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Tristmire v Mew Newport (Isle of Wight) County Court

DATE: 20 Dec 2010

Unusual dispute about the status of houseboats in Bembridge harbour. The houseboats were lifted out of the water and supported on wooden piles. Thomas Jefferies acted for the landowner who was seeking possession. The occupiers claimed to have the right to remain as assured tenants. The first question was whether the boats were chattels, in which case no tenancy could arise, or part of the land, in which case a tenancy could arise. The next question was whether any implied tenancy could have arisen and if so how.  Thomas acted for the successful landowner. It was held that the boats remained chattel, but that even if they were part of the land they were still held under licences. The occupiers are seeking permission to appeal.