Chattels and Fixtures made simple

Most of us know that when we check out a house on Trade me or at an open home, we won’t be purchasing the vendor’s floral couch or strange fluffy rug. We do our best to imagine our own furniture and chattels in the rooms of our new home.

But what about ovens, dishwashers, heat pumps, and stove tops? Even the free-standing garden shed?

These things are a little less clear – and there has been the odd case of a purchaser being very stressed after their final inspection to learn the vendor has removed some of these items that, logically, would seem to “go with the house”. You don’t want this to happen to you! That’s why it’s so important to make everything crystal clear before you sign the Agreement for Sale and Purchase.

You can prevent misunderstandings or miscommunication by making sure that everything is set out clearly in the Agreement. If you want something to stay in the house on settlement, and you’re not sure whether it’s a chattel of fixture, you’re best to list it in the Agreement as a chattel.  This means that the chattel stays in the house on settlement and the vendor can’t take it with them!

A fixture is generally an item which is “fixed” to the house and removing it would cause damage. A chattel is usually an item which can be removed from the house without causing damage. As with anything legal, there is always a grey area. If you’re not sure whether it’s a fixture or chattel, you should include it in the Agreement as a chattel.

This also highlights the importance of a final inspection. Never skip it – make sure you’ve gone through and thoroughly checked that the chattels listed in the Agreement are still in the house, and that they are in working order!

If you need help going over an Agreement, or have any more questions, contact us! We are here to help you with any queries you may have about chattels or fixtures.

Call us today 03 2183662.