It might seem like a question with an obvious answer, but what is a fixture? What is a fitting? And, what is equipment?
We are presently working on a project where our client is claiming title to commercial equipment. The equipment was placed in a function space which features elsewhere in our blogs – current projects & past projects. The land has recently been sold by the mortgagee in possession.
In the last couple of days these questions have arisen:
- what is a fixture?
- who can have title to it?
- can a person abandon title to goods? and,
- what is required to secure title to the fixture/s?
In this instance the equipment is commercial kitchen equipment.
The purchaser from the mortgagee seems to be suggesting in correspondence that portable equipment is nevertheless a fixture.
The implied threat is to abandon the purchase from the mortgagee unless the secured lender, who owns the equipment, waives their title?
The answer to these questions is this.
Typically a fixture is a chattel which is annexed to land in such a way that it becomes ‘part of’ the land and ceases to be the personal property of the person who attached it.
Have a think about your workspace. What are some chattels and what are fixtures and what might be fittings.
Take the kitchen sink for instance. It’s probably quite impractical to remove that. It would perhaps rip off the tiles in the process. But what about for instance shelving. Sure the shelves are screwed into the wall, and so it might be argued that they become part of the land. But do they cease to be personal property? And why were the shelves put there in the first instance?
These are all relevant questions in considering what are fixtures and what aren’t.
We may discuss fixtures in further detail as this dispute is worked through.
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Thanks, Mark Smith, Director
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