select
|

Fixtures and fittings: make sure it’s not on show if it’s not for sale

Since the inception of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) it has become more important for home sellers – and their agents – to be very specific, clear and honest about what they are selling.

“And that does not only apply to the condition of the property, but to all the fixtures and fittings as well,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“Although it is as yet untested in the real estate context, the CPA does provide that there should be no ambiguity, let alone deception, when goods or services are advertised for sale or promoted in any way,” he notes, “so our advice to sellers is always to remove any fixtures that will not be included in the sale before putting their homes on show.”

By definition, a fixture is moveable “personal” property that by means of bolts, nails, screws, cement, glue or other method of attachment has been converted to “real” or immovable property. The difference is clear if one considers curtains hanging by hooks from rails or rods that are screwed into the wall. The actual curtains can be easily removed and as such are usually considered “personal” property. However the rails and rods should be left in place given their more permanent nature.

Blinds are also usually permanently attached and thus could quite reasonably be assumed by a homebuyer to be included in the sale, as could ceiling fans, light fittings, built-in water features, fireplaces, ovens, bookcases and bars, swimming pool and borehole pumps, TV aerials and satellite dishes and plants or trees that are growing in the ground.

“And yet,” says Everitt, “we often come across sellers who would like to take some or all of these fixtures with them to their new homes, as well as their furniture, artwork, loose carpets and mirrors, pot plants and other items of ‘personal’ or movable property which they are of course entitled - and expected - to remove.

“We have also seen disputes arise over items that are themselves not fixed in place but without which certain fixtures do not work, such as garage door remotes, pool cleaners, the batteries for a solar power system and recently, the LPG cylinders for a gas stove and fireplace.”

But given the provisions of the CPA, he says, it may now not be enough for the seller just to state in the Offer to Purchase that certain fixtures will not form part of the sale. “Besides which, we don’t believe it is fair to show prospective buyers a home with all the ‘trimmings’ in place only for them to find out later that many of these are not included in the price.

“On the other hand, it is better for sellers in the long run if, as part of staging their home before a showday, they take away the fixtures that are not for sale. What prospective buyers do not see, they cannot assume to be included or argue about later.”

Meanwhile, if buyers are still concerned, they should be sure to ask specifically if certain fixtures that they like are included in the sale, and to have these individually written into their Offer to Purchase.



  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Whenever changes in the political ecosystem of a traditional property market create uncertainty, smart investors begin to look elsewhere for new opportunities. Property experts at IP Global have analysed the trends and crunched the numbers to find new markets to explore in Europe and the United States.
    • 20 Apr 2018
      Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      The rental market is a cut-throat sector of the real estate market that waits for nobody. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, first-time renters need to be fully prepared before they even start the process of looking for a place to rent in order to avoid the disappointment of losing out on their ideal property.
    • 19 Apr 2018
      Choosing to buy your first home instead of continuing to rent is a big decision that will usually take some time to put into action, but the sooner you can save up a sizeable deposit, the closer you will be to reaching your goal.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      Selling your home is no small task and as you will quickly find out, there are a lot of misconceptions about the process. Gerhard van der Linde, Seeff's MD in Pretoria East lists the top 5 misconceptions when you are selling your home.
    • 18 Apr 2018
      The Cape Town municipality is now installing water-management devices at properties that have been non-compliant with the new level 5 water restrictions and there are talks of fines between R5,000 and R10,000 for households that use too much water.
    • 17 Apr 2018
      The recent interest rate cut has stoked the coals in the first-time buyer’s market. At least for the next two months until the next interest rate announcement, homeowners are guaranteed lower monthly instalments than in the previous quarter. But, is it wise to take out a 100% bond just to enter the property market while interest rates are low?
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK