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Laws governing real estate properties are known as property laws. These laws govern various forms of real estate property and personal property within the common law legal system. It may involve different practice areas such as property management, landlord & tenant law, land use & zoning, homeowners association, foreclosure, eminent domain, and construction law.

Under the civil law system there is a distinction between the immovable and movable property. Immovable property corresponds to real property or real estate, and associated obligations and rights. Meanwhile, the movable property approximately corresponds to personal property. The philosophy, idea, or concept of property motivates all property laws. In some jurisdiction systems, all properties that were historically owned by the monarch are transferred through feudal land tenure or other feudal systems of fealty and loyalty.

Real estate laws have originated from England. Apparently, the development of the laws had been generally unspectacular and gradual. Real estate laws vary from one state to another state depending on the system of recording for land ownership.

The Napoleonic Code was among the first governments that enforce acts concerning notion of absolute ownership into laws. These laws provide protection of personal property rights that were present in Islamic jurisprudence and law. The laws come in more feudalist forms in the common law courts of England whether medieval or early modern.

Real estate rights refer to rights over properties enforceable against other parties. These rights may rise from contracts and often distinguished from personal rights. The separating line between the property rights and the personal rights are not always easy to illustrate.

Real estate law is characterized by great deal of technical terminology and historical continuity. Its basic distinction among common law systems is its chattels and land components. The division of chattels and land components had been criticized by many people since it is not being satisfactory as a basis for categorizing the principles of real estate laws. According to some critics, these components focus much attention on the interests of the proprietary as well as objects of those interests.

Under the popular notion of real estate or property law, an owned property encourages the conception of property rights as indefeasible and absolute. However, in the legal sense, the law is regarded as the collection of legal rights of property owners in respect to the obligations and objects owed to them by other people, and protected and guaranteed by the government.

Under the common law, real estate law is classified as personal or real property. The personal property is also known as chattels that include any property that is not real. The real property is known as realty that refers to any mineral rights under the land, any buildings on the land, and anything that is attached to the building or the land as long as it is permanently attached.

In the widest sense, property laws comprise the principles regulating the ways whereas all kinds of property can be acquired or disposed of. In a narrower sense, property laws are more concerned of defining the components of the property such as financial value. However, in a more traditional sense, real estate laws are limited to the jurisdiction of real rights in terms of corporeal or intangible areas.