Landlord and Tenant Fixtures

Distinction Between Landlord’s and Tenant’s Fixtures

Do you know the difference between the landlord’s and the tenant’s fixtures?  It is important to know the difference between these two aspects of a lease agreement.  Some fixtures may not be included in a lease agreement.  Nevertheless, it is important you understand what is a fixture and and if you are allowed to make any changes.  You need to ascertain what are the fixtures in your leased property.  Fixtures should remain unchanged when the lease ends and you return the property back to the landlord.  Also, your landlord may exercise the right to charge you with negligence or carelessness, if you haven’t kept any maintenance to preserve a fixture’s good condition.

What Is A Fixture?

Look at the picture here very carefully and think of what you can identify as a fixture.  Bear in mind that if you’re leasing this property, you’re paying rent for the use of the outside, as well as the inside of the property.  The grounds or area surrounding the property are part of the lease.  So what do you think are the fixtures in this property?  The windows?  The roof?  The trees?

If any items are annexed to the property, they are fixtures.  So how about the trees?  Are they annexed to the property?  If you remove them, will you cause damage to the property or create a health and safety hazard?  These are part of the property and cannot be removed, unless you have special written consent from the landlord.  Fixtures might be temporary or permanent.  They might be there as an improvement to the property.  If taken away, will it devalue the property, will it create a health and safety issue, will it cause serious damage to the property?  A fence or wall is a fixture but it may or may not be removed.

Removing Or Adding Fixtures To Leased Property

Some fixtures may cause a nuisance, such as trees, because of their upkeep.  Fixtures may also serve no purpose to a business and some may need to be removed to give way to trade fixtures.  If a tenant needs to remove a fixture for any reason, particularly to create permanent improvements to the property, this might be possible but never without the landlord’s written consent.  Your lease agreement will have clauses in relation to the property’s fixtures.  Unless you discuss this with the landlord and your solicitors, you cannot remove or alter a fixture.  You must also make sure you understand who is responsible for the maintenance of fixtures.

If you need clarification in relation to fixtures in your leased property, please contact one of our commercial property solicitors who will be happy to review your lease agreement.  SG

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