10 limitations on ownership

Broadly speaking, there are two (2) types of limitations on ownership of property: general limitations and specific limitations. General limitations are those held and exercised by the State itself; these are the State's inherent powers of taxation, police power and eminent domain.There are also specific limitations on ownership these are those imposed by law and those imposed by contracts.


[1] Taxation – government may impose a tax on property, and if these are not paid, the property may be seized.

[2] Police power – Property may be condemned or seized in the interest of health, safety or security and the owner shall not be entitled to compensation unless he can show such seizure is unjustified. (At. 436) Salus populi est suprema lex.

[3] Eminent domain – No person shall be deprived of his property except by competent court and for public use and always upon payment of just compensation (Art. 435)


[4] Imposed by Law – legal easement of waters

[5] Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas – The owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person (Art. 431)

[6] Nuisance – a public nuisance may be abated without judicial proceedings.

[7] State of Necessity – the owner of a thing has no right to prohibit the interference of another with the same if the interference is necessary to avert an imminent danger and the threatened damage, compared to the damage arising from the interference, is much greater. (Art. 432)

[8] Voluntary easements – the owner of property may establish thereon such easement as he may deem proper, so long as it does not violate the law, public policy or public order. (Art. 688)

[9] Servitudes (Spanish law concept) – same as easements (common law concept), only broader (covers personal property).

[10] Mortgages imposed by contracts.