Right of possession

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The right of possession (jura possessionis) means that someone currently holds something in hand and this person may be the temporary keeper or the long-term owner of an object.

This term is most commonly used in regards to property and is a land-backed asset. This legal tradition holds that whoever occupies property and uses it for its social function has the right to possess it.[1]


Several examples have been given[by whom?] of the right of :[citation needed]

  • A business buys a vehicle and obtains financing. The company purchasing the vehicle becomes the registered owner and has both possession and right of possession. The financial organization providing financing would become the lienholder and have a security interest that, upon default, would ripen into a right of retention (ius retentionis). If the business that bought the vehicle then rented it to someone, that individual would then have possession but would not have right of possession. The company renting the vehicle to them could repossess the vehicle, for example, if they hold the vehicle past the contract period. Also, if the rental company missed payments to the lienholder, the lienholder could repossess the vehicle from the person having possession as well.
  • I purchase a pen at a store. I have all three attributes (possession, right of possession and right of property). If I loan the pen to someone, they have only possession. If they fail to give it back, they conceivably could have all three, if I was unable to find them, since it is unlikely it would be possible for me to prove that an inexpensive item such as a pen was borrowed and not returned.
  • An owner of residential rental property wants a property management company to manage the property and to handle the necessary legal matters in the event an eviction (unlawful detainer) is necessary. So that the owner does not have to be personally named as the plaintiff in the unlawful detainer lawsuit, the property management contract includes an assignment of the right of possession so that the property management company may be the named plaintiff in the unlawful detainer action.


  1. ^ Emerging Terrains ROP