Are flat screen TV’s permanent items or personal items

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are flat screen TV’s permanent items or personal items

We took our flat screen tv when we cleared out our summer home. The contract states all furnishings and fixtures with the exception of a couch, table, artwork and personal items. Now my realtor is telling me I have to return it saying its a permanent item. Is this correct? Since it is not specifically listed she is saying I have to return it. I say its a personal item and because its not specifically listed I should not have to return it.

Asked on October 18, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Generally, a TV, flat screen or otherwise, would not be a permanent item, but it could be converted into a permanent item if hardmounted into a basically form-fitting nook or space, so that it has essentialy been converted into a "fixture"--the way a microwave, normally a stand-alone item, could be mounted into the wall the way a conventional oven or dishwasher is and becomes a fixture. So if, as a rule of thumb, the TV was "on" the wall, like art, it's personal; if it was "in" the wall like an oven or dishwasher, it is a fixture.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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