Goods—property, title and risk
Goods—property, title and risk

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Goods—property, title and risk
  • Are property and title the same?
  • Property
  • Title
  • Passage of property
  • Ascertained or specific goods
  • Unascertained goods
  • Unascertained part of a specific bulk
  • Rules for determining intention
  • Deliverable state
  • More...

This Practice Note considers the point at which property, title and risk pass from a seller to a buyer in a supply of goods transaction depending upon the nature of the goods, the intention of the parties, the terms of the contract to which the sale is subject and the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

In a sale of goods contract it is the duty of the buyer to accept and pay for goods in exchange for the seller delivering the goods to the buyer.

A sale of goods from a seller to a buyer will involve the passage of property, title and risk. The point at which that occurs depends on, the nature of the goods, the intention of the parties, the terms of the contract to which the sale is subject and the provisions of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA 1979).

Are property and title the same?

There is an apparent distinction in SGA 1979, Part III between property and title to goods. Part III is divided into two parts:

  1. ‘Transfer of property between seller and buyer’, and

  2. ‘Transfer of title’

Property

Property in goods is generally used by lawyers to indicate ownership of, or title to, the goods. The term ‘property’ is defined in SGA 1979 as meaning general property in the goods eg general property may be in one person while

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