House Clearance – Where To Start?
A house clearance is not on everyday occurrence and therefore people can feel overwhelmed with the task at hand and also in the dark when it comes to organising a company to do carry out the clearance on their behalf.
Below is some useful advice on house clearance which will help you find a good company, get a good quote and ensure that the clearance runs smoothly.
WHEN DO YOU NEED TO DO A HOUSE CLEARANCE?
A house clearance is often needed after a bereavement or when a family member or friend is taken into care, if this happens the house usually needs to be cleared so it can be sold or given back to the local authority. In both instances the house will need to be cleared of it’s contents which can then be redistributed to family friends and or charity.
If the house is subject to probate then the contents will need to be valued first in order to comply with inheritance tax, you can learn more about probate valuations with HRMC’s probate basics here.
FINDING THE RIGHT COMPANY
A property clearance can sometimes be a difficult and challenging time especially for family members and friends, so when looking for a company you need to ensure you get someone reputable and trusted.
First ask your friends and colleagues if they have any recommendations, your solicitor maybe able to recommend someone or go online and search for local house clearance companies, for example house clearance berkshire
QUALIFYING THE RIGHT COMPANY
Once you have identified some good house clearance companies in Berkshire, you should look at third party websites such as Yell or look at local recommendations such as Google local and Yelp that carry customer reviews and recommendations to identify the best ones.
Because most people will only need a house clearance once or twice in a lifetime, their are some rogue man with van type operators around that have no concerns for peoples feelings or emotions, 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 ask the contractor if they are a registered waste carrier and ask for their waste carrier number. If your rubbish is found fly-tipped and traced back to you, you could be held responsible and face a fine of up to £50’000 read more here at RBWMC. 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.
GETTING A QUOTE
Ideally you want to have two or three companies quote for the work, so you can get a good feel for the pricing as well as who will be coming onto the property.
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.
It’s always a good idea to try and arrange for all of the quotes to be done on the same day so 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 contents is staying then point this out to the company representative ( TIP Put Post it Notes on anything that’s not to be cleared) it’s also worth showing the company representative any cubby holes, cupboards and spaces that have contents to be cleared.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO CLEAR A PROPERTY ?
One thing that all house clearances have in common, is they are all totally different and many factors needs to be taken into consideration. The main ones are density of contents, parking and any restricted access to certain parts of the property.
For a regular two to three bedroom house with an average amount of furniture, possessions, junk and rubbish, it should take a good house clearance company between 6 and 10 hours using a two or three man team.
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 and the house should be totally empty of all rubbish and artefact’s excluding fixtures, fittings and white goods, all of which can be cleared upon request
HOW MUCH WILL THE HOUSE CLEARANCE COST ?
For an average size house prices should come in at around £350 – £550 which should include all labor, commercial tipping fees and redistribution, 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 £130 – £160 per tonne.
Once the property has been cleared the contractor still needs to dispose of the rubbish at a licensed waste centre, separate the recycle items and drop donations to local charities, which can take another day or two’s work, which can reflected in the quote.
CHARITABLE HOUSE CLEARANCE.
There are a number of larger charities that offer house clearance services which is a great way to donate old and unwanted items to a good cause, however when contacting a charity 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 waste and rubbish, which means you will still need to find a house clearance company to finish of the clearance, which could mean more time effort and hassle
We have undertaken a number of jobs in recent months where the clients have been left slightly underwhelmed with charitable house clearance as they assumed the charity would take everything, 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 recycling and charitable policy here.
ANTIQUES COLLECTABLES AND VALUABLES ?
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 a 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.