There are many people who undertake house clearance. These range from specialist house clearance companies to general waste removal businesses, as well as junk removal companies and man and van operators.
If you have a property that needs clearing, then there is a simple process to follow.
The first job is to get a comprehensive estimate of the cost of clearing the property. Whether you need a part house clearance or full clearance, this will involve calling several house clearance companies and arranging a time to meet them on site so they can provide you with an accurate quotation.
Elements that will influence their quotation will be obvious, the number of items and furniture that need clearing. But also issues such as access to the property. If it was an apartment, what floor this is on? If the property is in the city centre with parking restrictions, then again this may influence the price.
Although one of the main factors that you will be interested in will be the price before you make your decision, it is important to consider exactly what is included in the quotation. Also ensuring that you are dealing with a reputable house clearance company. Although the prices may vary considerably, it is important to understand where the waste is going. If you agree on a contractor clearing your property, but then they fly tip the contents you could be liable if caught.
This is always difficult, however, today this has become easier, by having the ability to check online reviews of companies prior to instructing them. Always check their online reviews and see what experiences past customers have had. There are a number of trade websites such as Checkatrade where you may also be able to see customers past experience of specific companies.
Anyone clearing waste from a property needs to be licensed and be registered with the Environment Agency. They need to hold a valid Waste Carriers Licence. This is easy to check on the Environment Agency website.
Check that the company you instruct is properly insured. Check they hold valid and up-to-date public liability insurance.
It is also important to check if the company is registered for VAT. Whether they are registered will depend on their annual revenue. In many cases house clearance companies are not registered. This will have an implication on the price they charge. If you are a business and can recover the VAT, then this will not be a problem. However, if the company is VAT registered, then you will have to pay the appropriate VAT on top of the cost. Always ask your house clearance company whether VAT is included or excluded from their quotation.
Another great way to get an impression of a house clearance company, is to look at their website. Have they invested any money in this? Does it provide some confidence that the company is established? There may well be testimonials on the website. It is always worth reading these. However, a word of warning, it is highly unlikely that any company will place bad testimonials on their website.
Also, ask your house clearance company how they charge. Is this based on time or amount cleared or a combination of both? They may charge by the hour or part thereof. Alternatively, it may be by the half day or day. They may charge by quantity, for example, half a truckload, full truckload, or a number of truckloads.
Before you instruct your house clearance company, make sure you have their quotation in writing and read this fully, including the terms and conditions. You do not want to find out that after they have cleared the property, there are any additional expenses which were unexpected.
Once you are confident you have found the right company, then all you need to do is book and arrange a date for the work to begin. You may be able to do this online, but it is always recommended to speak to them directly, to ensure there is no confusion regarding the date. It may be a requirement that you need to place a deposit with the company upon booking.
Most property clearance companies will also send you a reminder by email, text or call you the day prior to the job. This will be to ensure that there are no issues with access and the property is ready to be cleared.
On the day of clearance, the company will either arrive at your property at the allotted time, or possibly call you to confirm the time of arrival that morning. When they arrive at the property, it is important to go through the job again and walk through the property to clarify the items that need to be cleared. If there are any variations from the original quote, these can be discussed and agreed at this point. This is important, so there is no disagreement once the job has been completed.
Once the job is completed, it is important that you check that everything that was agreed to be moved has been cleared. Once you are completely happy, it is time to pay the balance for the job. You may be asked to pay this onsite by credit card or to call the office to make the final payment.
Any reputable house clearance company will make every effort to recycle and reuse the items that have been cleared. Their objective is to take as little as possible to the tip and landfill. It will cost the house clearance company to tip any non-recyclable items. Therefore, they are incentivised to try and reuse and recycle as much as possible. This may involve breaking down items and selling the scrap, or if items are usable then possibly selling these or donating them to charity.
Once the job has been completed successfully, it is always good to provide your feedback, either through a testimonial or review for the company. This will benefit future customers who can read about your experience. Feedback is one of the key elements to ensure that the standard of service, of any house clearance company remains high. Also, if there are any issues these can then be addressed.
House clearance is like most other services. It is important to understand the process. Get a clear and comprehensive quotation, ensure that everyone understands what is required and check the job has been completed as per agreed. This should be a smooth process and your property should be cleared without fuss.