings, condominiums, and single-family homes as well as commercial properties zoned for various business activities. Real property law is a very complex area of property law, and it’s vital to understand your property ownership rights as they pertain to your real property.

An experienced real estate attorney is a tremendous asset to have on your side no matter what type of real property transaction you face. While you can rely on your real estate agent for general advice and basic guidance as you navigate your transaction, there will be some issues that your real estate agent simply isn’t equipped to address. They may also be professionally bound by ethical constraints that prevent them from divulging everything they know about a particular property.

Your real estate attorney can provide more detailed insights into the transaction ahead of you. If you are purchasing a piece of real property, they can help you make a more informed purchasing decision. They can also help you verify the seller’s credentials to ensure you do not become the victim of a scam or fraud.

When it comes to the transaction itself, you would be able to rely on your attorney for contract drafting and review, streamlining the process and helping you complete your transaction as efficiently as possible. When you want to sell real property that you own, your attorney can provide valuable services for this effort as well, helping you secure the best possible price for the property and making the transaction easier to complete overall.

Types of Property Law Description
Intellectual Property Law Pertains to creative works of the mind, such as writing, music, art, or video games. Establishing intellectual property rights requires following appropriate procedures.
Personal Property Law Includes items owned, purchased, and used by individuals, excluding real estate. Examples are furniture, electronics, and items carried on a person or in a vehicle.
Real Property Law Encompasses real estate, buildings, and structures. It applies to residential and commercial properties, and understanding ownership rights is crucial in this complex area.

Work With the Right Attorney

When you face any type of legal case involving your property rights in New York, it is essential to find an attorney who has proven experience handling the type of case currently before you. Experienced legal counsel can make a tremendous difference whether you are trying to assert and protect your property ownership rights or hold another party accountable for violating those rights. You can also rely on an experienced property law attorney to guide you through any complex transaction regarding your property.

Avenue Law Firm specializes in real property law for New York clients. Our team has years of experience navigating difficult property law cases in the volatile New York real estate market. We know the challenges facing both buyers and sellers in this domain. If you are preparing to buy or sell commercial or residential property in New York, we can help. Contact Avenue Law Firm today and schedule a consultation with our team to learn more about the property law services we offer.

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