The aim of this question is to test whether students grasp the fundamental differences between real and personal property. In their introduction, students should explain what is meant by the terms real property and personal property. Students should also define what is meant by the term ‘land’ to indicate that it includes not just physical territory. As part of their answer, students must therefore deal with corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments in real property. Finally, students should clearly set out the source and background of the differences between real and personal property. Students will perform well where they offer detailed and clear explanations of all of the terms mentioned.
The law of real property or the realty of land law, in the words of Wylie is "concerned with rights and liabilities which arise under our law with respect to land". Land, however, is not just physical territory; the term includes things permanently attached to land, such as houses, buildings and other structures such as garden walls or fences. Personal property or personalty covers all of the other forms of property. Real property is, as mentioned, concerned with more than land, including buildings, as we understand the term. To put it another way, real property includes both corporeal and incorporeal hereditaments.
Corporeal hereditaments are objects which have a physical existence or which, in the words of Blackstone, "affect the senses". They include:
(a) land itself;
(b) buildings and other structures, the foundations of which are in land; (c) parts of a building which are not grounded in land such as an upper storey flat in an apartment block. It is well established in English law, at least, that land is capable of horizontal as well as vertical division. In England, the title to such apartments or offices is known as a strata title; (d) fixtures comprising material objects which, when attached to...
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