Chattels and Fixtures
The law is quite clear on this. You can take a chattel with you when you move (furniture), and you have to leave a fixture (like the furnace) behind. It is the difference between moveables and immoveables.
The problem is: how do you tell the difference.
Furniture and furnaces are easy because they are at the extremes, but, the real issue is the fine and difficult distinction between items that are very close to the crossover. You have to remember that all fixtures once started out as chattels.
A quick search of the internet revealed some strange conclusions in some of the very popular and high ranking posts on the topic. However, there was not that much depth and they did not necessarily appear to particularly fall within the author’s area of expertise. The errors, I think just tend to perpetuate “old myths” about what was true and what was not true. The scholarly papers on the topic are long and complicated and buried deep on the internet. Who wants to read them?
Where’s the real distinction between chattels and fixtures? Are there any legal rules? If so, what are those rules and how do you apply them?
A quick review of the internet posts will leave you with the right answer when you are looking at furniture and furnaces, but will not offer much insight when you are dealing with the tricky cases.
Topically, for real estate agents, this is often a problem area where many mistakes are made. The solution frequently is writing a cheque to somebody for $1,500.00 and the matter is closed. Consequently, there is not a great deal of jurisprudence on this topic.
So, better answers are really required in the first place, right at the time when the Offer is being drafted.
I am holding a full day Workshop on Property Limitations on 8 February 2016.
Join me, if you can:
Brian Madigan ~ WORKSHOP SERIES
Open to real estate agents, students and the public
Register through EVENTBRITE
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker