Alienation – What is it, definition and concept

Alienation is transferring possession of a good from one person to another. This operation can take place in different ways, such as buying and selling, transferring or donating.

Alienation then refers to the fact of handing over the domain of property from one individual to another. This, regardless of whether or not there was an economic consideration in return.

For example, if an individual decides to sell their home, an act of alienation occurs. But also when you donate land, for example, to a non-profit organization.

The term alienation is used mainly in the legal field, being relevant to define the legal relationship between an asset and a person (or company) at a certain time.

Thus, when it is recognized that property was alienated, it means that its possession was transferred. Therefore, the new owner enjoys all the corresponding rights, having the power to determine, for example, who can use the asset.

It should also be mentioned that in Spain there is something called an “alienation clause”. This corresponds to the section contained in a lease where it is defined what would happen in case the owner of the property decides to put it up for sale.

Types of disposal

There are mainly two types of alienation

  • For consideration: It is an alienation that is made for profit, as in the sale of real property. But we also have the case of the swap. This is a contract by which one of the parties transfers its rights over an asset in exchange for another good or service. That is, there is no price involved. You can then deliver property in exchange for the right to occupy another. It is, in simple terms, a barter, an operation that is not very common after the invention of money.
  • Free of charge: They are those disposals that do not occur to generate profits. This is the case of inheritances and donations, for example.

It should be noted that, depending on what type of sale, the operation may be subject to a different tax.

For example, in the case of a sale, it is taxed by the value-added tax (VAT), different in each nation. Also, in the case of inheritances, the tax rate varies depending on the country, being in some non-existent.