What are the differences between Ownership and Possession?

This article describes 15 differences between Ownership and Possession.


  • The idea of ownership follows the idea of possession.
  • The ownership is the de jure recognition of the right over the property.
  • Ownership is the subjective and objective. It signifies the externally and internally.
  • The right of alienation is an essential characteristic feature of ownership.
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  • The concept of ownership is used in widest meaning. The owner has the right to consume, destroy and alienate with his free will.
  • The residuary power is vested in the owner.
  • Ownership is the guarantee of the law.
  • Ownership without possession is right, unaccompanied by that environment of fact in which it normally realizes itself.
  • Ownership strives to realize itself in possession.
  • The ownership is left to seek “proprietary remedies”.
  • The law of prescription determines the process by which, through the influence of time, ownership without possession withers away and dies.
  • Transfer: the ownership generally can be transferred by the way of convincing and registration in case of immovable properties and by way of delivery in case of movable properties.
  • A right in rem can be owned and possessed. But a right in personam can only be owned.
  • “Ownership is a matter of multiple rights”.
  • 15. Salmond says: “Whereas ownership is strictly a legal concept…..


  1. First the idea of possession came into existence in the human civilization.
  2. Possession is the de facto exercise of a claim over the property.
  3. Possession is the objective realization of ownership. It is the external significance of ownership.
  4. This right is not seen in possession.
  5. The concept of possession is narrower in this sense. The possession has limited rights to consume, destroy and alienate.
  6. The residuary power is not given to possessor.
  7. Possession is the guarantee of the facts.
  8. Possession without ownership is the body of fact, uniformed by the spirit of right which usually accompanies it.
  9. Possession to Endeavour’s to justify itself as ownership.
  10. The possessor is left with “possessory remedies”.
  11. The law of prescription determines the process by which, through the influence of time, possession without title ripens into ownership.
  12. Transfer: the possession, comparatively, can easily be transferred. It does not require conveyancing.
  13. A right in personam can only be owned, and it cannot be possessed.
  14. “Whereas possession in singular, but stronger”.
  15. “Possession is both a legal and a non-legal or pre-legal concept”.
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