What is a Fixture?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 27, 2013

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A fixture is an item considered to be attached to the property and not removable without damage to the underlying realty. An example is the plumbing system in a building. It is considered to be a permanent part of the building and could not be removed without damaging the building. If the item is not attached and easily removable, it is considered personal property. An example is the office equipment. So, if you are purchasing a building, the fixtures are usually included in the sale. The personal property would not be included unless specifically listed in the sales agreement. 

Some items such as a window air conditioner might fall into either category. It is helpful to know the intention of the parties at the time the item was installed to see if it was thought to be a permanent attachment and not removable personal property. To avoid later disputes, it is a good idea to clearly specify in the purchase contract what items are included in the sale.

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