Many people can understandably get confused by certain aspects of real estate law, and one such area which often causes confusion are matters involving fixtures and chattel.
The difference between a chattel and a fixture is important when negotiating inclusions and exclusions from the sale of your home. These can in turn become an issues in regards to what is included in the conveyance of a property. Some people may assume that all the items included in a sale should be obvious, but disputes can arise in some instances when a person is trying to establish whether a piece of property is a fixture or a chattel.
The Difference Between a Chattel and a Fixture:
Chattel – A moveable property, such as furniture or some household appliances (example, living room set)
Fixture – A chattel that has been fixed or attached and can no longer be easily moved (example, a built-in wall unit / TV mount)
In order to make a determination on whether something is a fixture or a chattel, is dependent on the intention of the affixer. A built-in vacuum could be seen as either a fixture or chattel, depending on how it's attached to the wall. If you can simply unplug it and remove it, without causing any harm, it could be seen as a chattel.
*If you're ever in doubt, please seek professional / legal advice.
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