What is movable property?

  • Personal property is generally considered a property that is movable, as opposed to real property or real estate.
  • In civil law systems, personal property is called movable property — this is any property that can be moved from one location to another.

What is immovable property?

  • Whereas on the other hand, immovable property is an immovable object.
  • It is an item of property that can only be moved after destroying or altering it.
  • Immovable property includes campuses, property rights, houses, land.
  • It is bound by geographic coordinates or by reference to local landmarks, depending on the jurisdiction.

Apart from the differences in the methods of valuation of immovable property and movable property, the major differences can be understood from the below points:

Movable Property:

1. A movable property can easily be moved from one place to another, without changing its shape, size, quantity or quality.

Common examples are vehicles, books, utensils, timber, etc.

2. Banyan trees, if cut and sold for timber purpose, are considered as movable property.

3. A contract for cutting the bamboos and collection of tobacco leaves comes under the movable property.

4. A movable property has no need to be registered under the Indian Registration Act, 1908. It is purely voluntary.

5. Movable property is subject to sales tax, and Central sales tax, subject to certain restrictions and conditions under the (concerned state) General Sales Tax Act and the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.

6. Mere delivery with an aim to transfer the movable property completes the transfer.

7. A movable property does not form an increase to an ancestral impartible estate.

Immovable property:

1. The immovable property is not easy to transport from one place to another. If transported, it can lose its original shape, volume, quantity or quality.

Common examples can be land, houses, trees attached to the ground.

2. Mango trees, if sold for nourishment and for fruits can be considered as immovable property.

3. Cutting the bamboos for a number of years under a contract comes under the immovable property.

4. Whenever an immovable property is transferred, it is compulsory to get it registered under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, if its value exceeds Rs. 100.

5. The immovable property is not subject to sales tax. But you have to pay stamp duty under the Indian Stamp Act 1899 and a registration fee is to be paid under the Indian Registration Act 1908.

6. Mere delivery is not enough to consider the transfer a valid transfer. The registration of property is compulsory in name of the transferee.

7. The immovable property forms an increase to an ancestral impartible estate.

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A. Introduction:

The Term “Immovable Property” occurs in various Central Acts. However none of those Acts conclusively define this term. The most important act which deals with immovable property is the Transfer of Property Act (T. P. Act).

B. Definition of Property:

i. According to Section 3 of that Act, “Immovable Property” does not include standing timber, growing crops or grass. Thus, the term is defined in the Act by excluding certain things. “Buildings” constitute immovable property and machinery, if embedded in the building for the beneficial use thereof, must be deemed to be a part of the building and the land on which the building is situated;

ii. As per Section 3(26) of the General Clauses Act 1897, “immovable property” “shall include land, benefits to arise out of land and things attached to the earth, or permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth”. This definition of immovable property is also not exhaustive;

iii. Section 2(6) of The Registration Act,1908 defines “Immovable Property” as under: “Immovable Property includes land, building, hereditary allowances, rights to ways, lights, ferries, fisheries or any other benefit to arise out of land, and things attached to the earth or permanently fastened to anything which is attached to the earth but not standing timber, growing crops nor grass”. The above definition, implies that building is included in the definition of immovable property.

iv. The following have been held as immovable property: A right to collect rent, life interest in the income of the immovable property, right of way, a ferry, fishery, a lease of land.

C. Property:

(a) Immovable Property:

i. Things Rooted in Earth and Standing Timber, Growing Crops and grass.

ii. Trees

iii. Timber trees and standing timber

iv. Land

v. Benefits arising out of land

vi. Things attached to Earth

vii. Attached to what is Embedded

(b) Movable Property

D. Section 5 of Transfer of Property Act, 1986.

E. Relevant Cases:

i. Shantabai v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 532.

ii. Chhotabhai Jethabhai Patel & Co. v. State of Madhay Pradesh, AIR 1952 Sc 108.

iii. State of Orrissa v. Titaghur Paper Mills Co. Ltd., AIR 1938 ALL 115.

iv. Anand Behera v. State of Orrissa, (1955) 2 SCR 919.