Spielplatz v Pearsons – Fixture or chattel

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In Spielplatz v Pearsons, the Court of Appeal asked whether a chalet was a fixture or chattel and considered the basic ‘annexation’ test.

The chalet was a single-storey wooden chalet in a naturist resort which was initially used by the defendants only at weekends. However they later began to live in it permanently. When the freehold resort owner served notice to quit, the question arose whether the chalet formed part of the plot of land. If so, the tenancy would include both the soil and the chalet (and not just the land itself) and that would provide the defendants with protection under the Housing Act 1988.

Considering the ‘annexation’ test, the Court of Appeal asked whether the structure could be removed from the land without being demolished. If it could not, then the structure could not have been intended to remain a chattel and must have been intended to form part of the land.  Based on expert evidence that the chalet could not be removed without dismantling, the Court of Appeal concluded that the chalet was indeed part of the land (and was therefore a fixture, not merely a chattel) and the defendant tenants therefore had an assured tenancy of the plot.

See our earlier briefing.