10 Questions To Ask a House Clearance Company Before You Hire Them

10 Questions To Ask a House Clearance Company Before You Hire Them

1 – Are you fully licenced?

A reputable and genuine house clearance company will hold a full and valid waste carriers licence and will also be registered with the Environment Agency. This is compulsory and a legal requirement for any company that carries, transports and disposes of waste – even house-hold waste. Ask the house clearance company for their waste carriers registration number and even a photocopy of their waste carriers licence. Any reputable firm will gladly oblige. Also ask to see their licence in person on the day of the actual clearance.

2 – Are you insured?

While it isn’t a legal requirement to be insured, any self respecting house clearance company will surely want to be fully covered in case of an incident or accident. The very nature of a property clearance involves entering the private homes of people and removing items of furniture. If a door was damaged, a window broken or even a brick-wall damaged from a vehicle reversing onto a drive, you will feel much more reassured knowing the company you have appointed are fully covered to pay for any potentially expensive repair bills.

3 – What size vans do you use?

A reputable house clearance company will run a fleet of 3.5t luton sized box vans which is the biggest sized van in its class and the most appropriate van to clear a house or home. Ask the house clearance company as much as possible about their vans, such as:

  • Are your vans livery free or covered in sign writing?
  • Do you use cage vans?
  • How much weight can your vans carry?
  • Are your vans insured to carry waste?
  • Are your vans environmentally friendly?
  • What is the length and height of your vans?
  • Do your vans have all the right equipment needed to clear a house?

4 – How many men do you send to clear the house?

In our vast experience we have found that to clear a property in a timely and professional manner it takes 3 house clearance men to carry out a standard house clearance. Any reputable firm will send 2 or more house clearance men to do the job. Ask further questions about their staff such as:

  • Are your men uniformed?
  • Are they fully trained?
  • Are they experienced?
  • Have they been CRB checked?
  • Do they come equipped with all the right tools needed to carry out a house clearance?

5 – What do you do with all of the stuff from the property?

This is arguably the most important question to ask because should any of or all of the items end up fly-tipped or disposed of illegally, you can be fined upto £5,000 and even imprisoned if it gets traced back to you. Any reputable and legitimate house clearance company will recycle as much of the contents as possible by way of donating reusable items to charity, disposing of the items at a licenced recycling centre or by selling the items. Be wary of any firm that says “it all goes to landfill”, however. Landfill is a cheap way to dispose of waste, but is very damaging to the environment. A genuine house clearance company will be pro recycling and will have their own recycling programme.

6 – Do you buy anything?

Most genuine house clearance companies will not buy anything because they don’t have the facilities to buy and sell items and because sadly there is very little value in general house-hold items these days. However, some firms do buy and sell second-hand furniture and any genuine house clearance company that do will either give you cash for any items of resale value or offset it against the cost of the overall clearance.

7 – Are you an antique dealer or deal with antiques?

This is also a very important question to ask because a lot of house clearance firms are basically antique dealers hiding behind a van and a fancy website in order to not only get paid to carry out house clearances, but in the hope of also finding a rare vase or a rare painting one day to make them rich. Any genuine house clearance company that also trades in antiques will be totally transparent regarding this and will also happily pay you for any antiques in the property based on a fair valuation. Likewise, if a house clearance company comes across something they feel is quite old and could be worth something, they should notify you and hand it over.

8 – How long will it take you to clear the property?

With trained and experienced men and a large van it should never take more than a few hours to half a day to clear a standard house of its contents. Any experienced house clearance company will have a quick and simple process of clearing a property that their men will be fully trained and experienced in and will complete the clearance on time and in a professional manner.

9 – How do you want paid?

This is another very important question. A legitimate house clearance business will accept a number of payment methods most notably via a credit and debit card, bank transfer or by cheque. Very few firms will accept cash, even reputable ones. While it isn’t illegal to accept cash for services rendered, paying by cash could leave you open to a number of consequences. For example if the house clearance employee pockets the cash and doesn’t declare it to his or her company you could be billed twice. Always ask for a receipt if you do pay by cash. Furthermore, no genuine house clearance company will ask for a deposit or part payment during the clearance. Any business should have enough funds to cover their own costs.

10 – Will I get an invoice?

Whenever you pay for something, you are entitled to a receipt or an invoice. Any genuine house clearance firm will supply you with a full invoice upon completion of the clearance either in person, in writing or via e-mail. This invoice should contain all of the company’s details such as their address, their contact numbers and a VAT registration number if they have one. Furthermore any reputable firm should also supply you with a waste transfer note to show you that the waste or contents were disposed of legally and in an environmentally friendly way. Again this document should have all of the company’s details on it.

WARNING: Check who is taking your waste

Warning - Be Aware Of Rogue House Clearance FirmsDid you know it’s your responsibility to check that anyone you employ, hire or appoint to take away your waste is registered with the Environment Agency? If your waste turns up where it should not be you may be liable to a £5,000 fine and even imprisonment.

Rouge and bogus house clearance firms and rubbish removal companies are operating throughout the entire UK and illegally fly-tipping the waste they charge you to collect and dispose of. Our parks, our back lanes, our countryside and our streets are being targeted daily.

Don’t become a victim of this crime or help perpetuate it by employing, hiring or appointing rouge and bogus house clearance firms. Insist on seeing a real and genuine copy of their waste carrier’s certificate and licences and keep a record of the details just in case.

If you think you have hired a bogus or rogue house clearance firm and are worried about illegal fly tipping you can report major incidents of the dumping of waste to the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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