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Chattel Real in Real Estate: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 Definition of Chattel
  • 0:41 Chattel Real
  • 1:17 Examples of Chattel Real
  • 1:53 In Real Estate
  • 2:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tisha Collins Batis

Tisha is a licensed real estate agent in Texas. She holds bachelor's in legal studies and a master's degree in criminal justice.

What is chattel? What is the difference between chattel and chattel real, or is there a difference at all? This lesson will define chattel real in real estate and provide examples.

Definition of Chattel

Chattel is another word for personal property. This could be property such as furniture, livestock, or a tool. In the past, chattel included slaves, wives, and even children. For hundreds of years, women have been considered the property of their husbands. Parents of a bride would actually pay the groom when he married their daughter, and she would then become his possession. Any children they had were his property as well. While this practice is no longer typical today, it is still in effect in some Middle East countries. While chattel refers to personal property, what does chattel real refer to?

Cattle as Chattel
Cattle

Chattel Real

Chattel real is property like a building or a piece of land that's held for a limited amount of time. How can someone hold a building or land for a limited amount of time? This is done by having a lease on the property. In other words, someone can rent a piece of land or a building (i.e., have a lease on that property) for a limited amount of time. He doesn't have to worry about being stuck with a mortgage or the responsibilities of owning property. When property taxes come due, he doesn't have to worry about running to the county tax office to pay those taxes. Instead, he can enjoy the property and at the end of his lease, walk away.

Apartment Buildings as Chattel Real
Apartments

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