Everything including the kitchen sink and more

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WHEN it comes to selling your home and moving on, how do you decide what to leave behind?

When you move into a new home what do you expect the former owners to have left?

There is no doubt the issue of fixtures and fittings can be very contentious, particularly as the law is not specific about what should be left in or removed from the house once it has been sold.

Unless items are specified in the sales particulars or the contract for sale the seller isn’t obliged to leave any fixtures or fittings – and some have even been known to unscrew all the light bulbs and dig up plants from the garden prior to their departure!

Independent estate agent and valuers Harrison Murray say it is really a case of common sense, and advise sellers to draw up an inventory stating what is included in the price and what they intend to take.

Ideally this should be done before an offer is accepted.

Harrison Murray managing director Nick Salmon said: “Without an inventory it is assumed that fixtures will be left but fittings removed unless previously included in the agent’s details.

“Conflict between seller and buyer can be avoided by creating an inventory that states exactly what is included in the sale price and what will be taken away.”

Nick added: “The general rule of thumb is that a fixture is any item that is bolted to or permanently fixed to the floor or walls and a fitting is an item that is free standing or hung by a nail or a hook.”

For example: Fixtures - light fittings, central heating boilers/radiators, kitchen units, bathroom suites, plugs, murals, built-in wardrobes and cupboards.

Fittings - carpets, curtains and curtain rails, free standing ovens, fridges and washing machines, lampshades, bed/sofas and other free standing items of furniture, television aerials and satellite dishes, paintings or mirrors that are not bolted but hung or screwed to a wall.

Nick added: “Think about which fixtures and fittings you actually need. There is no point in arguing to keep a particular curtain rail if it doesn’t fit in your new home or you are just going to get rid of it later on.

“Ensure you have everything in writing and agreed – and above all, be friendly.”

Harrison Murray is happy to assist and advise any seller in putting together an inventory list. Visit www.harrisonmurray.co.uk to find your nearest branch.