This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
The strict application of the rule that things annexed to the land become a part of the land would give to the reversioner or remainderman all articles annexed by one who is a tenant for a limited estate only, and so tend to prevent the making of improvements by him, and the most beneficial utilization of the premises. In view of the undesirability of such a result, the whether an article is a trade fixture is, it is conceived, in no way a question whether it was intended so to be, there usually, indeed, being no intention in this regard, but it is rather a question whether, so far as apppears from the nature of the article, and the mode in which the premises were utilized, it was annexed for the purpose of aiding in the conduct of a trade.
Rule has been subjected to considerable relaxations in such tenant's favor, and certain classes of articles, although of such character and so affixed that, as between persons in other relations, they would be treated as permanent annexations, are ordinarily removable by him or his representative.
dition for the market has been regarded as removable as a trade fixture,33 and plants cultivated for purposes of sale are, as before stated, removable on this ground34 As has been well said in an English text book35 the principle on which the right to remove trade fixtures is based, that is, the policy of encouraging tenants to make useful additions to their premises, and to avail themselves of modern improvements in arts and manufactures, would seem to be quite as applicable in the case of appliances and erections which may be useful for the conduct of agriculture
12. Ante, this section; note 98.
13. See Porter v. Pittsburg Bessemer Steel Co., 122 U. S. 267, 30 L. Ed. 1210; Phoenix Iron
Works Co. v. New York Security & Trust Co., 83 Fed. 757, 28 C. C. A. 76; Binkley v. Forkner, 117 Ind. 176, 3 L. R. A. 33, 19 N. E. 753; German Savings & Loan Soc. v. Weber, 16 Wash. 95, 38 L. R. A. 267, 47 Pac. 224.
14. Peck-Hammond Co. v. Walnut Ridge School Dist., 93 Ark. 77, 123 S. W. 771; Allis Chalmers Co. v. City of Atlantic, 164 Iowa, 8, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 561, 144 N. W. 346, Ann. Cas. 1916D, 910; Fitzgibbons Boiler Co. v. New
York, 173 N. Y. App. Div. 463, 159 N. Y. Supp. 357; Otis Elevator Co. v. Palmetto Construction Co., 237 Fed. 769, 150 C. C. A. 523.
15. Horn v. Clark Hardware Co., 54 Colo. 522, 131 Pac. 405; Hathaway v. Davis, 32 Kan. 693. 5 Pac. 29; Arnold v. Goldfield Third Chance Mining Co., 32 Nev. 447, 109 Pac. 718; Washburn v. Inter Mountain Mining Co., 56 Ore. 578, Ann. Cas. 1912C, 357, 109 Pac. 382; Cooper v. Cleghorn, 50 Wis. 113, 121, 50 X. W. 113. But see Fletcher v. Kelly, 88 Iowa, 475, 21 L. R. A. 213, 55 N. W. 474.
Furthermore, in view of the wide scope given to the privilege of removing trade fixtures, as including, apparently, annexations made in the course of any gainful occupation, including that of appropriating the mineral profits of the earth, the exclusion of the right of removal in the case of annexations made in the course of agricultural operations seems arbitrary and illogical.
Rights of Enjoyment.
There are occasional statements to be found to the effect that all annexations made by a tenant for years for the better enjoyment of the premises are removable by him,16 but these are not in accord with the weight of authority, which is, substantially, that the tenant's rights of removal are restricted to (1) trade fixtures; (2) domestic and ornamental fixtures; and, by some decisions, (3) agricultural fixtures.
The exceptional right of the tenant to remove fixtures annexed for the purpose of trade was, in a quite early case, stated to exist "in favor of trade and to encourage industry,"17 and that seems the logical ground on which to base it. Occasionally it is said to be based on the presumption of an intention on the part of the tenant subsequently to remove the article,18 but there appears no more reason for such a presumption when the annexation is for purposes of trade than when it is for any other purpose. Occasionally, moreover, the court seems to have regarded the question whether a particular article is a trade fixture, for the purposes of the rule, as dependent on whether the tenant intended it to be a trade fixture.19 But
. 16. Hedderich v. Smith, 103 Ind. 203, 53 Am. Rep. 509, 2 N. E. 315; Bliss v. Whitney, 9 Allen (Mass.) 114, 85 Am. Dec. 745; Kerr v. Kingsbury, 39 Mich. 150, 33 Am. Rep. 362; Winner v. Williams, 82 Miss. 669, 35 So. 308; Bircher v. Parker, 40 Mo. 118; Asheville Woodworking Co. v. Southwick, 119 N. C. 611, 26 S. E. 253; State v. Bodder, 166 Wis.
219, 164 N. W. 1009
17. Poole's Case, 1 Salk. 368, per Holt, C. J.
18. Hill v. Sewald, 53 Pa. 271, 91 Am. Dec. 209; Watts-Campbell Co. v. Yuenling, 51 Hun (N. Y.) 302, 3 N. Y. Supp. 869.
19. Linahan v. Barr, 41 Conn. 471; Royce v. Latshaw, 15 Colo. App, 420, 62 Pac. 627; Baker v. McClurg, 198 111. 28, 59 L. R. A.
The determination of the question whether a particular article or structure comes within the rule, as being evidently annexed by the tenant to aid in the carrying on of his trade or business, seems to involve but little difficulty. There have, however, been numerous adjudications upon the subject, and engines and boilers.20 industrial machinery and apparatus of various kinds,21 appliances annexed by the proprietor of a place of public entertainment or amusement,22 buildings,23 and even plants grown by a nurseryman,24 have all been regarded as trade fixtures in particular cases, and as, therefore, removable. Generally, it seems, an article so annexed
131, 92 Am. St. Rep. 261. 64 N. E. 701; Roth v. Collins, 109 Iowa, 501, 98 N. W. 543; Brownell v. Fuller, 60 Neb 558, 83 N. W. 669; Carver v. Gough, 153 Pa. 225, 25 Atl. 1124 (semble); Ballard v. Alaska Theatre Co., 93 Wash. 655; 161 Pac. 478.
20. Dobsehuetz v. Holliday, 82 111. 371; Holbrook v. Chamber-lin, 116 Mass. 155, 17 Am. Rep. 146; Andrews v. Day Button Co., 132 N. Y. 348, 30 N. E. 831.