Elitestone Ltd v Morris and Another: HL 1 May 1997

The plaintiff acquired land on which 27 chalets were erected. They served notice to quit so that the site could be developed. The defendants argued that they had residential tenancies with protection under the Rent Act 1977.
Held: The tenants’ appeals succeeded. A built structure becomes part of the land and itself real property, according to the degree of annexation and purpose. In this case the bungalows were not demountable.
Lord Clyde: ‘As the law has developed it has become easy to neglect the original principle from which the consequences of attachment of a chattel to realty derive. That is the principle of accession, from which the more particular example has been formulated, inaedificatum solo solo cedit. A clear distinction has to be draw between the principle of accession and the rules of removability. ‘


Lord Browne-Wilkinson, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Nolan, Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Clyde


Times 07-May-1997, Gazette 14-May-1997, [1997] UKHL 15, [1997] 2 All ER 513, [1997] 1 WLR 687


House of Lords, Bailii


Rent Act 1977


England and Wales


CitedBoswell v Crucible Steel Co CA 1925
The question was whether plate glass windows which formed part of the wall of a warehouse were landlord’s fixtures within the meaning of a repairing covenant. Atkin LJ answered: ‘. . I am quite satisfied that they are not landlord’s fixtures, and . .
CitedMelluish (Inspector of Taxes) v BMI (No 3) Ltd and Related Appeals HL 16-Oct-1995
Chattels which became affixed to a lessee’s land became fixtures, and were not available for tax allowances calculations. Lord Browne-Wilkinson said: ‘The terms expressly or implicitly agreed between the fixer of the chattel and the owner of the . .
CitedHolland v Hodgson 1872
(Court of Exchequer Chamber) Blackburn J set out what constituted a fixture: ‘There is no doubt that the general maxim of the law is, that what is annexed to the land becomes part of the land; but it is very difficult, if not impossible, to say with . .
CitedWebb v Frank Bevis Ltd 1940
The tenant’s large shed was fixed to the land.
Held: It was a tenant’s fixture which could be removed by the tenant at the end of his tenancy, even though it was annexed to the land and formed part of it. . .
CitedDeen v Andrews 1986
Land was sold. The parties disputed whether a greenhouse was included.
Held: It was a large greenhouse consisting of a sectional frame bolted to a large concrete base. ‘Building’ was to be given the meaning ascribed by s62 of the 1925 Act. The . .
CitedWansborough v Maton 1836
The court found that a wooden barn had not become part of the land. . .
CitedRex v Otley 1830
A wooden mill was held not to have become annexed to and part of the land. . .
CitedH E Dibble v Moore CA 1969
A greenhouse was not an ‘erection’ within section 62(1). Megaw LJ noted that it was customary to move the greenhouse every few years, . .
CitedBilling v Pill 1954
A shed was erected on land. It was 135 feet long and 150ft wide. It was on a concrete floor and attached by straps. Was it a fixture?
Held: Lord Goddard CJ said: ‘What is a fixture? The commonest fixture is a house which is built into the . .
CitedWiltshear v Cottrell 1854
A wooden granary was not a fixture. When an article is no further attached to the land, then by its own weight it is generally to be considered a mere chattel. . .
CitedReid v Smith 8-Dec-1905
(High Court of Australia) The Supreme Court of Queensland had held that the house remained a chattel. ‘The short point raised in this case is whether an ordinary dwelling-house, erected upon an ordinary town allotment in a large town, but not . .
CitedHobson v Gorringe CA 1897
The intention of the parties in affixing an object to land is only relevant to the extent that it can be derived from the degree and object of the annexation: ‘the intention of the parties as to the ownership of the chattel fixed to the land is only . .
CitedLeigh v Taylor HL 6-Feb-2002
Valuable tapestries had been set up for display in a room in a stately home . They were first stretched over canvas and then tacked to the canvas. That canvas was then stretched over strips of wood and nailed to those strips of wood which in turn . .
CitedReynolds v Ashby and Son HL 1904
Machines had been affixed to the premises. The court was asked whether they were caught by a fixed charge over the company’s land and fixed assets.
Held: The machines were fixed by bolts only and no damage would be caused to the building by . .
MentionedStreet v Mountford HL 6-Mar-1985
When a licence is really a tenancy
The document signed by the occupier stated that she understood that she had been given a licence, and that she understood that she had not been granted a tenancy protected under the Rent Acts. Exclusive occupation was in fact granted.
Held: . .
CitedEx parte Barclay 1855
The court asked what was meant by a fixture: ‘By ‘fixtures’ we understand such things as are ordinarily affixed to the freehold for the convenience of the occupier, and which may be removed without material injury to the freehold, such will be . .
CitedBoyd v Shorrock 1867
. .
CitedNiven v Pitcairn 1823
Large leaden vessels which were not fastened to the building in any way but simply rested by their own weight were held to be heritable since they had had to be taken to pieces in order to be removed and had then been sold as old lead. . .
CitedIn re De Falbe CA 1901
The court referred to the originally unbending rule that everything affixed to the freehold was held to go with the freehold: ‘But in modern times there have come to be important exceptions to this rule, one being in favour of trade fixtures and . .
CitedHellawell v Eastwood 1851
In considering whether an article was a fitting and could be removed from its locaion, the court looked to the mode and extent of annexation of the articles: ‘The only question, therefore, is, whether the machines when fixed were parcel of the . .
CitedBain v Brand HL 1876
The law as to fixtures is the same in Scotland as in England. There were two general rules under the comprehensive term of fixtures: ‘One of these rules is the general well-known rule that whatever is fixed to the freehold of land becomes part of . .
CitedDixon v Fisher HL 12-Jun-1845
Lord Cockburn said ‘no man can make his property real or personal by merely thinking it so.’ . .

Cited by:

CitedKeelwalk Properties Ltd v Betty Waller and Another CA 30-Jul-2002
The claimant appealed refusal of its claim for possession against the respondents, occupiers of single-storey wooden bungalows on its land. The leases had expired. The defendants said the structures were their own, and not subject to the lease, and . .
CitedChelsea Yacht and Boat Club Ltd v Pope CA 6-Apr-2000
The tenant sought to assert that he occupied a houseboat, the Dinty Moore, under a tenancy of a dwellinghouse under the 1988 Act. The claimant appealed a decision that it was.
Held: A house-boat, even though used as a dwelling, did not have . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Housing

Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.158890