Property law in the United Kingdom is divided into three regions - Scotland, England & Wales, and Northern Ireland. The property laws of Scotland are quite different from that of England and Wales. However the property laws of Northern Ireland and England are fairly similar. Scottish property law had originated and was derived from the Scottish feudal law system. However it has undergone extensive adaptations and changes under the modern statute. English and Welsh property law originated and were derived from the English common law and English traditions. Many people are under the false notion that the property laws of England were derived from Roman law.
Property under the English law is briefly divided into "personal property" and "real property." This demarcation of property into personal versus real is synonymous to dividing the same into immovable property and movable property.
This essential demarcation between real and personal property still prevails in England and is characterized by the following:
In real property there can only be limited ownership.
Personal property cannot include estate property.
Personal property can be considered to be complete ownership.
Personal property cannot be subjected to the other incidents of real property - mainly lease, renting, dowers or escheat.
With personal property, upon the demise of the owner, in case of him dying intestate, not having left behind a will intestate real property will descend to his legal heirs, whereas all other personal property will be distributed as per the Statute of Distributions.
Real property needs to be transferred through a deed, whereas personal property does not require any such formal approach for transfer.