Fixtures Defined and Explained
An article which was once a chattel but which has now become a part of the real estate because the article is permanently attached to the soil.4 min read
An article which was once a chattel but which has now become a part of the real estate because the article is permanently attached to the soil or to something attached to the soil.
All things that are attached to property, such as ceiling lights, awnings, window shades and doorknobs. Fixtures are automatically included in a sale, unless specifically mentioned in the contract as going to the seller.
Personal chattels annexed to land and which may be afterwards severed and removed by the party who has annexed them or his personal representative, against the will of the owner of the freehold.
Questions frequently arise as to whether fixtures are to be considered real estate or a part of the freehold; or whether they are to be treated as personal property. To decide these, it is proper to consider the mode of annexation, the object and customary use of the thing and the character of the contending parties.
Different Modes of Annexation
The annexation may be actual or constructive;
1st. By actual connexation or annexation is understood every mode by which a chattel can be joined or united to the freehold. The article must not however be laid upon the ground; it must be fastened, fixed or set into the land or into some such erection as is unquestionably a part of the realty. Looks, iron stoves set in brick-work, posts and window blinds, afford examples of actual annexation.
2d. Some things have been held to be parcel of the realty, which are not in a real sense annexed, fixed or fastened to the freehold; for example, deeds or chattels which relate to the title of the, inheritance, go to the heir but loose, movable machinery, not attached nor affixed, which is used in prosecuting any business to which the freehold is adapted, is not considered as part of the real estate, nor as an appurtenance to it. It is also laid down that deer in a park, fish in a pond and doves in a dove-house, go to the heir and not to the executor, being with keys and heir-looms, constructively annexed to the inheritance.
Exceptions to Annexation
The general rule is, that fixtures once annexed to the freehold, become a part of the realty. But to this rule there are exceptions. These are:
1st. Where there is a manifest intention to use the fixtures in some employment distinct from that of the occupier of the real estate.