If you are new to the home buying world, you may encounter several words or phrases with which you are unfamiliar. It's easy to become confused, but this is why you should always work with an expert by your side so you do not make any missteps along this complex journey. Yet it's always good to educate yourself so that you are a more informed buyer both now and in the future. In this case, what is the difference between a fixture and a chattel?
Pay Attention to Detail
When you inspect a home you are interested in, you will typically look at its design, location, accessibility, views and general suitability for your purpose. Normally, you won't pay too much attention to any white goods you expect to come along with the property and may make certain assumptions.
Don't Automatically Assume
Yet you will need to pay closer attention to this detail as matters progress and if you become quite interested in the property. In this case, you would need to understand the difference between a chattel and a fixture so you do not expect to buy something within the house and find out that you didn't get it after all.
Count the Appliances
Appliances are chattels. So, this would include a fridge, freezer, stove, washing machine, washer/dryer and microwave. Unless you agree to the contrary, the seller can remove them from the sale. In other words, it's probably a chattel if they can take the item out without damaging the property. If it's relatively easy to disconnect and wheel it away, you may need to add it to the contract of sale to be safe.
Get Further Information from the Seller
Usually, the seller will include kitchen appliances in a sale contract, but again, never assume. Ask the seller or their agent what they intend to do, and you'll then be able to decide whether to proceed or not. Perhaps the seller will agree to leave the appliances in place, but they may want to adjust the price. Of course, it's up to you to consider this, but at least you would not have any surprises when you take possession.
Ensure the Fixtures Stay in Place
On the other hand, fixtures are objects that are a permanent part of the property. If the outgoing seller were to remove them, they would probably cause damage to the structure. You can expect them to include all of the fixtures in the sale. In this case, an air conditioning system would undoubtedly be a fixture as it would take a great deal of effort to remove a compressor or condenser in every case.
Get Further Information
If you have any other questions about fixtures or chattels, talk everything through with a conveyancing firm.