- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 04 Oct 2018
Property can be defined as something that a person or business has legal title over. Having legal title over property provides the owner with certain enforceable rights.
Property may be categorised as tangible (‘real’) or intangible. In the built environment, tangible property refers to real estate or land, whereas ‘personal property’, or chattel, is all that which is not ‘real property’.
In English common law, property includes all structures integrated with or affixed to the land, such as; buildings, dams, ponds, canals, roads, and so on. Property tends to have a monetary value attached to it and is therefore treated as an asset. However, it can also be seen as a liability, for example, if there is contamination on land or if someone is injured while on land and a court holds the property owner responsible for not preventing their injury.
Property can also be viewed as:
- A means to an end, providing space for a business to establish a working environment.
- An investment.
- A corporate asset that can be used as collateral to raise money.
- A development opportunity in which profit can be generated by adding value.
Property ownership is one of the key tenets of the capitalist socio-economic system. Adam Smith, one of the foremost capitalist thinkers, wrote that one of the ‘sacred laws of justice is to guard a person’s property and possessions’.
Property ownership may be private, collective or common; with the legal determination relating to who has the ‘bundle of rights’ and duties over the property. The four basic components, often referred to as a ‘bundle of rights’, of an economic good are:
- The right to use the good or resource.
- The right to derive income from the good or resource.
- The right to transfer the good or resource to others.
- The right to enforce property rights.
In economics, property rights are theoretical and legal constructs for determining control over, and use of, a resource or good. The basis for all forms of market exchange is derived from property rights.
Property developers construct, redevelop or refurbish buildings in order to make a profit. They are not the same as a property investors, who purchase completed buildings and sell them or rent them for profit, however, there is clearly considerable overlap.
Investment property is real estate that is used for the purposes of investment, with the aim being to earn a financial return. This return can be earned either through rental income, the capital gain on future resale of the property or, as is typical, both.
Designing Buildings Wiki has a range of articles relating to property, including:
- Common land.
- Equity and loan capital for property development.
- Glossary of property law terms.
- Housing tenure.
- Investment property.
- Land acquisition.
- Land law.
- Legal indemnities for property.
- Property chain.
- Property development finance.
- Property guardianship.
- Property marketing.
- Property ownership.
- Property rights.
- Property valuation.
- Off-plan property.
- Restrictive covenant.
- Types of building.
Featured articles and news
The rainbow JCB will be making a welcome return to the London Build Expo on 23 and 24 October at Olympia.
An introductory article to external works - all activities carried out to the external environment of a building project.
With the clock ticking, RIBA say that a 'no deal Brexit' will be "disastrous" for the architecture profession.
The focus is generally on the lime binder, but the aggregate is actually the most significant element.
The importance of communication, collaboration and simplicity when planning construction projects.
New working group is set up to consider options for raising standards across the property agent sector.
BSRIA provide a top 10 list of recent legislation and guidance affecting buildings.
Record third-time winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize - our profile of one of the world's most celebrated architects.
Foster + Partner's London Bloomberg HQ building wins the 2018 Stirling Prize.
A release schedule is prepared if not all required information has been prepared or issued when the contract is executed.