Although the common law rules regarding ownership and removability of trade fixtures are too well known and too often employed to necessitate comment, the application of these rules has caused some courts substantial difficulty in cases where the lease in question contains a covenant by the lessee during the term to become the property of the lessor. The Supreme Court of Washington has considered leases containing this type of clause in two cases involving contests between landlords and tenants over the ownership of chattels installed on the premises by the tenant and has laid down the rule that when such a covenant is used the law of trade fixtures is not applicable. This holding is very similar to, and has the same effect as earlier, decisions in other jurisdictions dealing with the same problem, but the Washington holding is not in line with the more modern decisions in the same jurisdictions, nor does it accord with the majority view.
Norbert F. Knecht,
Effect of Lessee's "Covenant to Leave Improvements" on the Doctrine of Trade Fixtures,
24 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol24/iss2/6