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Chattel Becoming Part Of Land Notes

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This is an extract of our Chattel Becoming Part Of Land document, which we sell as part of our Property Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Otago students.

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Chattel Becoming Part of Land

Elitestone Ltd v Morris [1997] UKHL 15

Facts
- Elitestone had leased out plots to tenants. But wanted to take the land back and redevelop.
- Tenants were able to put dwellings on their plots, but only if they rested by their own weight on concrete piles (tenancy said dwellings could not be attached)
- If these dwellings became part of the land they would become subject to the lease, and the tenants would be protected from eviction.
- If not, the tenants would have only a bare lease of the land and have to leave

Issue - had dwelling become part of land?
o Judgment
- All parts of dwellings had been brought onto land as chattels, so question was, did they become part of land once assembled?
- Holland v Hodgson test - need to consider two aspects

1. Degree of annexation - precedent suggested that house attached solely by own weight could be part of land

2. Object/purpose of annexation - A house than cannot be removed must be part of land
- Blocks on top of each other with no mortar for purpose of forming wall would be part of land, but if stacked in the same way for the sake of convenience, would only be chattel
- Analogy to present facts - intention does matter, due to Morris's intention the dwelling was part of the land (degree of annexation irrelevant)
- Only concerned with objective intention (not subjectivity)
- Not even concerned with contract (only with objective definition)
- Therefore, dwellings were part of the land
Melluish v BMI (no 3) [1996] AC 454

Facts
- BMI stated that certain items on land were chattels so it could claim tax for them
- Status as chattels affirmed in lease contract

Issue - were items part of land?
o BMI argument - they were only chattel as there was a common intention between it and own that they weren't part of land

Judgment
- Items were attached so that by all outward appearances they looked like part of the land

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