What is a Fittings and Contents Form in Conveyancing?
02 November 2018
The Fittings and Contents form is completed when selling a property to outline exactly what is and isn't being included in the sale. The form will list out fittings and contents within the property, such as furniture, curtains, shelving, flooring and light fittings amongst others, and state whether or not these items will be left in the property upon completion of the sale.
The Fittings and Contents Form Explained
The Fittings and Contents form is also referred to as the TA10 form or the Schedule of Fixtures and Fittings. The form has been created by the Law Society and is available for anyone to download for free from the Law Society's website.
The purpose of the form is so that both the seller and the buyer of the property are completely clear on what is and isn't going to be left behind when the seller vacates, what is included in the purchase price and whether the buyer is to pay extra for certain items such as carpets and curtains. This is to avoid any nasty surprises after completion, where the buyer finds that the seller has removed flooring or light fittings, for example, or that they have left furniture behind unexpectedly.
What is the Difference between Fixtures and Fittings?
When referring to fixtures and fittings, it's important to understand what each of these terms relates to.
Generally speaking, fixtures are items which are "fixed" to the property itself, such as a tiled floor, for example, or a fitted kitchen. It is usually assumed that these items would be included in the sale of the property unless the seller has clearly stated otherwise.
Fittings, on the other hand, are items which are not fixed to the property itself (other than by nails or screws, for example). This would include things such as standalone wall cabinets, pictures hung on the wall, freestanding furniture or loose rugs. Curtains and curtain rails, shelving and items in the garden will could fall into this category, so it's important that the Fittings and Contents Form clearly states whether these sorts of items will be removed or left behind on completion.
Fixtures are included in the purchase price whereas fittings and contents are paid for separately by the buyer and this means that they are not subject to Stamp Duty Land Tax.
It's likely that the buyer of a property will want to know in advance whether kitchen appliances will be included in the sale, so that they know whether or not to buy replacements. Establishing whether these appliances fall into the category of fixtures or fittings can be a little unclear. Generally, if appliances are freestanding then these will be classed as fittings, while integrated appliances would fall under fixtures. For more information, see Will the Appliances be Included when I Buy a House?
So, as you can see, matters can become confusing and there is a risk that the seller and the buyer might have different ideas of what should and shouldn't be included. This is where the Fittings and Contents form comes in, to clarify exactly what will be left behind.
What is Included in the Fittings and Contents Form?
The form itself is divided into 11 sections, listing out all items that you would commonly expect to find in a home. For each item, the seller can tick whether the item is fitted or freestanding and whether it is included or excluded from the sale. There is also an option to tick if the item is not present in the property.
The form covers the following areas:
- Basic fittings - Such as the boiler and central heating system, light switches, sockets, insulation and doors.
- Kitchen - Including all kitchen appliances.
- Bathroom - Including the bath and taps as well as smaller items such as the toilet roll holder and the shower curtain.
- Carpets - This asks for details of which rooms contain fitted carpet and whether this will be left.
- Curtains and curtain rails - This asks for details of which rooms contain curtains, curtain rails or blinds and whether these are included in the sale.
- Light fittings - In this space, the seller should note whether any light fittings will be removed prior to completion. It also includes a note that removed fittings should be replaced with a basic fitting and bulb, and be left safe.
- Fitted units - This covers fitted cupboards, shelves and wardrobes in each room.
- Outdoor area - This concerns the garden / balcony or any other outside area and asks the seller to confirm whether items such as garden furniture, barbeques, plants and dustbins will be left behind.
- Television and Telephone - This includes any existing TV or phone infrastructure, such as the TV aerial, satellite dish or telephone receiver.
- Stock of fuel - This will only apply to homes that have a fuel burning appliance, such as a log burner, and asks the seller to specify whether leftover fuel (including wood, oil or LPG) will be included in the sale.
Other items - This is a space for the seller to note down anything else that didn't fall into one of the earlier categories.
Under each of sections 1-10, there are a few additional rows where the seller can list out any other items that have not already been covered in that section, just to make sure that nothing is left out.