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Buying a property: inclusions and exclusions

Potential buyers of properties often fall in love with one particular item on a property.  What happens when on moving day they discover that the fountain which was the centrepiece of the front of the property has been removed?

ClickLaw inclusions vs exclusions

The first thing to do is check the Contract for Sale.  Was the fountain marked as an Exclusion?  If yes, there is very little to be done for the purchaser, it simply did not form part of the Contract for Sale for that property.

On the other hand, inclusions are often a source of dispute between Vendor and Purchaser, particularly before exchange. Purchasers should check that they agree with the inclusions as marked on the front page of the Contract.  Often a dishwasher is not marked and on enquiry, the Vendor’s lawyer advises that is correct as it will be removed from the property.

Other words to describe this and the way people often test whether an item is an inclusion or an exclusion is by thinking of the objects as fixtures vs fittings.  As a general rule, a fixture is to be sold with a Property as it cannot be physically removed from the Property, e.g. floor coverings.  A fitting, however, can be removed and therefore may not be marked as an inclusion or described expressly as an Exclusion, e..g a pendant light.

As with many things of this nature, the ideal is for the Contract to clearly specify what is being sold as part of the Property, as this is teh binding agreement.  Otherwise, nasty surprises may arise and in many cases, a Purchaser would most likely have negotiated a different price had they been aware of the categorisation of some items. Or quite the opposite, a Purchaser may be really annoyed that the enormous statue in the backyard remained as it was marked as an Inclusion!

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