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moving house - fixtures & fittings, what is normal to take/leave/charge for?

(59 Posts)
bossykate Sat 27-Mar-04 12:44:04

i would really appreciate some advice on this. what is the norm?

for example, the people we are buying our house from want to take the bath from one of the bathrooms and the cooker from the kitchen. i don't think that's really on, especially the bath... otoh, i would expect to take the washing machine and dishwasher.

what about carpets? i would expect to get those included and wouldn't consider charging our buyers for ours.

any views on curtains and other window coverings?

thanks very much in advance

Janh Sat 27-Mar-04 12:48:55

They can't take the bath - not unless they replace it.

They can take the cooker if it's freestanding (eg slot-in) but not if it's built in.

Carpets, curtains etc are strictly negotiable.

HTH!

Janh Sat 27-Mar-04 12:54:34

Definition for you, bk.

It's quite logical - fixtures are attached. (I know washing machines are plumbed-in but they have wheels so are intended to be moved.)

If you think they're going to be sneaky tell your solicitors and I think they can be specific in legal docs. I have heard of vendors removing light fittings and just leaving wires dangling and that's not legal either.

There was a case recently of a castle or something where the vendors removed a stone courtyard or terrace - it went to court and they had to put it back.

Angeliz Sat 27-Mar-04 12:54:46

bossykate, we moved into our house about a year and a half ago. They took a carpet that was actually shaped to a very strange room...........where they were going to put it i dont know!! They took nearly all the carpets up!
We agreed to pay them a hundred pounds for the curtains!

Hope it's not too stressful a time+

prufrock Sat 27-Mar-04 13:01:34

Pretty much everything is negotiable.
It seems "normal" to leave carpets, but take curtains. Light fittings are often taken as they go with decorative schemes, but they must replace them with plain plastic fittings, not just leave holes in the wall. Washing machine/dryer/dishwasher/fridge/cooker etc would normally go if they are freestanding, but stay if they are fitted into kitchen cupboards. (which unfortunately tends to mean the lovely smeg range is more likely to disapear then the bog-standard 4 ring hob)
Is the bath a freestanding Victorian roll-top or something? It seems a bit wierd to take it, so maybe you could negotiate downwards on the price if they insist?

collision Sat 27-Mar-04 13:02:22

Some people can be so difficult. When we bought our restaurant the previous owner took the disabled toilet!! She wrecked the place and left wires hanging out of the wall and smashed the bar with a sledgehammer. There was nothing we could do as we didnt want her to turn on us!!

LIZS Sat 27-Mar-04 13:07:10

You need to specify via your solicitor whether your offer includes carpets and fixtures/fittings (such as fitted kitchen) and then your vendor should complete a room by room inventory of what is included or not in their eyes - that should cover curtain poles, curtains, blinds, shelves attached to wall, non-central heating heaters, garden shrubs etc. Beware though, as although they say they will leave curtains in a bedroom, for example, they may not leave the ones you have seen at your viewing so if they coordinate with the decor there could be a problem regardless.

Agree with Janh on cooker - they shouldn't remove built in hob/oven but could a freestanding unit and not replace. Bath is an odd one, is it so special, but presumably they have somewhere in mind to put it ?! In theory they could probably take it and the cooker if they say so before contracts are exchanged.

hth

bossykate Sat 27-Mar-04 13:27:51

thanks all the comments so far.

i am a bit nettled about the bath. it is an original victorian roll top and actually i don't mind if they take it as i have more modern tastes when it comes to bathroom stuff. *However* we are paying for a house with 2 baths and i don't want to be left with a room that is neither bed nor bath *nor* with some cheapo crappy replacement bath they have put in for form's sake - so i would prefer to use them taking the bath as leverage for something i do want, e.g. the window coverings and carpets. if they took the carpets i think that would be a deal breaker for me...

in terms of the cooker, it is a range cooker. now, i don't have anything against a range cooker, but wouldn't buy one myself, so don't want to shell out for one just to fill a slot in the kitchen which has been pretty badly designed and will need at least partial redoing anyway.

thank you this is helping my get my thoughts straight on this

bossykate Sat 27-Mar-04 13:30:07

btw - what would you expect to charge/be charged for window coverings? 1/2 price? 25% of new? some random amount

thanks again.

Angeliz Sat 27-Mar-04 13:31:58

bossykate, just wanted to add that our solicitors were taking a while for little details and we actually spoke direct to the vendors about the curtains, did a deal and that was that! I know the advice is not to but it saved time for us to cut out all the to-ing and fro-ing with solicitors!
(Also people can be more amicable when face to face)

Angeliz Sat 27-Mar-04 13:34:03

If you and your dp/dh agree a price, ask them first!
We said we'd be willing to pay a few hundred as they were all good curtains and lots of windows!!
When it came to it, we said,"what do you want to leave the curtains?", she said ........"oh, a hundred"
Deal done

bossykate Sat 27-Mar-04 17:34:31

sorry everyone, please bear with me.

have talked to vendor and am pretty irritated (and i hate the word vendor). got lecture on how our house wasn't under offer yet (it's been on the market a week!), got told they must move in june and if we couldn't do it they would dump us (that's ok actually, we want to move by june too), was told they have another buyer in the offing who is a first time buyer!

oh, and "we're taking the bath" - no quid pro quo offered. that is not acceptable to me i'm afraid.

will have to chat to estate agent and solicitor on monday.

hope she is not a mumsnetter!

MrsGrump Sat 27-Mar-04 17:53:57

I would love to move by June, too, sigh.
About fixtures -- I don't know about "normal", but it's on the SIF -- Seller's Information Form or PIF = Preliminary Inquiries Form. These are bog-standard forms and will state exactly what gets left behind at the property. The sellers have to fill them in at the very beginning of the conveyancing process, so I don't understand how anybody has managed to move in to find surprises removals....
Anyway, I am peeved because the sellers of the house we really like (have made 3 offers) basically won't accept anything until they find something else! On the plus side, it means we won't fork out £1000 for a structural survey when they aren't serious about moving... on the negative side, it just goes to show they aren't all that serious about moving. I am *SO* hoping we find somewhere else we like better, so can thumb our noses if the agents come back to us later.

LIZS Sat 27-Mar-04 17:58:44

Was the bath stated as a feature in the house particulars ? If so, I think you could argue that the property was misrepresented by their agent (with the vendors'consent) and have a case to reduce the price to allow for replacement like for like. Of course they could still reject the revised offer...

kiwisbird Sat 27-Mar-04 18:36:29

maybe the cooker if not built in, this is ridiculous NOT the bath!! This is a foxture and fitting, it is sold with a abth in the bathroom otherwise it would be a shower room!!
WE are selling and are takigour lightbulbs BUTTTTTTTT they are lifetine omes we ARE replacing them, and as for appliances anything integrated can stay in house price... This sucks, carpets no!!! They stay!
I am taking kids curtains as grandma made holly hobbie and harry potter ones for the kids, but that's all I will take.
What a minefield I reckon people assume that as you have paid for search, survey and lawyers that you won't quiblle over a bath - do question it, they have MORE to lose than you!
This makes me sooo cross!!

Blackduck Sat 27-Mar-04 19:04:52

I thought that baths have to stay (or be replaced...)- same prinicple as a fitted kitchen Cookers can go if freestanding...(we sold ours to our buyer, and our seller sold theirs to us - about £50). Curtains/carpets are negotiable - they took all the curtains and we paid an additional amount for the carpets. We left our carpets as part of the sale, and curtains too (wouldn't have fitted new house...)

150percent Sat 27-Mar-04 19:14:46

I certainly wouldn't progress any further until you know exactly what they're proposing to leave, and in particular what state the bathroom will be in. Taking some features is normal practice. Our vendor took a lot of their light fittings, and left just standard ones - alas their wiring skills were very dodgy and we had to pay out ££ to get it sorted. A bathroom is a major feature in any house, and would probably impact the price imo. Regardless of what the TV makeover shows indicate you can tell the difference between the B&Q £150 suite and a £5-10k one.

If they're admitting to the bath, then you need to get the detailed particulars quickly - what else is/isn't included?

fairygirl Sat 27-Mar-04 19:34:08

We moved in to our new house 6 months ago and they took everything with them even the doorbell!

bossykate Sat 27-Mar-04 20:08:47

thanks everyone. i agree that the particulars are misleading if the house is described as a 2 bath house - but won't actually be that when we move in...

zebra - sorry to hear that

Batters Sat 27-Mar-04 21:23:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SoupDragon Sat 27-Mar-04 21:37:27

The estate agent details are, I think, only a "guide" so they probably can take the bath since they've told you up front and aren't hiding it. However, unless they are replacing it, this does mean it is no longer a 2 bathroom house so this would affect the price.

I was delighted that our vendors took their curtains with them. They were full of poncey swags and tails and assorted frilly bits <<shudder>>.

miggy Sat 27-Mar-04 22:20:44

on a property programme the other night, a similar issue arose with a wood burning stove that was mentioned in the estate agent details and the owners planned to take. Basically advice was details are a guide, not legally binding document, the fixtures/fitting list that you fill out nearer the time is. Nothing to stop you renegotiating the price at that point though (apart from stroppy vendors). Could be worse, we recently bought in france, not only did they remove fitted oven and hob-leaving a hole in the worksurface, they also took every light fitting (just white dangly plastic things) leaving bare wires hanging from the ceiling, also toilet seats-very uncomfortable!

eddm Sat 27-Mar-04 22:47:31

If you look at estate agent details they'll have a disclaimer saying particulars are only a guide and not to be relied upon. As Miggy says, fixtures and fittings list from solicitors will be far more detailed and is supposedly legally binding. Our cheeky buyer said he wouldn't pay for our new-ish Bosch washing machine but would be nice if we left it! So we took it even though we were buying the one in our new house (only £100 for fridge and washing machine though - sometimes more hassle to transport than to leave).

Freckle Sun 28-Mar-04 08:37:15

When I sold a house many years ago, I asked the purchasers if they would be interested in any of the furniture (I was getting married and didn't need most of it). Their solicitor wrote back and said that they weren't interested in buying any but would be happy to use anything I left. I thought this was a bloomin' cheek. I therefore arranged for all the good furniture to be transported to my cousin's house (he'd just moved back from abroad and had little furniture) and just left some fairly awful stuff, saving myself several trips to the local tip. They later complained that I'd left all this fairly useless furniture, but couldn't do anything about it because of their solicitor's letter.

But going back to the original point, your vendors can take whatever they want *provided* they advise you before exchange of contracts. Obviously if you're not happy with what they are taking, you can negotiate the price downwards, but they are not obliged to comply. Tbh, I'm surprised that you are at the solicitors stage as you don't have a buyer for your house. Most vendors won't start incurring such costs until the chain is complete, or you at least have received an offer you are happy with.

Trifle Sun 28-Mar-04 10:20:08

The people we bought our current house from left so much rubbish it cost a fortune to get rid of it. Their defence was that they thought we might find it useful. We were advised that we could pursue it legally but seemed more hassle than it was worth. Next time (and I would strongly advise that you do this if possible) I would check the house out the day you complete (as I guess they would have moved out by then) otherwise once you have paid your money over then you are fighting a losing battle. Also, although it's too late now, the offer I make on any property would be on condition that x, y and z were included in the price.

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