Fixtures and fittings – what does that really mean?

When it comes to selling your home, what should you leave behind, and likewise what can you expect to find when buying a house? In Scotland, all offers for property include ‘Heritable Fittings and Fixtures’ (in addition to any furnishings, appliances or extras that you may have previously agreed).

Examples of fixtures include:

  • Light fittings
  • Central heating boilers/radiators
  • Kitchen units
  • Integral white goods
  • Bathroom suites
  • Murals
  • Built-in wardrobes and cupboards 

A ‘fitting’ can be described as any item the removal of which would damage the fabric of the property. This means any item attached by any means to the structure of the property. Examples of fittings can include:

  • Curtain rails / poles
  • Medicine cabinets and toilet fittings
  • Smoke and security alarms
  • Television aerials and satellite dishes
  • Paintings or mirrors that are not bolted but hung or screwed to a wall

The subject of fixtures and fittings can be very confusing as there is no exact law defining what it covers. Many buyers presume that certain items will be included in the property sale and will be left by the seller. The most common things taken by the seller however include washing machines, light fittings and furniture, often leading to disagreements. Therefore we recommend our clients clarify what will be included with the property in the early stages of the sale proceedings. When it comes to buying a property, never presume anything that isn’t written down in the contract!

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