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Encyclopedia > Fixture

In the law of real property, fixtures are anything that would otherwise be a chattel that have, by reason of incorporation or affixation, become permanently attached to the real property. At law, fixtures are treated in the same manner as real property, particularly under the law of security for debt. A classic case of a fixture is a building, which in the absence of language to the contrary in a contract of sale is considered to be part of the land itself and not a separate piece of property. Personal property is a type of property. ... Real property is a type of property differentiated from personal property. ...

Some examples of a fixture are obvious - a piece of lumber sitting in a lumber yard is clearly a chattel. However, that same piece of lumber in a fence surrounding real property is considered to be real property itself. However, not all cases are as easy. Is, for example, a trailer home a piece of real property or a movable chattel? In many cases, it depends how permanently the trailer is attached to the land, such as whether the trailer has a foundation.

The discussion is not just academic, and can have real effects on creditors and mortgagors who assume that a given piece of property is a chattel or a piece of real property. In most jurisdictions, the law respecting the registration of security against debt, or proof that money has been lent on the collateral of property, is different for chattels than it is for real property. For example, in the province of Ontario, Canada, mortgages against real property must be registered in the county or region's land titles office. However, mortgages against chattels must be registered in the province-wide registry set up under the Personal Property Security Act. A creditor is a party (e. ... Motto: Ut Incepit Fidelis Sic Permanet (Loyal it began, loyal it remains) Other Canadian provinces and territories Capital Toronto Largest city Toronto Lieutenant Governor James K. Bartleman Premier Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) Area 1,076,395 km² (4th)  - Land 917,741 km²  - Water 158,654 km² (14. ...

In the case of a trailer home, whether it is a fixture or chattel has a bearing on whether a real property mortgage applies to the trailer. For example, most mortgages contain a clause that forbids the borrower from removing or demolishing fixtures on the property, which would lower the value of the security. However, there have been cases where lenders lend money based on the value of the trailer home on the property, where that trailer is later removed from the property. Similarly, a chattel mortgage granted to allow a person to purchase a trailer home could be lost if the trailer is later attached to real property. A mortgage (Law French for dead pledge) is a device used to create a lien on real estate by contract. ...

The law regarding fixtures can also cause many problems with property held under a lease. Fixtures put in place by the tenant belong to the landlord if the tenant is evicted from the property. This is the case even if the fixture could have legally been removed by the tenant while the lease was in good standing. For example, a chandelier hung by the tenant may become the property of the landlord. Although this example is trivial, there have been cases where heavy equipment incorporated into a plant has been deemed to have become fixtures even though it was sold as chattels. This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for...

Because the value of fixtures can often exceed the value of the land on which they were affixed, lawsuits to determine whether a particular item is a chattel or a fixture are common. In one case in Canada, a provincial government argued that a huge earth dam was a chattel, as it was only held in place by gravity and not by any type of affixation (the claim was rejected).

In a sale of land, fixtures are treated as part of the land, and may not be removed or altered by the seller prior to the transfer of the land.

Trade fixtures

An important exception to the usual treatment of fixtures is the category of trade fixtures - chattels installed by a tenant on commercial property specifically for their use in a trade or business. These may always be removed by the tenant, so long as any damage to the structure caused by the removal is repaid or repaired.

  Results from FactBites:
Low voltage light fixture - Patent 4996636 (2549 words)
The fixture of claim 1 wherein the second pair of connector elements are L-shaped legs having a flange portion extending inwardly and a support portion with a outwardly facing surface.
The fixture of claim 1 wherein frictional engagement of the second twist lock connector with the first twist lock connector and against the wire produces an expansive force which tends to hold the first and second twist lock connectors in a locked position.
The fixture of claim 13 wherein at least two blades of the support project outward near an upper portion of the support forming a shoulder, and all the blades project outward near a median of the support and taper to a point at a lower end.
  More results at FactBites »



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