The homeowner is a person who has ownership and secondary proprietary rights in a residential property that s/he owns and possesses. These rights are exercised about a homeowner’s property and may be tangible or intangible. There are many different types of property like community property, private property, personal property, public property, real property, intangible property, etc which come with their own set of rights depending on the types,  nature and definition of property.

Ownership rights in residential property can be enjoyed subject to the scope of rights of fellow persons and the private and public duties of the homeowner towards these fellow persons. Be it the Law of Contracts, Law of Property or Legal Jurisprudence, some provisions define, characterize, describe and clearly outline the extent of proprietary rights exercised and enjoyed by homeowners. This article seeks to explain the proprietary rights of a homeowner about his or her residential property and address questions related to this topic.

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What are the rights of a homeowner?

A homeowner has certain rights about his or her property that allow him or her to fully use and enjoy the owned property. These rights are:

  1. A homeowner has the right to possession in the owned residential property that allows him or her to occupy this property and prevent others from occupying or possessing the owned property. This is the right to hold the title of the property and possess it. If a person has home loan dues or mortgage dues outstanding, then the lender holds the title of the property until the dues are cleared. Likewise, if a homeowner is a member of a co-operative society, the rights of the owner are subject to the rights of the society that is the owner of the properties of the residential society. Hence, the member’s right of occupancy and transfer of property is subject to the permission of the co-operative society.
  2. A homeowner has the right to privacy and exclusion which means that the owner decides who enters the house. Your rights to exclude a person from entering your house are well within the scope of proprietary rights with an exception being the law enforcement agencies that have a valid warrant to enter and search your property.
  3. A homeowner has the right to control and enjoy the properties in any way they want. However, this use of the property is well within your rights but is subject to you being bound by the law of the land and the restrictions placed on the enjoyment of these rights by mutually agreed rules and regulations of the cooperative society if the owner is a member of the society.
  4. A homeowner has the right to dispose or transfer property as s/he deems fit either by selling, gifting, exchanging or transferring the property by will or any other testamentary instrument etc. This allows the transfer of ownership from a previous owner to a prospective owner.
  5. A Homeowner has the right to derive income from the property by letting out the property on rent or leasing out the property for generating income.

Can you do whatever you want on your property?

A homeowner has the right to do everything s/he wants on his or her property which is within the scope and nature of his or her proprietary rights.

  • However, these rights are subject to limitations from the law of the land and the personal and proprietary rights of fellow persons.
  • For instance, if you want to enjoy playing music or having a party on your property, you can do so. But these activities should cause a nuisance to your neighbors or fellow society members who then have a valid reason to complain and put a stop to your nuisance causing activity.

What happens if a co-owner wants to give up his or her ownership rights?

A co-owner is a person who shares joint ownership rights with another person or other persons. Such co-owners, despite having their respective shares and ownership interests in the property for which they have paid proportional consideration, have a common proprietary interest in the whole property.

  • As such, if the joint property needs to be sold, you need the consent of the co-owners to initiate or perform the transaction.
  • However, a co-owner can sell his or her share in the property to another co-owner for either good consideration or no consideration by using deeds like sale deeds, gift deeds or relinquishment deeds for giving up his or her ownership rights in the joint property.
  • A sale deed is signed by the party who relinquished their share for purchase consideration and the party who receives this share.
  • A release deed is signed likewise by the party giving up his or her ownership rights to relinquish it to another party.
  • A relinquishment deed is a deed usually executed by a legal heir of ancestral or joint property in favor of another legal heir.
  • When one relinquishes their share in favor of a co-owner, the deed which allows the execution of the relinquishment needs to be registered and stamped. However, the stamp duty applicable is proportional to the value of the share relinquished.

What are the four parts of property rights?

Often, the ownership of immovable property comes with a bundle of property rights. The four significant parts of property rights are:

  1. The right to use the property: This right allows the owner of the property to use and control the property as s/he pleases. It means the property may be used by the owner to house the furniture, host parties, hold important meetings, modify into a residence cum office, etc.
  2. The right to earn an income from the property: This right allows the owner to decide whether to self-occupy the property or let out the property on rent to tenants or on lease to lessees.
  3. The right to transfer the property to others or dispose of it: This right allows the owner to finally transfer possession and ownership of the property to others for consideration or no consideration. Or the owner can dispose of the property as s/he deems fit.
  4. The right to enforce property rights: The abovementioned rights would be of no use if at times of violation they cannot be enforced. This right allows the owner to institute a suit or apply to authorities to seek the enforcement of his or her property in times of non-recognition or violation of these rights.

When a homeowner sells his or her house to another person, s/he transfers the rights in the property also to the buyer. This results in the transfer of tangible property and intangible ownership rights in the property from the seller to the buyer.


The rights of a homeowner are part and parcel of the ownership rights that are transferred to the current homeowner from the previous homeowner when the residential property is transferred. The rights to possess, control, use, earn income from and dispose of property are proprietary rights that allow a homeowner to exercise ownership and use these rights to enjoy the possession of the property.

However, these rights are subject to the limitations imposed by the law of the land and the corresponding duties of the homeowner towards his or her fellow persons or society members. These rights and duties go hand in hand and are transferred along with the transfer of a property from one person to another.