Chapter 8: The Small Print

The small print is always a grey area. How many people actually read it? I know I don` t as much as I should do. One thing is for sure and that’s I’m more likely to read it if I am in any doubt about the company or organisation I am thinking of doing business with. For example I may want to read the small print of a marketing or advertising company with which I am expected to sign a yearly contract. On the other hand I am less likely to read a contract from Yellow Pages or Google as I feel safe and I trust them, and more importantly millions of other people do too.

The same is true for removals, but there’s a difference. How many removers do you feel that way about? I’d say none. So what can you do? Read every word of every document you receive, get them analysed by a solicitor. Or go for the same principle i.e. safety in numbers?  All Guild and BAR members will use approved terms and conditions, which are considered to be fair to all customers.

A leading consumer magazine looked at trade associations a few years ago and the Guild services were rated highly for their customer relations and impartiality. As part of the annual Accreditation scheme all Guild members have to submit details of their Insurance arrangements.  

It’s very important that you check how your remover deals with late key release and postponement or cancellation. Some removers will offer a waiver which will cover you in the event of a delay. This is important as you could be charged an extortionate amount if your remover is delayed in any way.  Payment is often demanded before they unload.   We also include a waiting time waiver which if accepted will cover these costs up to normal working hours for banks. There are many other possible clauses which could catch you out.  Don’t get caught out – move with an accredited remover.

Small print that can affect your move may not just come from your remover. If you are renting a property you will have to complete some complicated documents including inventories: often these documents need to be completed on the day and can take some time. We’ve had examples where our crew have been delayed from unloading for hours while the estate agent has completed detailed paperwork before handing over the property. This is very frustrating and can be costly especially if it`s miles away. If it is unavoidable, ask the estate agent how long they need to complete the paperwork and if necessary arrange for someone to do it on your behalf, or arrange to do it the day before If possible

One of the most common paperwork problems that can affect your removal if you are buying and selling is the conveyancing. The release of keys on your removal day will depend on money being passed up the chain via solicitors or licensed conveyancers.  The solicitor will have paperwork to pass and check and, depending on the number of these they have on a particular date, will dictate the time your keys will be released. So for this reason it is a good idea to move on a low demand day or a day that fits in with your preferred remover.  The busiest day of the week is Friday and the end of the month is busier than the start. Combine the two and you can see that the last Friday of the month is the busiest day of the month. This day the solicitors will have a larger pile, combine the fact that Friday is the popular day to have a 2 hour pub lunch! (If not your solicitor, then another one in the chain) so you can see that you are more likely to be clocking up extra fees and stress.  If you do want to move on a Friday, then make sure you get the date provisionally booked early, get this in writing and take out a waiting time charges waiver if available.  It is worth mentioning that some removers will charge more for Fridays. Also worth mentioning is that in the worst case scenario, i.e. your move doesn’t go through at all, your remover has access to its own storage facility.

A couple of tips here  –  call your solicitor for an update before midday, and bear in mind that on average it takes 1 ½ hours for each completion in the chain, so if you are number 4 you can expect keys between 2 and 3pm.