• SEN Legal for Schools

The cost of clearing former School premises

As a School you may have wondered whose job it is to clear out property, when you hand it back to the Local Authority or other Government Agency.

This is an important question, due to the costs which can be involved and is particularly important to Academies who are required to balance their budgets (the AFH balanced budget requirement applies to Academy Trusts as a whole, not to the constituent Academies within them).

The legal rule is, that fixtures and fittings attached to the premises (e.g. cupboards and coat hooks etc.) are, in law, part of the premises and do not have to be removed. Articles which are fixed, even slightly, are considered to be part of the premises, unless the circumstances are such (e.g. documentary evidence) that it was intended, all along that, when you leave the premises, you are entitled to take them. The assumption should be that if something is attached, it goes with the premises and if it is loose, then it doesn’t and you are required to remove it - unless there is something in writing to the contrary. So if you don’t want the cost of removal, the answer may be to nail or screw it down so that it is fixed to the premises.

The rule in all of these cases is that “he who asserts must prove ownership” and that is, on the balance of probabilities.


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