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Distinguishing Assets: Personal vs. Private Property – Insights

Distinguishing Assets: Personal vs. Private Property – Insights

When it comes to differentiate between personal property and private property, there’s a lot of confusion to be seen. In the world of capitalism, both property types hold no difference. The socialists, though, put both properties in different blocks. 

Personal property, in simple words, is something that you can take anywhere with you. However, it can’t be used as a medium of value. The possession of personal property can’t earn you any money.

Private property, on the other hand, makes capitalists revenue but the abolishment is the condition that needs to be fulfilled. 

For an entity owning an oven that is to be used by the owner or the labor to make items for selling purposes, in this case, the oven would fall under the category of private property. While an oven that is placed in your home kitchen and doesn’t produce anything meant to be sold will be considered personal property. 

Another confusion that comes along is that many individuals consider private and public property the same thing. The general rule of thumb is that private property is not owned by the government, and the public cannot use it. While public property fulfills both conditions. 

This article explains both the terms in detail along with the examples. I’ll also discuss if a house is a private or personal property. 

Let’s get into it…

Personal Property

What is personal property?
Personal Property

Personal property doesn’t represent a thing but the intention of the person who owns it. Your intention is what makes a commodity a personal property. As long as the purpose of owning something isn’t related to making a profit, the property is personal. The personal property can be moved from one location to another with the owner. 


Let’s say you own a printing machine that you use only for your personal work. The printer would be personal property as long as you don’t start using it commercially. 

Here are some of the examples;

  • Pet (cat, dog, or bird)
  • Furniture (sofa, bed, or anything moveable)
  • Food (grocery)
  • Appliances (juicer or oven)
  • Health care products (face wash, toothpaste, or soap)
  • Material items (car, cell phone, or laptop) 
  • Clothes

As you may see, you can take these things with you and can only use them for personal use, and no exploitation is involved. Let me tell you that not all automobiles come under the category of personal property. A taxi would be a great example of this. 

Private Property

A private property, as opposed to other property types, is anything one can exchange for value. It involves assets such as tools, machinery, or labor that an individual entity uses to increase its bank balance. The definition of socialism states that private property must be abolished. 

To put it simply, the wealthy people use the working class for the sake of their interests.

This specific group of rich people has no concern with the prosperity of the labor class making their property productive, their focus is rather on their gain. In short, the labor doesn’t possess any right over the products they spend their energy and time producing. It simply abolishes their freedom. 

Therefore, Marx, who’s a socialist, isn’t in the favor of capitalism. He believes that the emergence of private property is the evil cause that divides society into two classes.
Private Property


Examples of private property owned by non-government entities include:

  • Real estate (land or home)
  • Machinery (oven or sewing machines)
  • Patents
  • Objects
  • Human (labor)

Personal Property VS. Private Property

What's the difference between private property and personal private?
Personal Property Vs. Private Property

Capitalists try to persuade people with the idea that personal property and private property are the same things. As a result, they are unwilling to accept the way the latter exploit others. Below is a comparison between the two: 

Personal Property Private Property 
Definition It is a property purchased solely for private use and cannot generate profit.A property that generates profit by exploiting the working class. 
Ownership Ownership rights remain with the individual who owns the items. Owned by a non-governmental legal entity 
Exploitation It doesn’t exploit anyone.The labor class gets exploited by capitalists. 
Critics Socialists do not criticize the concept of personal property.Marxists or socialists are the critics of the emergence of this kind of property.
Movability This kind of property is moveable.This kind of property can be both moveable and immovable. 
Table Compares Personal Property And Private Property

How Come A House Isn’t Personal Or Private Property? 

You should never consider a house personal property unless it’s a tent or mobile home. The reason why these two are personal property is they’re not attached to the land which is a condition to fall under this property type. 

If your house is on rent rather than being used by you, it fulfills the definition of private property. 

This type of property needs to exploit others. You’re probably wondering what kind of property a house you live in is. A house and all the fixtures in it are real property


In conclusion, the emergence of private property is the reason why there’s an unequal distribution of wealth in society. Working-class people cannot enjoy the right to freedom, therefore. The only thing they receive is their wages. Aside from that, they do not hold any rights over the goods they produce. This is what keeps their financial position constant.

On the other hand, personal property doesn’t harm others’ freedom.

It is possible to turn a property into another property. This type of property will remain personal property as long as it’s not been used to exploit profit. 

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