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In
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, tangible property is literally anything that can be touched, and includes both
real property In England, English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called Land improvement, improvements or Fixture (property law), fixtures) integr ...
and
personal property Personal property is property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the ri ...
(or moveable property), and stands in distinction to
intangible property Intangible property, also known as incorporeal property, is something that a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and bein ...
. In
English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, legal system of England and Wales, comprising mainly English criminal law, criminal law and Civil law (common law), civil law, each branch having its own Courts of England and Wales, ...
and some
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existenc ...

Commonwealth
legal systems, items of tangible property are referred to as ''choses in possession'' (or a ''chose in possession'' in the singular). However, some property, despite being physical in nature, is classified in many legal systems as intangible property rather than tangible property because the
right Rights are legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is desc ...
s associated with the physical item are of far greater significance than the physical properties. Principally, these are documentary intangibles. For example, a
promissory note A promissory note, sometimes referred to as a note payable, is a legal instrument ''Legal instrument'' is a legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behav ...
is a piece of paper that can be touched, but the real significance is not the physical paper, but the legal rights which the paper confers, and hence the promissory note is defined by the legal
debt Debt is an obligation that requires one party, the debtor A debtor or debitor is a legal entity (legal person) that owes a debt Debt is an obligation that requires one party, the debtor, to pay money or other agreed-upon value to ...

debt
rather than the physical attributes. A unique category of property is
money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a ...

money
, which in some legal systems is treated as tangible property and in others as intangible property. Whilst most countries legal tender is expressed in the form of intangible property ("The
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be State ownership, state or roy ...

Treasury
of Country X hereby promises to pay to the bearer on demand...."), in practice
banknotes A banknote (often known as a bill (in the US and Canada), paper money, or simply a note) is a type of negotiable instrument, negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed authority, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes w ...
are now rarely ever redeemed in any country, which has led to banknotes and coins being classified as tangible property in most modern legal systems.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Tangible Property Property law
Legal terminology {{CatAutoTOC Terms Jargon Terminology Terms Terminology Terminology is a general word for the group of specialized words or meanings relating to a particular field, and also the study of such terms and their use. This is also known as termino ...
fr:Tangible