Do you understand your rights concerning your personal property? First, it may be necessary to define what constitutes personal property versus private property. To put it simply, it is a term that encompasses just about all of your things but does not touch on real estate law.
While on the surface, a person’s personal property rights may seem straightforward, you will find that anytime you share a home property dispute mediation can become a very real problem. This happens because of a disagreement about who owns which item. It is also possible for an item to technically belong to more than one person, as with spouses.
The way that can occur is simple, and it actually happens all the time. For example, imagine you and your significant other are living together, and you decide to buy a new, bigger couch for the living room. When you separate, who does the couch belong to? It will actually belong to both of you, but cutting it in half isn’t exactly the best option.
As personal property rights come up in conversations relating to a dissolution of a partnership or other agreement, emotions may be running high. It is rare that both parties in the dispute are calm and agreeable to compromise. Such disputes form the basis of property law cases.
Personal property law is classified as belongings that can be moved. This includes living things such as plants and pets. Private property carries the distinction of being intended for the use of a single person, and usually is used in conjunction with real estate.
These two might intersect when living arrangements become messy. For example, you may be aware that contracts should always be in writing, as verbal arrangements can be difficult to prove. In fact, it is required by law by the Californian Stature of Frauds that any lease that will last for longer than a year absolutely must be in writing. Incidentally, they also recommend contracts for the sale of real estate property, and any commission agreements between real estate licensees and principles, but that may seem a little more obvious than a simple living agreement.
Contracts are meant to protect both parties from being taken advantage of by the other(s) involved. In the example above, the written lease also serves the renter by requiring the landlord to give any eviction notices at least 60 days before the desired vacate date. The way this relates to personal property rights is the well-known pre-nuptials.
A contract before marriage is not typically viewed as a romantic gesture. But it is a prudent one, and can save you a headache later on if it is needed. Modern life seems to ask that you tie your life up with another person, and that can be a wonderful thing. However, know what your personal property rights are so that you do not lose any of your belongings if things go south.