The fixtures and fittings list is a list of items which the seller intends to leave or remove from the property on completion. The fixtures and fittings list, once agreed by the parties in the conveyancing process, is attached to the contract and forms part of it.
Fixtures are usually items which are attached to and form part of the land and are therefore included as part of the contract. The Buyer would expect these to be included in the contract unless the seller expressly states to the contrary. For example, fitted wardrobes would be considered as being fixtures. Fittings on the other hand do not form part of the land and these items must be specified in the fixtures and fittings list. The seller may charge an additional amount for these items and the seller and buyer should reach an agreement on this.
The seller’s conveyancing solicitor should check through the form with the seller and ensure it is clear as to which items are included and which items are excluded from the sale. Items which would normally be considered to be fixtures should not be charged for in addition to the purchase price and should not be removed from the property unless there is an express reservation of the right to do so in the contract. Removable items such as curtains, carpets and fridges will not normally be included in the contract unless the parties agree to them being included. The seller may decide to charge an additional amount for these items. If a particular item is not referred to in the form then it should be specified separately to avoid any doubt.
It is very important to get the fixture and fittings list accurately completed in order to avoid future disputes. The seller’s conveyancing solicitor should therefore go through the form with the seller to ensure its accuracy rather than simply forwarding it on to the buyer’s solicitor.
When the buyer receives the fixtures and fittings list they should check through it to make sure they agree with its contents. If there are any items that were expected to be included or excluded but were not, then these matters should be raised with the seller’s conveyancing solicitor as soon as possible. As the fixtures fitting and contents list forms part of the contract it must be agreed upon before exchange of contracts. Some buyers arrange to view the property again prior to exchange and completion to ensure that they are happy with its condition and that the items on the fixtures and fittings list have been removed or are still at the property as the case may be.