Moveables Vs. Immovables: What Goes With the Home When Sold?

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Early prior law had it that an immovable was land and buildings permanently attached to the land and component parts of buildings. Component parts was defined as part attached to a building which could not be removed without substantial damage to the building.

Later prior law added a “social expectation” criteria. The law in 2005 read as follows:

Other things are considered to be permanently attached to a building or other construction if they cannot be removed without substantial damage to themselves or to the building or other construction or if, according to prevailing notions in society, they are considered to be its component parts.

This means that if items were socially expected to remain with a property upon a sale (such as chandeliers in a living room) then even though they could be removed without substantial damage to the property, those items became component parts of the building and were therefore a component part of the immovable.

The new law is below. It is effective since 2008 and is current law as of this writing. Note below that both societal expectations and substantial damage is included in the current law. These can be mutually exclusive and do not have to be read together. Societal use would have it that light fixtures are expected to remain with a property on sale. That social use dictates that lighting in a home in fundamental to that home's use. Whereas, a built in water purification system may not be fundamental to that home's use and might not fall under the “societal use” expectation; but may fall under the “substantial damage” provision of Article 466 below.

Effective: July 1, 2008

Louisiana Civil Code Article 466

Art. 466. Component parts of a building or other construction

Things that are attached to a building and that, according to prevailing usages, serve to complete a building of the same general type, without regard to its specific use, are its component parts. Component parts of this kind may include doors, shutters, gutters, and cabinetry, as well as plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, and similar systems.

Things that are attached to a construction other than a building and that serve its principal use are its component parts.

Other things are component parts of a building or other construction if they are attached to such a degree that they cannot be removed without substantial damage to themselves or to the building or other construction.