What is the definition of “public property” vs “private property”?

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What is the definition of “public property” vs “private property”?

I am living in a senior apartment complex. They are trying to enforce rules for public property however I am of the opinion that this building is private property since it is owned by a corporation for revenue purposes.

Asked on September 25, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the building is owned by a corporation, it is possible that it may be considered public property. I am including definitions for both public and private property. In the definition of public property, it does include property owned by a municipal corporation.

Public property describes those things that are owned by the public (referring to the entire state or community) and not restricted to the dominion of private ownership. It may also apply to any subject of property owned by a state, nation or municipal corporation. 

Private property is property protected from being taken for public uses, and it's highly prized in capitalist societies. It is property that belongs absolutely to an individual and of which he or she has the exclusive right of disposition. Private property is of a specific, fixed and tangible nature, capable of being had in possession and transmitted to another such as houses, lands, and chattels. (Chattels are items of personal property such as clothes, furniture, cars, etc.)

Property laws vary between states. So their duties to you as a tenant may be different than property owners of similar properties in other states. Government protection can also vary from state to state. In some cases, similar units are run or funded by government entities. The ownership of property here is not the only factor.

If you have concerns regarding your complex, a real estate attorney in your area can do more research on your unique situation and see what kind of legal protection you may be entitled to.


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