Do drapes and blinds come with a house if there is no specific exclusion for them inthe sales contract?

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Do drapes and blinds come with a house if there is no specific exclusion for them inthe sales contract?

I recently bought a house and found that drapes and blinds are missing from the house. There is no exclusion clause in the contract mentioning that and we want our drapes and blinds to be returned back by the seller as mentioned in the contract. What is the legal action to be taken for this issue ?

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The legal question here is whether the drapes and blinds are "fixtures," which as a legal term means items that have been attached to the land or a building in a way that they cannot be removed without damaging what is left behind.  Damage, here, means more than simply the fact that the items have to be replaced; if large holes were left in the walls or windowsills, in this case, you might have an argument.  Otherwise, the window treatments were never "part of the house," whatever you might have thought, unless the contract specifically includes them in the sale.

Even if you have a good argument on the "fixtures" question, you may have trouble enforcing this because you have closed title, which for issues that are not hidden or concealed usually means you have accepted the house as it was at the time.

I always recommend, very strongly, a final walk-through by the buyers, on the day of closing (beforehand!) or very late in the previous day, to confirm that there are no problems of this sort.  If there are, they need to be dealt with at the closing, before you lose all your leverage by handing over the money.


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