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Property Law

Property law applies to both real estate or real property and personal property. The laws deal with things like property rights, contractual rights, personal rights, possession of property, transfer of property, getting priority of ownership defined by the courts, and they often deal with leases. If you have specific questions about property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, it is best to consult with a lawyer in regard to your rights under the law.

What is the difference between property rights and contractual rights?

This is where the law gets confusing which further emphasizes the need for property law lawyers. Property rights include rights concerning ownership of the property, and contractual rights include rights to the property that are conveyed by a contract; therefore, there is a crossing of laws that dictate the overall rights to the property.

Where do personal rights come in?

In addition to property rights that are governed by the law, there are also personal rights that may provide some contradiction and laws concerning property and personal rights intersect with common law. For instance, people have a right to their own bodies and a right to their reputation or rights of publicity. Property rights can interfere with personal rights; therefore, it is necessary to get property law attorneys to analyze situations according to the various laws that may apply to the situation.

How does property law apply to possession of property?

Possession of property is an issue covered by the law. For instance, if someone is occupying a property, even if they don’t have the legal right to, the owner of the property cannot interfere with the person’s occupancy of the property until they can prove that they actually own the property and prove that they have a superior interest when compared to the occupant. It may not seem right, but the law addresses this instance specifically. If you are dealing with such a situation, it is necessary to consult with property law attorneys before you take any actions.

Doesn’t the transfer of property require consent of the owner?

Usually a transfer of property has the consent of the owner; however, property law makes it possible for property rights to be transferred in lieu of consent of the owner. For instance, if the owner dies, the property can be transferred. The law also makes it possible to transfer rights of ownership in case of a bankruptcy or a judgment issued by the court. In such an instance, the owner may not consent to transfer the property, but the law makes it possible for the transfer to happen without the consent of the owner.

What is the purpose of property law that deals with priority of interest?

When paperwork is done in real estate, sometimes there are mistakes. For instance, what if the legal description on your mortgage defines the property description to be the vacant lot next to you and you have built a house on the property that you thought you bought? Can the person that you bought the property from claim that your house in on their lot and therefore it is their house? In cases like this, property law attorneys can straighten it all out for you by getting a decision from the court concerning the priorities of interests in the property. Priority of interest determinations also apply to fraudulent transfers of property.

If you are a leasing a building and you choose to make improvements to the property, who owns the improvements?

This decision may be based on whether the improvements are moveable or unmovable. Before you sink your money into a property that you don’t own, be sure to consult with a property law attorney. The same can apply to repairs or improvements to leased equipment. Who will be responsible for the costs of repairs, the owner of the equipment or the person leasing the equipment? Questions such as this are answered by property law lawyers, but remember, contractual law may also apply.

Do property law lawyers handle cases concerning intellectual property?

Intellectual property concerns patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and so forth. Basically, the creator has property rights to their creations, whether it is created through artistic thought or for commercial use and whether or not it is registered as a patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret. Intellectual property rights apply to art, literature, music, ideas, inventions, discoveries, and so forth. Property law attorneys may deal with intellectual property; however, there are attorneys that specialize solely in intellectual property. If the creator is employed by a company during the creation who owns the property rights to the product – the employee or the employer? This is a question best answered by property law attorneys or intellectual property lawyers. If you wish to claim ownership in intellectual property, paperwork may need to be developed before hand.

Seven tips on discussing your situation with property law attorneys…

  1. Make sure that the attorney specializes in property law.
  2. Discuss your situation, providing every detail.
  3. Be sure to include whether or not there are contracts, bankruptcies, or others claiming a right to the property involved.
  4. If the property is not in your possession, be sure to let the attorney know that the property is someone else’s possession.
  5. Understand that the attorney will be considering many options based on the situation.
  6. If you don’t understand their advice, ask for clarification.
  7. Follow the advice provided by a lawyer to the letter.

Property law is among the most confusing laws that exist. It merges with many other laws and how do you to decide which laws apply to your situation? Honestly, unless you have a wide array of knowledge regarding the law, it is almost impossible. It is different from other laws that are black and white. There is a lot of gray area in property law.

When you face issues concerning property rights, don’t rely on your own knowledge or interpretation of the laws, anything that you read, or advice from other people. A one-on-one consultation with an attorney, who specializes in property law, involving all of the issues at hand, is the best way to protect your property rights.


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