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Fixtures and Fittings - Everything You Need to Know

Posted 5 December 2017 by Helen Christie

What are fixtures and fittings? Here’s what you need to know about them when buying a new home

When you are buying a home, keeping money aside for furnishing and decorating is something you will be considering, but have you thought about fixtures and fittings, and what may (or may not) be included when you move into a property?

We’ve put together all you need to know about fixtures and fittings, and what exactly they are.

What are fixtures and fittings?

While there isn’t a definitive description of what makes something either a fixture or a fitting, generally something that is bolted or fixed to the floors, walls or ceiling is a fixture, and a fitting is something that is freestanding, or hung by a hook or nail. While a single plug socket or kitchen unit may not seem like a huge amount, when you combine all the fixtures and fittings, they can add a huge amount of monetary value to a property.

Examples of fixtures

  • Alarm systems
  • Electric sockets
  • Kitchen units
  • Plumbing installations
  • Built-in wardrobes
  • Boilers

Examples of fittings

  • Carpets
  • Mirrors
  • Washing machines
  • Beds
  • Posters and paintings
  • Lampshades
  • Dustbins
  • Sofas
  • Blinds and curtains

What fixtures and fittings are included in a house sale?

There is no rule for what is and isn’t included in a house sale. If you are buying an older property, typically you may find that the vendors take the fittings and leave the fixtures, but never make any assumptions. If fixtures are being removed, the buyers need to know in advance, and it is down to the seller to create an inventory, and the job of the buyer to ensure they have read and understood this before completing. You don’t want to arrive at your new property to find that the seller has removed light fitments and taken the carpet.

If you are moving into a new build property, some fixtures and fittings will be included in the price, but always check what you are paying for. Housebuilders offer their own mixes of fixtures and fittings as standard, with some including very little for the asking price and others being more generous.

Can fixtures and fittings be added to the mortgage?

As fixtures are part of the home, it is generally understood that they will be included in the price of the home, and whether brand new or used, the property price should reflect this. This is why it is so important for buyers and sellers to be clear and aware of what comes with the property.

Do fixtures and fittings affect your stamp duty?

If an item is deemed as part of the home, ie a fixture, then it is taxable, and therefore Stamp Duty Land Tax will apply, but it does not apply to removable objects.

Can you negotiate fixtures and fittings?

If you are moving into a new build home, you can sometimes negotiate inclusion of fixtures and fittings. Most new build properties come with modern fixtures as standard, but it is important to remember that if you are having extras included then these will be reflected in the price. However it can be much more convenient for you if you choose to have appliances included.

In older homes, if a fixture is being removed, the seller can expect the buyer to negotiate a lower price as they will have to pay to replace it.

When do you negotiate fixtures and fittings?

For those purchasing a new build property, it is a good idea to pick your moment when it comes to negotiating. If there is a lot of development in the local area and the housebuilder wants to entice you, they will be more open to negotiations and incentives. Find out from the housebuilder what fixtures are included as soon as you can, and then you will be able to fully discuss and negotiate if necessary before completing.

If you are purchasing an older property, the seller’s solicitor should get them to make a list of the fixtures and fittings they are planning to leave. The inventory will need to be drawn up prior to completion and then if there is any negotiating to be done, there is time to do so.

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