Fixtures and fittings - what comes with the house?

  • 2014
    27 Mar
  • Published in
    Guides
  • Views
    6,931

So you're buying a house but how much of the interior will you own? When you move in could your new house be stripped down to the shell?

You have seen a lovely house and it looks perfect, you had an offer accepted and you hope to move in as soon as possible. But will it look the same as when you viewed it. You probably expect that beautiful flat screen LED TV to be gone when you move in but what else will be missing.

Fixtures and fittings

The contents of the house that come with the purchase are called the fixtures and fittings but what are they?

Fixtures

Fixtures are items permanently fitted into the property, bolted to the wall, attached to the plumbing, sealed into the kitchen units. These are the items you should expect to come with the property purchase and they can include items such as:

  • Boiler, hot water tank, radiators
  • Sink, bath, shower, toilet
  • Fireplace
  • Kitchen units that are sealed into the kitchen suite such as hobs or a built in fridge
  • Light fittings
  • Plug sockets, light switches
  • Built in wardrobes or cupboard units
  • Burglar alarm systems and security lights

Fittings

Fittings are free standing items or items hanging on a hook or screw. Any items you can pick up or move without unscrewing anything. Some examples are:

  • Table and chairs, sofa, coffee table, beds or any other unattached furniture
  • Curtains, rugs and, more worryingly, carpets!
  • Free standing washing machine, fridge freezer, oven
  • Mirrors, paintings
  • TV aerials or satellites
  • Light bulbs

What to expect

When viewing the property you can ask the agent or seller what is included in the house. You may be lucky and get more than you were expecting if they think it will aid the sale. However, this is not guaranteed!

When it comes to the actual sale process, at some point you should receive an inventory listing every fixture and fitting in the house and if it is included in the purchase or not. If you do not get one of these request one as it could protect you from a nasty shock come moving in day.

Read it carefully too since there could be something missing I was once told a nice looking breakfast bar and chairs set came with a flat but when it came to completion it had disappeared off the list, that was annoying but not too bad.

Negotiate

You may really like some of their fixtures and fittings and you may want to have them included in the sale or your seller may not expect some pieces to fit or suit their new property and so may be looking to get rid of them.

As with the house sale, the fixtures and fittings are open to negotiation - if you don't think that table and chairs is worth £800 any more, offer less. Find out if the owner is down-sizing too, if so chances are even if you offer a rubbish deal they'll take it anyway as they have no intention of taking it with them. Please do not negotiate the fixtures and fittings to the detriment of the house sale though, remember what is most important here!

Worst case scenario?

If there is no written inventory then the seller can legally take all free standing fittings. Even worse than that is if there was an inventory but you didn't look through it, imagine buying a house that has been stripped bare, e.g. without curtains, carpets, light fittings, radiators etc? Imagine the cost to set that right. Read that inventory!

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