What are fixtures and fittings?
Monday, 25 February 2019 | Admin
When you’re buying a house you’ll be asked to approve a list of fixtures and fittings, but what can you expect to be included?
A surprising amount of items can legitimately be removed from a property when it is sold, so to avoid nasty surprises on moving day it pays to check in advance exactly what will be taken.
This refers to items that are bolted into place such as fitted kitchen cabinets, radiators, light fittings and fitted carpets. On occasion, integral kitchen appliances may be included in the fixtures list, but usually these are considered to be freestanding and as such are removed.
Generally, fixtures are left for the buyers.
Fittings are usually attached by screws or a hook at most, for example pictures, lamp shades, curtains, kitchen appliances and rugs.
They are usually taken by the sellers, but may be offered for sale.
How will you know what is included?
Your conveyancer will provide you with form TA10, the Fittings and Contents form. This has eleven sections which will have been completed by the seller, specifying exactly what will be left.
They also have the option to include prices next to items they would be willing to sell. The buyer has the option of agreeing the price, trying to negotiate it or asking the seller to remove the item if it isn’t wanted.
You can ask for all fittings to be removed if you don’t want them; the seller doesn’t have the right to simply leave whatever they choose.
Avoiding nasty surprises
The Fittings and Contents form should be carefully checked and the property revisited if necessary, to ensure that everything you expect to receive has been included on the form. It will ultimately be attached to the contract and form part of your official agreement with the seller.
Be aware that some things which you might expect to stay could legitimately be removed, and plan for this or reach an agreement with the seller accordingly. For example, while a cooker hood may be classed as a fixture and stay, the cooker itself is usually considered to be a fitting so may well be taken.
The same applies to light fittings. The actual fitting which is attached to the ceiling and wired to the electrical circuit is likely to be considered a fixture, but the removable shade will probably be taken. Make sure that the kitchen cabinets are staying. Sometimes these may be free standing and might then legitimately be taken by the sellers.
Arriving on moving day to find that the curtains and white goods have gone when you were expecting them to stay can be very expensive as well as inconvenient. So make sure well before you exchange contracts that you have reached agreement with the other side and that you have double-checked the Fittings and Contents form.