Chattels is the legal term for what is normally referred to as house ‘fittings’. When property is sold, chattels are not included in the transaction. They are items of personal property. Chattels are movable items that you can take with you when you move or when you sell your property. So, items such as furniture, curtains, carpets, china, ornaments, domestic appliances, are all legally referred to as ‘personal chattels’ and they are your personal property. They are yours to take and do not form part of the property you sell, unless there’s an agreement between the buyer and the seller. This means that at times the seller may agree with the buyer to leave specific items in the property.
Is there a distinction between chattels and fixtures? Whilst chattels are movable, fixtures are permanently attached to real estate. They cannot be moved, they are part of the value of property or land. Some chattels can become fixtures, such as fences, taps and chandeliers. A conveyance report will determine what items are fixtures and as such cannot be moved or removed as chattels personal. For instance, a static home may be considered a chattel if the land was sold with the exclusion of the house which isn’t permanently attached to the land. If however, the conveyance report states that the land is being sold with the inclusion of a static home, then the house becomes a fixture of the land, because the house was intended to be part of the land. Also, any fences and items with the purpose of improving land or property are considered fixtures and thus unmovable.
If you are thinking of selling property or land and would like some informal advice on chattels and fixtures in your property, please contact our conveyancing solicitors. We can carry out a conveyance report and set out what will be included in the sale of real estate. Please contact us for an informal discussion. SG
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