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While no laws specify what should be removed or retained when moving, it is important to remember that vendors and buyers will have certain expectations of what should be left in the property.
Any conflicts can be easily avoided by drawing up an inventory of items to be included with the property, which is then attached to the sales contract. An inventory should be written before even contacting buyers and can either be done by yourself or through a solicitor.
It is your solicitor’s job to protect you from any legal issues and may include an inventory questionnaire within the Property Information Form. In most scenarios, it is likely that your solicitor will make sure an inventory is written up to protect both you and the buyer.
Houseweb.com has a simple and easily printable Fixtures and Fittings Inventory Agreement if you were wanting to create one yourself.
If you do not complete an inventory, it will be assumed that all fixtures will remain in the property, while fittings are often assumed to remain in the ownership of the vendor. So, what is the difference between fixtures and fittings?
Similar to the law on what should remain within the property, there is no set legal definition as to what can qualify as a fixture or fitting.
That said, it is generally understood that fixtures will be physically attached to the floors, walls or ceiling with nails or screws, while fittings are free-standing and not integral to the property.
Below are a few examples of what will generally qualify as a fixture and a fitting.
There may be no set definition or law that suggests which fixtures or fittings should remain in a household when moving.
Without an inventory, a buyer may claim on any missing fixtures or fittings if it was generally understood they would remain in the property. The vendor would then have to pay for any replacement fixtures and fittings for the buyer.
Fixtures and fittings can add thousands of pounds’ worth of value to a property. Taking this from the buyer would be dishonest and may breach your contract, making you liable for legal action.
Generally, the buyer could lose up to £15,000 worth of fixtures and fittings if the vendor were to take everything.
Make sure the buyer is happy with the inventory during the early stages of the buying/selling process. It is likely the buyer may ask for certain fittings to be included such as furniture and carpets.
There’s no point in leaving furniture and other items if they are not included with the new property.
Some people may think it is cheaper to just buy new furniture for the new property rather than move their own. However, Comparemymove.com can save up to 70% off your moving day costs, making it easier on your wallet to move all your fittings.
Ultimately, plan what you will need for your new property, but consider the buyer of your current property before leaving them in the dust.
Try to negotiate in person or over the phone if you can, as this will allow you to gauge more clearly what you are comfortable with including in the inventory, and for what cost to the buyer.
If you are unsure, seek advice from your estate agent or solicitor. Use your estate agent as a middle man for negotiating on finer details if you find your buyers are becoming difficult.
Once you and the buyer have settled on a new inventory, make sure you get any amendments written up and added to the sales contract to avoid any further contention.
While buyers may ask for more than was included in the inventory, remember that a vendor can ultimately take whatever they want from the property, as long as the buyer has been forewarned.
Fixtures are generally considered to be included with the sale of the property, whereas buyers may be more lenient towards the removal of fittings.
If you are unsure of anything, talk to a property professional, such as your estate agent or solicitor who can help you with the legal and finer details.
Once you have settled contracts with the buyer, visit Comparemymove.com to compare up to six free quotes from trusted removal companies in your area, saving up to £500 on your moving costs.