What is Included When Buying a House?

Free conveyancing quote
What is Included When Buying a House?
 Safia Anwar
Legally reviewed by: Safia Anwar In: Conveyancing

When buying a property, the seller is not legally obligated to leave any contents behind. However, what many buyers do not know is that the sellers are not legally obligated to take anything with them either. This can leave buyers wondering what is included when buying a house?

Many home buyers may assume that a seller will leave specific items in the house such as white goods, however, as there is no legal guarantee of this, it is important to make sure everything that is to be included in the house is written into a contract.

It’s recommended that you should agree on the fixtures and fittings that will be included in the sale of the property. Additionally, it’s advisable to agree on what will be left behind. Therefore, to avoid any complications, the agreements should be made well in advance of the completion date of the sale.

What are Fixtures and Fittings?

There is no definitive answer as to what a fixture and fitting is but there are some rules that can help class a fixture or fitting. In some house sales, items such as integrated appliances and fitted furniture will be left but often these can be used as a bargaining tool or thrown in with the price of the property.

What is included in the property should be made clear in an inventory of sale in the TA10 form.

Fixtures

Fixtures are items that are fixed to the building; therefore, they should not be removed. The item must be either physically a part of the building or on the land that the building sits on.

Some examples of fixtures are:

  • Light fittings
  • Radiators
  • Security/alarm systems
  • Fitted furniture
  • Basins
  • Bathtubs
  • Plug sockets
  • Faucets
  • Dishwashers
  • Central-heating boilers
  • Ovens/hobs
  • Integrated fridges and freezers
  • Worktops

Fittings

A fitting is a free-standing item that can be easily removed from a property.

Some examples of fittings are:

  • Beds/sofas
  • Freestanding appliances
  • Lamps and lampshades
  • Standalone wall cabinets and freestanding furniture

The Law on What is Included When Buying a House

There is nothing legal in place to say what a seller should leave behind when selling a house. Therefore, a house could be left fully furnished or a house could be completely stripped down to the light fixtures and kitchen worktops.

Legally a seller is not obligated to leave any specific items behind. However, the seller does have a responsibility to create an inventory to help explain to the buyer what will and won’t be left in the house when they move.

In most cases, a seller will usually leave behind any fixtures and take all fittings when moving.

Negotiating Fixtures and Fittings

Both buyers and sellers can negotiate fixtures and fittings. For example, if a buyer finds the seller unwilling to compromise on a property’s asking price, they could request that the seller leaves the white goods behind if they are going to pay the full asking price.

On the other hand, a seller may find a buyer unwilling to increase their offer to a figure the seller is happy with. Therefore, they might wish to offer some fixtures if the buyer brings up their offer.

The Fixtures and Fittings Form (TA10)

Although many fixtures or fittings can be deemed as low-value items, disputes can arise if what a buyer expects to come with the property is not there. Alternatively, if a buyer assumes that a house will come empty, if they arrive at a fully furnished house it can cause a dispute. To avoid any disputes, a TA10 form is recommended.

A TA10 form, also known as a Fixtures and Contents Form identifies clearly what is and what is not included in the sale of the property. It is the seller’s responsibility to complete this form. Although the form is not compulsory, it is advised to avoid disputes and complications. Sellers should be given a copy of the TA10 form to complete by their solicitors and they should go through the property room by room to decide what fixtures and fittings to take or leave.

Finally, once the form is completed, the seller’s solicitor will hand the form over to the buyer’s solicitor for the client to go through and raise any queries.

AWH’s conveyancing solicitors are on hand to help with the TA10 form if you are unsure of what is included when buying a house or selling a house.

What is Included in a TA10 Form?

A TA10 form will usually cover:

  • Basic fittings
  • Kitchen
  • Fitted units
  • Bathroom
  • Light fittings
  • Carpets
  • Curtains and curtain rails
  • Outdoor
  • Stock of fuel
  • Television and telephone
  • Other items

What if the Sellers Don’t Honour the TA10?

If you find that some items have been left or taken and it was not stated in the TA10, you should contact your conveyancing solicitor immediately.

Our solicitors can contact the seller’s conveyancing solicitor and attempt to get the items returned or removed. If the seller does not comply with the request, they could face legal action.

How AWH’s Conveyancing Solicitors Can Help

If you want to buy, sell or remortgage a property, our team of experienced conveyancing solicitors is on hand to provide professional advice and support. Our conveyancing process is designed to safeguard your interests at every stage of the transaction, whether you are buying, selling, or re-mortgaging your property.

AWH Solicitors has been granted Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accreditation by the Law Society. The CQS provides a nationally recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing solicitors, ensuring that you as clients can be assured that you will receive a quality service from fully qualified and experienced solicitors.

At AWH, we have expert property solicitors ready to deal with all aspects of residential freehold and leasehold conveyancing. Contact us online today, call us on 01254 274000 or try our online conveyancing calculator.

Get in touch