As published in Property Law Journal, November 2014.
The classification of an item as a chattel, fixture or part of the land itself can be significant in the context of landlord and tenant disputes, especially those relating to dilapidations. The status of an item will determine whether the tenant may (or is obliged to) remove an item from the premises during or at the end of the term of the lease. If a tenant fails to remove items from the premises or if it removes items which it is not entitled to, then it may find itself in breach of the yield up or reinstatement provisions in the lease.
This article considers the applicable legal test relating to chattels and fixtures in the context of landlord and tenant law, by reference to the case of Peel Land and Property (Ports No.3) Ltd v TS Sheerness Ltd (2014 EWCA Civ 100) in which the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of Mr Justice Morgan (2013 EWHC 1658 Ch).
Although the Peel case does not contain any new law in relation to chattels, fixtures and removable tenant’s fixtures, it serves as a useful summary of the current position. The article will then go on to explore the parties’ obligations in relation to items at the premises at the end of a lease.