How Safe Can You Make Your House Removals and Storage Experience?

You’re probably thinking what’s he talking about? We’ve got a reputable removal company booked, what can possibly go wrong? You`d be surprised how much! You may think that you have done all you can to limit the stress of moving, but there are hidden surprises that can pop up and cause you a lot of pain, and at any point between booking and picking up the keys to your new property. There are obvious checks you can make i.e. only consider a quote from an accredited remover (the industry is unregulated!), either the British Association of Removers (B.A.R.) or The National Guild of Removers and Storers Ltd (NGRS). These are the only 2 dedicated removal trade associations that will offer you protection should something go wrong. Both bodies insist their members abide by a strict code of practice; the Guild go further and insist their members are Ombudsman Approved. The other next major check is that you get a survey from prospective accredited removers. If you don’t do either of these, then you are dramatically increasing the possibility of something nasty happening! The following links will help explain the dangers.

Moving house? Whatever you do don`t risk the unregulated removal company. Get a house removal survey not a removal nightmare!

Now you’re on the right course? Well almost! Some accredited removal companies will meet the minimum requirements for membership and will generally offer a good service. However, there are some companies that will hire in agency staff and hire vans on busy days. This would not be what you were expecting, as it could compromise the quality of service. But how can you tell if this wont happen to you? You can’t, so ask them if they do this for busy days or only in emergencies? You can if worried ask them to put it in writing that they don`t. You can also ask questions like:

  • Were you once Ombudsman Approved? If not then why not and if so why are you not now?
  • Will you dismantle and re-assemble my beds etc?
  • I’ve heard some companies hang clothes loose in the truck, do you use specialist frames?
  • Do you have directly employed and trained staff?
  • Do you use covers for mattresses, sofas, dining furniture, large TVs, bannisters, doors and carpets?
  • What trade association/other awards have you won?
  • Do you hire vans and agency staff on busy days?
  • How many testimonials from the last month can you show me?
  • You could go on but you are now getting into pretty safe territory especially if you have done as much of this research as possible. So what could go wrong now? What other safety measures can you put into place?

OK so the move date is approaching, you have been given a provisional removal date by your solicitor and your remover has you pencilled in, everything is in order? Well not unless you have exchanged contracts or have signed the tenancy and it’s all been approved. Most professional removal companies will take payment 7 days in advance of the move date, to guarantee the resources for you and firm up their workload for the following week. What happens if you haven`t exchanged and the remover calls to confirm the removal and take payment? You could pay, but if the date changes after you have paid, you would lose some or all of your money (!) depending on how close to the date you are when you hear that its changed. You could say you don’t want to pay until you have exchanged, risking the chance of moving with the company of your choice. They will try to accommodate you but if it’s a high demand day they may have to take another booking. This situation is very stressful for all involved and that’s why I have come up with the Late Exchange Guarantee (LEG). As far as I know, A J Stephenson Removals Essex Ltd are the only company to offer it. It genuinely solves this problem and removes the stress from both sides. See how it works here:-

Late Exchange. Have you got a `LEG` to stand on?

Ok so you have exchanged contracts, the date is booked and you have paid for your removal. YOU have a receipt and a confirmation letter, what could possibly go wrong now? Well it’s very unlikely but it is possible that the chain collapses a few days before you move! How can this be? The lender for the first time buyer rescinded their mortgage (this actually happened to one of our clients), someone changes their mind and doesn’t care about losing the deposit money, somebody has a serious accident or, heaven forbid, Dies! What now? Well the move is obviously off, you have to change your plans and depending on how close to removal day you are will lose some or all of your removal money… unless you took out a postponement/ cancellation charges waiver! We offer those too, but only if you’ve exchanged. See how it works here:-

Do you want to pay for your house removal twice? No? Then read this first.

Having this waiver will give you peace of mind, but bear in mind it is only available if you have exchanged contracts. We offer this waiver and clearly put it on our written quotations.

The big day has finally arrived – Removal Day… the lorry has just pulled up on time, you have wisely had all the packing done the day before by professional insured packers and you can relax knowing you will soon be in your new home, what else could possibly go wrong? Everything is going just fine, the crew are friendly, polite and very helpful. They are expert removal crew, they wrap all your furniture and dismantle your beds, they put your clothes on specialist frames. They are loaded, your old house is empty, it’s only 12 o`clock! All you need to do is collect the keys and you’ve done it..! Oh dear, the money hasn`t been transferred up the chain, and the solicitor has started their 2 hour lunch. You’ll have to wait, sometimes you will have to wait until 4.30pm, what a Disaster! This can also happen if the people moving out opt for a cheap inadequate man and van service, or worse still decide to move themselves and don’t vacate until late in the afternoon. In both these examples most removal companies will charge waiting time and this can be quite a considerable amount if the delay is long. Some removal companies will offer a waiting time charges waiver, or they will put on their quote that they don’t charge waiting time. Our waiver is described here-

What is a waiting time charges waiver? And why do you need it?

If you do all these things you are drastically reducing the chances of having house moving shocks. You can also make the experience safer by using a reputable solicitor and estate agent, companies that have a good track record and are local so you can pop in if it’s not going as you had planned.

We’re situated next to the railway station in Billericay, if you have any questions pop in and we will be more than happy to help. You can even have a coffee on us.

So the answer to the question is you CAN make the removal and storage experience safer but you need to know where to look and also to be aware of the potential dangers. I hope I have helped to highlight them here. Good luck with your move, and if you move with us, thank you.