What should we leave behind, and what we can expect to find, when selling or buying a house? The issue of fixtures and fittings can be very contentious, primarily because there is no law that specifies what should be left in the house and what should be removed. Different buyers and vendors have different expectations and it is wise to clarify what will be included with the property in the early stages of the sale proceedings. Legally the vendor is not obliged to leave any fixtures or fittings in the house, but the onus is on the vendor to clarify what will be taken. Usually conflict is avoided by the creation of an inventory which is attached to the sales contract stating what is included with the price of the house and what will be taken when the vendor moves. If an inventory is not formed, it is generally assumed that fixtures will be left but fittings will be removed, unless stated otherwise elsewhere. This means that if a fixture is removed without the buyer being forewarned the vendor could find themselves in a small claims court and have to pay the cost of replacing the contended fixture
There are no set definitions for a fixture or a fitting, but generally a fixture is understood to be any item that is bolted to the floor or walls, and a fitting to be any item that is free standing or hung by a nail or hook. Below is a list of items that will usually fall under each category.
- Light fitments
- Central-heating boilers and radiators
- Built in wardrobes/cupboards (e.g. if they use a wall to form one of their sides and would thus be incomplete if they were removed)
- Bathroom suites (sinks/baths/toilets)
- Kitchen units
- Wall paintings
- Paintings or mirrors that are not bolted but hung or screwed to a wall.
- Curtains and curtain rails
- Free-standing ovens, refrigerators and washing machines
- Beds/sofas and other free standing items of furniture
- Television aerials and satellite dishes
|Plug Sockets|, Door Bell, Door Knocker, Shutters & Grills, Interior Door Furniture, Exterior Door Furniture, Double Glazing, Window Fitments.
|Cooker, Cupboards, Fridge, Freezer, Microwave, Dishwasher, Spice Rack, Cutlery Rack, Extractor Fan, Washing Machine, Utensils, Curtain/Blinds, Built-in Appliances.
|Living/ Dining & Bedrooms
|Curtain Rails, Fittings, Tracks & Poles, Pelmets, Carpet, Heaters, Lamp Shades/Bulbs, Wall Fittings (shelves/mirrors etc.), Gas/Electric Fires, Burglar Alarm, and Smoke Alarms.
|Carpet, Medicine Cabinet/Cabinet, Mirrors, Towel Rail, Fitted Shelves/Cupboards, Shower or Bath Unit, Toilet Fittings, Heater, Curtain/Blind, Shaver Fitting, Soap & Toothbrush Holders, Shower Fittings & Curtain.
|Shed, Greenhouse, Trees, Plants, Flowers, Lights, Garden Equipment & Furniture, Garden Ornaments, Water Butts, Dustbins, Satellite Dish/TV Aerial.