Botham v TSB Bank plc (1997) 73 P & CR D1
The degree of annexation required for an item to be considered a fixture
In possession proceedings against the appellant numerous items were held to be fixtures and therefore would become the property of the respondent when the property was repossessed. These items included fitted carpets, curtains, bathroom fittings, gas fires, kitchen units and kitchen white goods. The appellant appealed the decision on the basis that some or all of the items defined as fixtures were chattels and could be removed from the property.
The issue in this context related to the extent that annexation to land caused an item to be considered a fixture and whether the items listed by the appellant fell within this category.
The approach in Holland v Hodgson (1871 – 72) LR 7 CP 328 was applicable in these circumstances. The ultimate consideration was one of fact. However, kitchen units and bathroom fittings, save for light fittings, were considered fixtures because they were firmly affixed to the land and were also in place so that the relevant rooms could be used for their intended purpose. Carpets and curtains were chattels because these were not sufficiently annexed to the land and could not be considered to be a permanent improvement to the building. Gas fires were chattels because, even though they were attached to the land, the attachment was not sufficient to cause them to be a fixture. White goods were chattels because, although they were required for the use of the kitchen, they were not sufficiently annexed or permanent enough to be considered a fixture.