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Land Law - Coursework Example

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The Major Difference Between Fittings and Fixture in Land Law. Introduction The Latin maxim quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit which means that everything attached to land is a part of it underscores the significance of distinguishing between fixtures and fittings.1 To this end a fixture refers to any item that is attached to the land to such an extent that it is regarded as immovable property.2 Fittings are generally regarded as chattels and are thus movable property and do not run with the land.3 The major difference between fittings and fixtures is therefore the difference between what items a purchaser can expect to own relative to the conveyance of realty.4 The courts have devised tests…
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Land Law

This paper examines the major differences between fixtures and fittings by reference to case law. Distinguishing between Fixtures and Fittings The early case of Holland v Hodgson is a good place to start as it established two test for distinguishing between fixtures and fittings. In this case, the question was whether or not looms that had been installed at a factory could be regarded as part and parcel of the factory. Blackburn J stated that in order to determine whether or not an item was a fixture or a fitting it was necessary to consider the extent of the annexation and its purpose. In this regard, an item that was annexed to the land by virtue of its own weight would not be considered a fixture unless there was an intention that the item would form part and parcel of the land.5 What can be gleaned from this ruling is that it is first necessary to look at the item and to determine whether or not it is actually fixed to the property and not merely supported by its own weight. If it is fixed, it is a fixture and will likely be considered part and parcel of the land. However, if the item is merely supported by its own weight, then the question will remain whether or not the item was intended to be a part of the land. Buckland J offered some guidance by referencing the case of a stone wall. For instance, if stones were merely plied up on the land there is an assumption that those stones were not intended to form a part of the land. However, if the stones were situated so as to form a structured wall, it can be readily implied that they were intended to form a part of the land in question.6 The rules outlined in the Holland case were also considered in the case of Berkley v Poulett by the Court of Appeal. The case was concerned with whether articles were part and parcel of land sold by virtue of an auction. The disputed articles were pictures that had been fixed via the wall’s panelling, a marble statue that stood on a plinth on the property’s garden and a sundial. Applying the test enunciated in Holland, the Court of Appeal ruled that the pictures, were not fixtures although they had been attached to the wall’s panelling. The purpose of those fittings were purely for enjoyment and had not been intended to become part and parcel of the realty. The statue was not attached to the property as it was resting on a plinth that was in fact, annexed to the property. Therefore the plinth was part and parcel of the land, while the statue was not. This was particularly so as there was nothing capable of suggesting that the statue was intended to form a part of the landscape nor that it was merely intended to be a permanent fixture on the plinth in the garden. The sundial was also determined to be a mere fitting as it had become disconnected from the pedestal to which had been annexed for several years.7 The Berkley case thus demonstrates that although an item is fixed to the land it is not ... Read More
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