Land Law XV – Fixtures and Chattels

In Berkley v Poulett (1976) the owner of an estate had agreed to sell part of his property (Hinton House) at an auction and the new owner intended to purchase the property intact because he wanted to turn it into a tourist attraction. The arrangement was concluded but the sale was delayed for a couple of years during which time the original owner had removed some paintings that were attached to a wood paneling, a sundial and an antique statute of a Greek athlete. Both the paintings, the sundial and the sculpture were of some value and the new owner brought an action against the original owner claiming that the paintings, sundial and sculpture were fixtures and therefore they could not be removed.

It was held that the paintings, the sundial and the sculpture were chattels and therefore they could be removed prior to the property changing hands. Once again, we have to look at the degree of annexation i.e. how attached the items were to the property and if the removal of the items would cause any damage to the property and if so try and quantity that damage in monetary terms.

Copyright © 2019 by Dyarne Jessica Ward

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