A fixture is Personal Property that has been so affixed to land or a building that by law, it becomes part of the real property. (Modern Real Estate Practice 17 Edition)
To help you understand this a bit better, let me give you some examples of what a "fixture" is.....
•1. Heating and cooling system.
•2. Kitchen cabinets.
•3. Built in entertainment cabinetry or built in electronic systems.
•4. Anything that has been added as a permanent part of the building is considered a fixture.
To help you determine if personal property is a fixture a simple test can be done to determine the intent, they are.......
•1. Method of Annexation: Was the Personal Property installed in such away that it was meant to be permanent. Just ask, "Can we remove the Personal Property without damaging the surrounding property?" If the answer is No, then most likely, it is a fixture and should be conveyed with the property.
•2. Adaptation to real estate: How is the Personal Property being used? A great example is your refrigerator. Many would consider this item as Personal Property however, that wouldn't be the case if the refrigerator was designed to un-questionably match the cabinets. In many high end homes, the appliances are styled in such a way that they hide and appear as part of the actual cabinets.
•3. Agreement: What did the parties involved agree to? What was stated in the Purchase and Sale Agreement as to what would and would not convey. If you ever have a question that something is or isn't a fixture.....it's always important to list it out in the Purchase and Sale Agreement if you want to ensure you get it.
The ultimate lesson here is Test 1 (Method of Annexation) and Test 2 (Adaptation to real estate) is subjective at best. I can say that with confidence because the truth of the matter is that courts have been very inconsistent with their rulings. Most of the time, they rely on Test 3 (Agreement), I can't stress how important it is, if you want it, you better include it in the Purchase and Sale Agreement.