House Clearance Advice
On this page you find some useful and impartial house clearance advice which includes information on how to find a good house clearance company, the questions you should ask them, getting a quote and what to expect, if you have any moire questions or queries dont hesitate to give us a call to get some honest and helpful house clearance advice.
DO I NEED A HOUSE CLEARANCE?
A house clearance is often needed after a bereavement or when someone is taken into care, if this happens the property that has been vacated needs to be cleared of its contents so it can be sold rented or given back to a housing association or local authority.
If the house is subject to probate, then the contents will need to be valued before it is redistributed to family and friends so as to comply with inheritance tax, you can learn more about probate valuations with HRMC’s guide to Probate here.
FINDING THE RIGHT COMPANY
A house clearance is often a difficult and emotional process for family and friends, so when looking for a property clearance company you need to find someone who is experienced and who is mindful and attentive that can manage the job on your behalf.
First thing to do is ask your friends and colleagues if they have any recommendations with sites like Facebook, its very to reach out to lots of people with just a couple of clicks, you can also ask your solicitor particularly if they already deal with probate valuation services or simply go online and search for local “house clearance services name of your town or village ” this should yield some local results.
QUALIFYING THE RIGHT COMPANY
Anyone can have a website in this day and age so once you have identified some companies you should look at third party websites such as Yell or Google that carry reviews and recommendations to identify the best ones or again ask your friends and family if they know anyone who has dealt with the companies you have in mind. To find out more about who we are click here
One thing to bear in mind is that most people will only ever need a house clearance once or twice in a lifetime, which means that unlike some other local services and trades that rely on repeat business their are still a few man with van type services that have no concerns about ripping people off as repeat business from the same customer is unlikely, so it’s worth using some common sense and your gut when choosing a company.
You should always look for a a company that has a local address or registered office and a local phone number, if they only have a mobile phone number then probably best avoided. Try contacting the company on their land-line number and have a quick chat with them this can be a great way to get a first impression of someone also look on their website for any information about the proprietor including photos so you can get a good idea of who will be coming to quote.
You should always ask if the company is a registered waste carrier and ask for their waste carriers number, you could also ask them to bring their waste carriers license with them when they come to quote. If they do not have a waste carriers license they will not be able to get access to any licensed waste or recycling centers to responsibly dispose of your waste and recycling.
If your rubbish is found fly-tipped and traced back to you, you could be held responsible and face a fine of up to £5’000 read more at Windsor and Maidenhead council. If they are not registered advise them they need to speak to the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 and as of March 2014 all companies will need to have a waste license.
Also ask where your waste will be disposed off and will you be issued with a waste transfer notice, when a registered waste carrier disposes of your rubbish they will do this a licensed waste center and will be issued with a waste transfer notice, you can ask for a copy of this as well as waste transfer notice between you and the company that have conducted the clearance
GETTING A QUOTE
Ideally you want to get two or three quotes and make sure they are fully inclusive of labor, transport, commercial tipping and recycling fees including any WEEE which is the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive.
Always get a written quote either over email or through the post, a verbal agreement is not sufficient and again make sure it includes everything discussed, including any extras such as storage additional transportation etc. It’s a good idea to try and arrange for all of the quotes to be done on the same day to save time but also so that everything is fresh in your mind, it usually takes between 10 – 25 minutes to go through the property and run through what needs to go.
If some of the contents is staying then point this out to the company representative ( TIP put Post it Notes on anything that’s not to be cleared) that way there shouldn’t be any confusion, it’s also worth showing the company rep any cubby holes and spaces that have contents to be cleared. A reputable company should be more than happy to give a free quote without obligation.
Most companies will need to see the property being cleared to gauge the size of the house and the density of contents being cleared, it’s their job to work out how long it will take, how much waste their is and what can recycled, a quote over the phone is unrealistic as every job is completely different.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO CLEAR THE PROPERTY?
One thing every house clearance has in common is that each one is totally different, as there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration.
The main ones are size and style property e.g bungalow, flat, house, density of contents, parking and access. For a regular two to three bedroom house with an average amount of contents junk and rubbish, it should take a good house clearance company eight to twelve hours or a full day with an experienced two man crew.
This would include some boxing up of smaller items, separating junk rubbish and recyclables on site, and if they are a good contractor they should leave the house clean, tidy and vacuumed. The house should be totally empty of all rubbish and artifacts excluding fixtures, fittings and white goods, all of which can be cleared upon request.
Once the property has been cleared the contractor still needs to dispose of the rubbish at a licensed waste center, separate the recyclable items and drop of any donations to local charities which in some cases can take another day or two.
HOW MUCH WILL THE HOUSE CLEARANCE COST?
For a small house prices should come in at around £350 – £450, but prices can vary again depending on the density contents and the amount of junk and time to clear. A good company should be able to work out how much the waste and rubbish their is and what it will cost to dispose of and off set the cost against anything with a resale value.
All good property clearance companies will pay to dispose of their rubbish so bear this in mind when getting a quote, on average companies pay between £138 – £160 per tonne to dispose of their rubbish
CHARITABLE HOUSE CLEARANCE.
There are a number of larger charities that offer house clearance services which is a great way to clear the property of a deceased relative, recycle and donate to a good cause, however exercise some caution when contacting a charities about house clearance, make sure that you ask them what they will take as a number of charities will cherry pick certain items and leave you with all the junk and rubbish, this is for no other reason than the charities can’t afford the disposal fee’s which of course would defeat the exercise.
This means you will still need to find a house clearance company to finish of your clearance which will mean more time effort and planning. We have undertaken a number of jobs in recent months where our client have been left slightly underwhelmed with their charitable house clearance as they didn’t check first and assumed it would cover the entire contents , so it’s worth asking your house clearance contractor what charities they work with.
We are more than happy to re-distribute items to the charities you support, which means you can donate and recycle without any added time hassle and upset. We get immense satisfaction from giving old and unwanted items to local charities, you can read our about our donations and recycling policy here.
If you think you have some valuable items there has never been a better time to find out what they are worth using sites like Ebay, you can also ask your local auction house to give you a free evaluation or ask the house clearance contractor to give you a valuation.
An experienced house clearance contractor will be reasonably knowledgeable on the value of antiques and collectables and should look to off-set the cost of the clearance against items that have a re-sale value, however do bear in mind that the valuations will often be the trade price, so that the items can be sold on for a profit.