A question we are regularly asked is just what items you can remove from the house you are vacating.
Strictly speaking, this question should be addressed to your solicitor. There are certain legal implications involved in this but we will do our best to offer you a quick layperson’s guide here.
You can only remove your own personal possessions. Any furnishings that were supplied as part of the rental are, of course, the property of the landlord and removing them could be interpreted as theft.
Fixtures and fittings also obviously cannot be touched. Be careful about assuming that if, for example, you changed an old light fitting and installed a new one that you purchased (presumably with the landlord’s consent in advance) that you can just take it away with you. You might not be able to.
Similarly to the above, anything that is what might be termed a ‘movable’ can be taken by you to your new residence.
Fixtures and fittings are typically considered to be part of the contract of sale of your property and therefore belong to the new buyers and not you.
There are always grey areas in these definitions. For example, taking a lump hammer and stone chisel to a wall in order to remove an architectural feature, under the justification that “it was movable”, might be stretching things a little far!
Disputes can also arise in areas such as light fittings and kitchen units – including sometimes appliances that are semi-fixed in place.
Rather than spend weeks and months after your removals squabbling through the legal processes with your new buyers, it is better to be specific about what you are planning to remove up front. Furniture removals are always best when they can be forgotten as soon as possible after completion, rather than when they result in a legal dispute.
Once again, do speak to your lawyer for specific advice.