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Old 07.02.2019, 10:54
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House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be removed?

EDIT:
I have called them fitted wardrobes but they are not exactly fitted, they are freestanding but attached to the wall. They are not built in at all. Which makes it perhaps a different argument?!

Hello everyone,

We purchased a house in September. We were quite accommodating when the owner asked for six months to find a new place to live and generally relations with him have been good.

However, we visited the house the other day to discuss what we want to stay in the house. We had already emailed him to say that we did not want any of the fitted or freestanding wardrobes, and he had earlier agreed in conversation to remove them. However he now says that he will not remove them "because they are attached to the wall and part of the house". Now he says they are on the plans and therefore he will only remove the wardrobes that are not attached. He is also not willing to remove cupboards downstairs that are similarly attached to the wall despite already agreeing to this.

It is true that the wardrobes upstairs have been drawn into the plans presented by the estate agent for the sale of the house in July 2018, but they are not original features and are not on the original plans. They're from Ikea! Pretty much all big Ikea wardrobes are attached to the wall like this, it doesn't make them part of the house...

We do not want the handover to be difficult (he is already very unhappy about the fact that it's his obligation to repair some very bad floor scratches that happened after we purchased the house) but it would be helpful to know the law about this. I did contact our notary but he has not responded. So if anyone knows, I'd be grateful! Many thanks

Last edited by Auburn; 07.02.2019 at 11:27.
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Old 07.02.2019, 10:55
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

What does it say in the contract?

What was agreed verbally and what the contract states are two very different things. I don't know if what was agreed verbally can be considered as valid if there is a written and signed contract that states something else or does not mention anything.

We had the completely opposite problem. The purchaser said that we had removed a lot of stuff that 'belonged to the flat'.
They wanted us to pay damages and threatened legal action and the possibility of bringing in the Police for a charge of theft against us. We were shocked.
We pointed out that they should have read and understood the contract properly before signing it.

We put in an extra clause to clearly state that various things were not included: bathroom cabinet, washing machine etc. We also clearly specified in the contract that the flat would be sold 'as is', empty and cleared, stating also that the only thing included and that would be left in was the fitted kitchen. So for us it was clear that everything else would be removed, which it was.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:01
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

Before you declare war on the seller, isn't it easier to just dismantle those wardrobes when you move in and, depending on their condition, throw them away, give them to a Brocki, or sell them here or on Ricardo?


Hey, IKEA supposedly even take stuff back now.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:03
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

As far as I recall, in the contract it states that we will agree on what will stay and what will go and there will be a list. There is no statement about obligation to remove the wardrobes or anything, but they are furniture and not fixed fittings like sinks etc., right?
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:03
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

No legal back ground- but to me, fitted wardrobes and cupboards are part of the fabric of the house and would stay.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:05
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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No legal back ground- but to me, fitted wardrobes and cupboards are part of the fabric of the house and would stay.
There is an article in law that states just that, as a basic rule of thumb. Nevertheless if something is specifically set out in the contract then it will be a different matter.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:06
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

We're not declaring war it's just helpful to know if there is a legal obligation for him to remove them as he is starting to be difficult. Maybe there isn't, in which case we'll leave them. They're massive and old (from the 80's) so reselling them or returning them to IKEA is not an option! We are completely renovating and have a super tight timeline so it would be best if they were gone.

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Before you declare war on the seller, isn't it easier to just dismantle those wardrobes when you move in and, depending on their condition, throw them away, give them to a Brocki, or sell them here or on Ricardo?


Hey, IKEA supposedly even take stuff back now.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:10
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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As far as I recall, in the contract it states that we will agree on what will stay and what will go and there will be a list. There is no statement about obligation to remove the wardrobes or anything, but they are furniture and not fixed fittings like sinks etc., right?
If there is nothing specified in the contract and they are fitted, they will be considered part of the flat and the seller probably isn't obliged to remove them.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:19
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

fitted stuff has to stay, otherwise people would be removing kitchens when they left. not sure why anyone would think differently.

if the old owner removed them because you don't like them, that would leave holes all over the place, plus any damage done in the removal etc etc and the cost of disposal, why the hell should they risk it??
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:23
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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fitted stuff has to stay, otherwise people would be removing kitchens when they left. not sure why anyone would think differently.
As a rule this is true. However if the signed contract specifies something else then that will prevail.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:30
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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As far as I recall, in the contract it states that we will agree on what will stay and what will go and there will be a list. There is no statement about obligation to remove the wardrobes or anything, but they are furniture and not fixed fittings like sinks etc., right?
Well.. is there a list and what does it say?

If there is no list, I think it is going to come down to you. Also, if you are completely renovating, you will be probably getting a skip, so just take them out and throw them in!
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:36
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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Also, if you are completely renovating, you will be probably getting a skip, so just take them out and throw them in!


Exactly.


Armed with a trusty Allan Key, or failing that, with a large hammer and a crowbar, it shouldn't take you more than about 10 minutes to flatten even the heaviest IKEA wardrobe.
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Old 07.02.2019, 11:50
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

We are in the reverse position, contract signed in January, leaving date end of April.

I was suprised by the lack of details as to what is normally included and also arranged a meeting with the buyer where we discussed what this is and put on paper the items to be left behind - a verbal agreement is binding but of course very difficult to enforce especially if a disagreement ensues.

I also would be worried about the possible damage resulting from an enforced removal of cupboards -without knowing the exact construction, it would seem logical in a practical sense for them to be removed by the person doing the new wall



In these delayed situations, "as is" requires a certain amount of trust and as I understand it, the expectations of a buyer here are higher than they would be in NZ. We are just hoping that no big problems arise with regard to the central heating system, built in kitchen equipment, electronic blinds etc
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Old 07.02.2019, 12:03
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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Armed with a trusty Allan Key, or failing that, with a large hammer and a crowbar, it shouldn't take you more than about 10 minutes to flatten even the heaviest IKEA wardrobe.
He didn't say they were Ikea or other home-assembled stuff. When we bought our flat in Engelberg we agreed verbally that a lot of stuff could be left, but we, together with the super-helpful estate agent, still spent a full day helping the 75-y-o seller sort through years of his sister's stuff and ferrying most of it to the tip. We were happy to do so, having negotiated the price down by a fair bit.

Anyway, one item of furniture that stayed was a massive 80s sideboard/cupboard/stereo cabinet, around 1.8 metres high and wide, 80cm deep. I couldn't find anyone to take it off my hands so in the end I moved it out into the hallway (with some help, as it weighed about half a ton) and destroyed it there, with Sledgehammer, Axe and Crowbar. Took me hours and a lot of effort.

Tl;dr - Old furniture isn't always easy to dismantle.
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Old 07.02.2019, 12:07
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

We also had sellers who left a fair amount of junk contrary to expectations and contract. But as with all problems that cropped up during the sale and handover, I soon learned that my first response should likely be 'Is this the hill I choose to die on?'

We, too, were under a tight renovation schedule, delays getting started could have percolated into a bigger mess down the line. I decided that dealing with the left over junk myself was the quickest, simplest, most efficient, and perhaps ultimately least costly way of getting what I needed, i.e., to stick to my renovation schedule.

The demolition guys took care of all the junk, IIRC at no/little real cost to me as most of it went into the skips we had already arranged for.

Anything that requires additional negotiation, or even just enforcement, could mean longer delays. When choosing your battles weigh up all costs.

Good luck with the handover, and the renovation.
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Old 07.02.2019, 13:01
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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He didn't say they were Ikea
Yes, she did:

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They're from Ikea!
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Old 07.02.2019, 13:14
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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We are completely renovating and have a super tight timeline so it would be best if they were gone.
You are completely renovating the house and you are arguing over who will throw out a couple of wardrobes.... if your schedules are that tight I can tell you now it is not going to happen..
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Old 07.02.2019, 13:26
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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EDIT:
I have called them fitted wardrobes but they are not exactly fitted, they are freestanding but attached to the wall. They are not built in at all. Which makes it perhaps a different argument?!

Hello everyone,

We purchased a house in September. We were quite accommodating when the owner asked for six months to find a new place to live and generally relations with him have been good.

However, we visited the house the other day to discuss what we want to stay in the house. We had already emailed him to say that we did not want any of the fitted or freestanding wardrobes, and he had earlier agreed in conversation to remove them. However he now says that he will not remove them "because they are attached to the wall and part of the house". Now he says they are on the plans and therefore he will only remove the wardrobes that are not attached. He is also not willing to remove cupboards downstairs that are similarly attached to the wall despite already agreeing to this.

It is true that the wardrobes upstairs have been drawn into the plans presented by the estate agent for the sale of the house in July 2018, but they are not original features and are not on the original plans. They're from Ikea! Pretty much all big Ikea wardrobes are attached to the wall like this, it doesn't make them part of the house...

We do not want the handover to be difficult (he is already very unhappy about the fact that it's his obligation to repair some very bad floor scratches that happened after we purchased the house) but it would be helpful to know the law about this. I did contact our notary but he has not responded. So if anyone knows, I'd be grateful! Many thanks

They have been drawn into the plans then they are yours. If the kitchen were IKEA would you expect that they take it out?

I saw an apartment with built in cupboards all over the place. They were not in the original architects drawings but they were sold as part of the fittings and finishing of the house, like the kitchen which was not the original kitchen.

From the sellers side, imagine he takes them out then you come back to him and complain they were in the plans. The wardrobes are currently in the house on paper. Is his agreement to take them out in writing?

And really, you are renovating. Have the contractor take them out. It's not like you have to do it yourself. As MC says, this is not the hill I would want to die on.
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Old 07.02.2019, 13:30
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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We also had sellers who left a fair amount of junk contrary to expectations and contract. But as with all problems that cropped up during the sale and handover, I soon learned that my first response should likely be 'Is this the hill I choose to die on?'

Both times I bought a property there was way more junk than agreed. I guess it's all part and parcel of the game.
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Old 07.02.2019, 13:31
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Re: House purchase: are wardrobes part of the house or can we ask for them to be remo

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They have been drawn into the plans then they are yours. If the kitchen were IKEA would you expect that they take it out?
This. And as others have pointed out. Suppose the previous owner did rip them out and they left ugly holes in the walls. Would you be fine with that?
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