heavy machines

The first issue regards the physical extend of land, in particular, the distinction between chattel and fixture. After the conveyance was made, the prefabricated house and the swings were removed and relocated from the seller into his other land.

In Holland v Hodgson [1] Blackburn J stated two tests in order to establish if an object is a fixture or a chattel. The first regarded the degree of annexation to land, while the second the purpose of the annexation to land. In the case he found that, spinning loom bolted to the floor were fixtures. He also said that, objects standing on the land by their own weight are usually chattels unless they were intended to form part of the land. Application of these tests can be seen in Hulme v Bingham [2] , where heavy machines have been classified as chattels as they were standing on the floor just by their own weight. The second test usually prevails nowadays, it made the physical annexation not to be the main idea to resolve the dilemma even if it is still considered important. These rules have been taken into account by Lord Lloyd on his judgement in Elitestone v Morris [3] , where he refined them into three classifications and held that most of the buildings are parts and parcels of the land itself.

Mrs. Batsford could claim back to Mr. Brown the prefabricated building and the swings as they were fixtures. Claiming for the building she could use a common law authority of Elitestone Ltd v Morris [4] , where the chalet resting on the ground was held to be a part of the land itself regarding the purpose of the annexation. She could as well say that the meaning of land by s.205(1)(ix) LPA 1925 includes buildings, which are on it. This has been reconfirmed later in s.132(1) Land Registration Act 2002. With regards to the swings, she could claim them using as authority Botham v TSB Bank [5] where the Court held fixtures all items which are fixed to the land and removing would result on a damage of the land. On the other hand, Mr. Brown could argue that the swings were attached just for safety, for the enjoyment of them as chattel. Their purpose was not the one of being part of the land, as stated in Elitestone v Morris [6] therefore they could be classified chattels. Mr. Brown could also argue that the building was a prefabricated one, which is meant to be moved when needed same as a houseboat. Consequently, he could try to argue that it remains a chattel as in the case of Chelsea Yacht & Boat Co v Pope [7] .

Stated the facts and the authorities, Mrs. Batsford should prevail on the claim of the building, but more doubly would be the position when considering the swings.

The second issue is if Mr. Brown could be prevented to access the caves under Mrs. Batsford land. To ask this Mrs. Batsford has to prove trespass. The issue involves property rights and physical extend of land.

Latin maxim [8] states that, “who has the land has it up to the heavens and to the centre of the Earth". This application can be seen in the case of Bocardo SA v Star Energy UK Onshore Limited [9] , where Court of Appeal found the defendant to be a trespasser because they had inserted pipes under Mr. Bocardo soil without any agreement, even if this was not disturbing any property enjoyment.

In this case Mrs. Batsford could ask the court to prevent Mr. Brown from entering the cave under her property because he is a trespass. In order to do so she could use as authority the judgement of Peter Smith J in Bocardo v Star [10] where he held that D had not obtained access rights, therefore this amounted to trespass even if it was at great depth.

It is likely that the Court would decide in favour of Mrs. Batsford preventing Mr. Brown from entering in her property.

The third issue is ownership right of objects found in the land.

As general rule the object found in the land belongs to the owner of the land if the original owner is unknown, but if the object found falls under the description of treasure as by statute s.1 Treasure Act 1996 it belongs to the Crown. Different approach is taken if the object is find on the land, the title of ownership could be of the finder or of the land occupier.

In this case Mr. Brown has found a gold chain under the space of Mrs. Batsford land, assuming that a chain in not a treasure its title could be argued between them. The landowner could claim ownership title over it as it was found in her land citing as authority AG of the Duchy of Lacaster v Overton Ltd [11] . Mr. Brown could argue that, he as finder has a better title, as he found it on the surface, Mrs. Batsford had not manifested intention to exercise control over the items on her realty this could take the same outcome of Parker v British Airways Board [12] . On the other hand Mrs. Batsford could state that Mr. Brown was in a first place a trespasser over her land, in such a situation he cannot assume any title over the found item. As in the case of Waverly B.C. v Fletcher [13] where D had exceeded the limit of permission to be on the ground and the title was of the landowner.

The Court assuming that it was not a treasure found, should find better title over the chain in favour of the landowner, therefore Mrs. Batsford could claim it to Mr. Brown.

Research Method

In order to become more familiar with the subject, I started reading several text books on Property Law and Land Law. A wider knowledge of the subject could give me a better idea of the key points to research. While reading I took note of all the common law cases with similar facts and some articles which then I went to look.

Next step was to use on-line resources, such as Westlaw.co.uk and Lawreports.co.uk. I have been looking for more cases regarding to physical extend of land, trespass and ownership. When I had a great list of cases, I went on reading the case analysis of them, with the scope to find out which ones were more accurate to my purpose. I came across important cases as pointed out already on the lecture by the teacher, but I then found more recent cases where the same criteria were established. On the cases, I also found that there were different statutes involved on the decisions.

Next I went to read the statutes applied on the cases. I have done this by reading books available in my library and by online research at www.statutelaw.gov.uk where I found that parliament has taken into consideration these matters and has tried to make them clearer. By reading the statutes I have established which section was appropriate to resolve the problem question given. I have found that definition of ‘land’ was given by s.205 Law of Property Act 1925 and I have also found that this was reconfirmed in s.132(1) Land Registration Act 2002. In order to understand if, the gold chain found was a treasure I went to look at the s.1 Treasure Act 1996 as it explains the meaning of a treasure because a treasure belongs to the Crown. Therefore, this would have no more point of litigation between the parties.

I have printed out all important cases' analysis and sort out which cases were more similar to my problem question. I then went on Westlaw again and looked at the judgments of the relevant cases in order to establish the rule of law for each issue. I found important the judgement of Peter Smith J in Bocardo SA v Star Energy UK Onshore Limited [14] . D was held to be a trespasser, even if P has not lost any enjoyment of his land, the facts were quite similar to the scenario and the case was decided just about a year ago.

I went again on ‘Westlaw’ and on ‘Law report’ websites to look at more recent cases about ‘relativity of title’ over objects found. This led me to find just cases which were already on my research. I have tried to look at journals but the most relevant article I found by Mark Pawlowski [15] was considering merely Parker v British Airways Board [16] and Waverley B.C. v Fletcher [17] . After I found this article titled “Finder weepers – Landowners keepers" on Westlaw, this journal explains well the position of finder and landowners taking consideration of most of the cases, this led my thought to the conclusion of the last issue of the scenario.