Property—The Different Types Explained

PROPERTY is understood to be tangible or intangible things which one has rights of legal control over, such as possession, usage, protection, disposal. While these rights vary depending on the type of property, the possessor, the owner or the holder, has the right to use the property under the property rights granted regardless of the property type.

The main types of property are distinguished as real property and personal property, including intellectual property.

Property can also be looked at as tangible property and intangible property, which can be touched as for the former and which cannot as for the latter. Usually, real property is tangible, whereas personal property can be both, with personal belongings being tangible and with intellectual property being intangible.

The main forms of property are recognised as private property, possessed by individuals, business or legal entities; public property, possessed by the state or the public in common, and collective property or cooperative property, possessed jointly by members of a group.

Social property is possession of property by the society as a whole, and not by individual members or social sub-groups. Social ownership can be in various forms, such as society-wide public ownership, state ownership, common ownership, community ownership, collective ownership or cooperative ownership, employee ownership, etc. Society-wide public property, and collective property or cooperative property are main forms of social property.

State property is a state-owned form of public property, which possession is recognised as state ownership or government ownership, a form of public ownership. As such, state property is possessed by the state or the government of a state on national, regional, municipal, and local governmental levels. However, there are non-governmental forms of public ownership held by public or community representative entitites.

Common property is a main form of social property, possessed by a group as a whole and not as separate or individual divisions. This distinguishes it from collective or cooperative property, which is jointly possessed by agreement of people or entities in a group. Therefore, common ownership is a form of social ownership, which can be common type group ownership, or indivisible collective ownership, community ownership, or public ownership. As such, common property can also be recognised as a publicly owned form of public property, which is freely open for public access and available to everyone.

Community property is a community-owned property, which is a form of social property, and can be recognised as collective property or cooperative property, as well as common property, and public property. Community ownership takes place in the form of community cooperatives, a type of consumer cooperatives, where community property is possessed jointly by the members of a community. Community ownership can also be controlled through community representation.

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