Published: Fri, 12 Oct 2018
Deen v Andrews (1985) 135 NLJ 728
Whether a greenhouse standing by its own weight was included in a conveyance because it was to be defined as a building
The claimant conveyed a parcel of land to the defendant on terms which included the farmhouse and any other buildings that had been erected on the land. Several years earlier the claimant had erected a large greenhouse on the land. The greenhouse was made from a frame bolted to large concrete plinths. The plinths, in turn, rested by their own weight on a concreate base. A dispute arose in respect of whether the greenhouse was a building for the purposes of the conveyance.
The issue in this context was whether a large building, in this instance a greenhouse, resting by its own weight would be considered a building for the purposes of Law of Property Act 1925 and would therefore be implied as being included in the conveyance by section 62 of the Act.
The ordinary approach to assessing whether an item was a fixture or a chattel should be applied in these circumstances. The question was the degree of annexation to the property and then the purpose of any annexation. For these purposes, it was held that the definition of building in the contract and that contained within section 62 of the 1925 Act were the same and therefore a distinction was not necessary. Furthermore, the greenhouse was not attached in any way to the land and therefore was considered primarily a chattel. This position could be overturned if it was considered that the purpose of placing the item on the land was the better enjoyment of the land. This was not the case in these circumstances, the purpose was the use of the greenhouse as a greenhouse. The result was that the greenhouse was a chattel and could be removed from the land.
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