Types of Acquisition of Ownership

Acquiring ownership to something could be done in different ways. How do individuals get cash, land and other properties? The 5 types of acquisition of ownership would be tackled in this post. Without further delay, here they are:

Types of Acquisition of Ownership


This is acquisition of ownership by working for others, like having a job for instance or by practicing your profession. When ownership is acquired by occupation, the property seized is without a known owner.  (ex. You were given a car by a company you work for because you were newly promoted as the area manager. You acquired ownership of the car by occupation.)


This mode of ownership acquisition requires a bit of creativity and ingenuity. If you are a composer, all musical compositions are yours while you are an author, you own literary, legal, historical, scientific or other work.


One of the most common types of acquisition of property is donation. Donation is an act of liberality whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in favor of another, who accepts it. The donor is the one acquiring ownership of goods under this type of acquisition. (ex. You were given $1,000 by your mother as a Christmas gift.)


Succession is a mode of acquisition wherein a person’s property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance are transmitted or passed to his or her heirs through the person’s death. (ex. Mr. X died. In his last will and testament, he stated that his house and lot would be given to his daughter.)


This is a mode of acquisition wherein ownership and other real rights are transferred to another through the lapse of time in the manner and under the conditions laid down by law. In the same way, rights and actions are also lost by prescription. The first is referred to as “acquisitive” prescription and the second as “extinctive” prescription.

ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION – is a method of acquiring property by meeting statutory requirements of continuous possession. This of course, may vary by state.

EXTINCTIVE PRESCRIPTION – is defined as a legal way by which the right to action in court is terminated if not exercised by the beneficiary within a term stipulated by the law. This may also be called sleeping on your rights.

Acquisition by Prescription Example

In Sps. Aguirre v. Heirs of Lucas Villanueva, et al., October 27, 2006, a parcel of land was already in the possession of the petitioners for more than 26 years. They occupied the premises, built fences around it, planted trees, used it as ingress and egress towards their cottages and even declared it for taxation purposes. The respondent knew all these but they did not lift a finger to bar them from doing so. They waited for 16 years to oust them. Did the action prosper? Since the petitioners have been in continuous possession and enjoyment of the disputed land in good faith and with a just title since 1971 until 1997, they obtained title by ordinary acquisitive prescription.