Selling a home in Queensland involves specific legal considerations regarding fixtures and chattels. Understanding the distinction between fixtures and chattels is important to ensure a smooth settlement and prevent any unwelcome surprises after settlement.
Here’s a quick overview of fixtures and chattels to assist with selling your home:
1. What are Fixtures and Chattels?
Fixtures are items that are attached or affixed to the property in a way that suggests they are intended to be permanent. Fixtures are considered part of the property and are generally included in the sale unless otherwise stated in the Contract of Sale.
Chattels, on the other hand, are movable personal belongings that are not permanently attached to the property. These items are generally excluded from the sale unless specifically included in the agreement. An example of a chattel might be drawers within a wardrobe which are not fixed to the wall or floor, or a television (but not the bracket).
2. Prepare a Detailed Inventory
Before listing your property, create a comprehensive inventory of fixtures and chattels. Walk through each room and identify items that fall into each category.
For fixtures, make note of built-in features, permanent installations, and any item attached to the property in a way that may suggest permanence.
Chattels include movable items such as furniture, appliances, curtains, rugs, and standalone electronics.
3. Include Fixtures and Chattels in the Contract
When preparing or reviewing the Contract of Sale your property, clearly state which fixtures and chattels are included in the sale.
Specify the items you intend to exclude from the sale, ensuring that they are clearly documented in the Contract of Sale.
4. Be Specific in the Listing
Include a detailed description in the listing that specifies which fixtures and chattels are included in the sale.
Provide clear information about built-in appliances, special features, and any other fixtures that may enhance the property’s value.
5. Negotiations and Amendments
During negotiations, potential buyers may express interest in certain fixtures or request the inclusion of additional chattels. Carefully consider these requests and be prepared to negotiate.
Any changes to the fixtures and chattels included in the sale should be documented and agreed upon in writing through an amendment to the Contract of Sale.
6. Seek Legal Advice
Seek legal advice where you are unsure. The Small Business Lawyer offers free pre-contract advice and on most occasions, a free review of your Contract before you sign. We can assist in drafting and reviewing contracts and providing guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.
Contact The Small Business Lawyer for any of your conveyancing needs and one of our friendly and experienced staff will be on hand to assist.