There is nothing worse than purchasing a property only to find that certain items that you thought were included in the property have been removed prior to you taking possession. This is where it pays to be clear about included fittings and fixtures.
What is a fitting or fixture?
In Contracts of Sale there is a familiar clause which says:
“Goods sold with the land (pursuant to General Condition 2.3(f)) all fixed floor coverings, electric light fittings, window furnishings and all fixtures and fittings of a permanent nature”.
Reference to fixtures and fittings of a permanent nature relate to any item that is fixed to the land or fixed to something in the property.
In addition to the above, examples of a fitting and/or fixture would be:
Oven and cook top.
- A built in dishwasher.
- A bracket for a flat screen TV.
- Hot water service.
- Picture hooks.
- TV antenna.
Examples of items which are not a fitting and/or fixture would be:
- Free standing refrigerator.
- Wardrobes sitting on the floor.
Removing fittings or fixtures
If a Vendor wishes to remove a certain fitting and/or fixture upon the sale of their property, this must be clearly excluded as a fitting and fixture in the Contract of Sale. For example the General Condition could read “all fixed floor coverings, electric light fittings, window furnishings and all fixtures and fittings of a permanent nature, but excluding the built in dishwasher”.
If it is discovered prior to settlement that a particular fitting or fixture has been removed by the Vendor, there is usually a General Condition in the Contract of Sale allowing the Purchaser (if the removal has been discovered by the Purchaser) to withhold monies up to $5,000.00 at settlement to resolve the dispute over the fixture and/or fitting after settlement.
If the removal of the fixture and/or fitting is only discovered after settlement, then sadly in reality the cost of pursuing the matter may outweigh the costs of a new dishwasher.