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Dishwashers | Are they are fixture or a chattel?

You have just secured your first or your next home and love your new kitchen (and even maybe the thought of not doing the dishes again). However, on your pre-settlement inspection you have discovered that the dishwasher has been removed!

What are your rights to enforce that the dishwasher is included on settlement?

Without the dishwasher being included specifically as an inclusion on the sale and purchase contract, the answer will depend on whether it would be classified as a fixture or a chattel:


If the dishwasher is permanent fixed to the house and to disconnect it would require a plumber to disconnect it from the plumbing, then it is likely to be classified as a fixture and stay with the property on the sale


If the dishwasher can be moved around the house with minimal effort (eg. the dishwasher is on wheels and is connected to the tapes or otherwise moved out of the way when not in operation), then it is likely to be classified as a chattel and can be taken by the owners on the sale.

Today, the majority of dishwashers are built into a kitchen in that there is a specific spot in the kitchen underneath the bench where the dishwasher sits. The dishwasher is then connected to the plumbing with the intention that it does not move. In this situation, the dishwasher stays with the house.

If there is any doubt, we suggest that you ask the agent to specify what happens to the dishwasher in the contract prior to submitting your offer.

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