Joanne McPhail
Lawyer
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THE CASE OF THE MISSING AIR CONDITIONER

Updated Wednesday, February 13, 2013  ::  Views (12460)

Clients of mine recently purchased a property, only to discover on closing that the air conditioner had been removed right before closing. They now find themselves in the midst of a small claims court action for damages for the loss of the value of the unit – which was only one year old. The clients had done a walk through prior to making an Offer on the property, and had viewed the air conditioning unit. They recall remarking that it looked new. They even went so far as to contact the installer (the company’s sticker was on the unit) to inquire on its age, and were advised that it had been installed that year. When the Offer was drawn up and executed by the parties, the air conditioning unit was not listed as an exclusion. Upon realizing, after closing, that it had been removed, we contacted the lawyer for the Vendor. The Vendor’s position was that the MLS listing did not say air conditioning. However, our clients’ position was that the unit was there when they walked through the property, and it was affixed to the property, and was not specifically excluded in the Offer, so would have been included in the purchase price. The case will come down to the “degree of annexation” – was the A/C unit a fixture or mere personal property (a chattel)? In this instance, pictures of the unit indicate that it was indeed very affixed, both to the building and integrated through the furnace. We hope the judge sees it the same way. These are unusual circumstances, however, if you are buying a property and have any doubt about whether something is included – set it out in the offer specifically, just to be safe. Water softeners seem to cause the greatest amount of confusion in this area, especially since now, they can be plumbed in with plastic tubing and easily removed. As always, the clearer an agreement can be about the intentions of the parties, the less likely litigation will ensue.


Comments ( 1 )

Lakeisha posted the following response Saturday, May 18, 2013
I was relaly confused, and this answered all my questions.

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