Private property is the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property which is owned by a governmental entity and collective property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities  Ownership of collective property can be indeterminable, such as in a not-for-profit "private" university, or determinable, such as in a legal partnership.
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Economic perspectives 
Socialist perspectives 
In general, socialists view private property relations as limiting the potential of productive forces in the economy. They believe private property becomes obsolete when it concentrates into centralized, socialized institutions based on private appropriation of revenue until the role of the capitalist becomes redundant. With largely reduced capital accumulation from the original class of owners, private property in the means of production is to be replaced with a free association based on public or common ownership of socialized assets.
In Marxian economics and socialist politics, there is distinction between "private property" and "personal property". The former is defined as the means of production in reference to private ownership over an economic enterprise based on socialized production and wage labor; the latter is defined as consumer goods or goods produced by an individual. Prior to the 18th century, private property usually referred to land ownership.
Marxist perspective 
Marxists define private property as the right of an individual, or group of individuals, to exclude others from the use of an object. In its undeveloped form, private property is the simple relation of the individual to the natural world in which their individuality finds objective expression. Private property finds its ultimate expression only in the relation of wage-labor and capital.
According to Norman Levine, when Marx called for the abolition of private property, he was not referring to privately owned personal property such as clothing and furniture that was not used to produce the "social wealth," but to productive property. Marx, however, did not make a distinction between personal and private property in his later works. In his theory of the commodity, he describes commodities, including the concept of owning them, to be an aspect of his theory of alienation. In Capital, Volume I, the section called "The fetishism of commodities and the secret thereof", Marx states that commodities appear to be a "fantastic form of a relation between things" rather than a social relationship between people. This means that all aspects of commodities - ownership, value, etc. - are fetishised aspects of a social relationship.
Personal property versus Means of Production 
There is some connection between 'Personal Property' and 'Means of Production'. Personal property is considered private property that is movable, as almost an extension of one's person and does include property from which one has the right to exclude others. These objects can range from CDs to houses, depending on one's perspective, but definitions tend to include personal items such as clothing, books, food, or records. However where personal property explicitly differs from private property is in its productive capacity. Not all forms of personal property has productive capacity whereas private property like land and machines might have some productive capacity. From the socialist perspective, private property refers to capital or means of production that is owned by a business or few individuals and operated for their profit. As mentioned above, personal property refers to tangible items and possessions individuals own. Socialism does not advocate the abolition of personal property, believing that it is an acceptable form of ownership of an item, unlike private property.
From the Marxist perspective, which is very similar to the socialist perspective, private property is a social relationship, not (as with personal property) a relationship between person and thing. It also describes personal property, as above, as those objects which are personal, or an extension of one's self. The Marxist perspective also does not advocate the abolition of personal property: it believes that it is only private property that should be done away with.
In capitalism there is little distinction between personal and private property, yet this presents a problem with reconciling Marxist theory, since private property rights, little distinguished from personal property rights, are strictly adhered to in most countries.
See also 
- McConnell, Campbell; Stanley Brue and Sean Flynn (2009). Economics. Boston: Twayne Publishers. p. G-22. ISBN 978-0-07-337569-4.
- The Political Economy of Socialism, by Horvat, Branko. 1982. Chapter 1: Capitalism, The General Pattern of Capitalist Development (P.15-20)
- Gewirth, Alan. (1996). The Community of Rights. University of Chicago Press. p 168
- Capital, Volume 1, by Marx, Karl. From "Chapter 32: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation": "Self-earned private property, that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated, independent laboring-individual with the conditions of his labor, is supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on exploitation of the nominally free labor of others, i.e., on wage-labor. As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialisation of labour and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers."
- Norman Levine. (1991) Introduction to Györgi Lukács, The process of democratization. SUNY Press. p 8
- "The fetishism of commodities and the secret thereof".
- Karl Marx (1848). "The Communist Manifesto".