OBrien Of Worthing
For many people, moving home is a time of immense stress and worry. With boxes to pack, children and pets to organise and all manner of arrangements to be made, having a checklist can be a valuable support.
Once the contracts are exchanged, choose a moving date. This is often the same day as the completion date, but does not have to be. Fridays, Saturdays, school holidays and bank holidays are the busiest times for removal companies, during which they may charge higher rates or be fully booked already. If it is possible to move on an ‘off peak’ date, try and do so. Speak to friends and relatives who have moved in the recent past, and seek their recommendations for companies tohelp with the process. Otherwise, the industry bodies will be able to recommend approved removal companies in the local areas, such as removals from Arundel or other specific localities. Don’t forget to check that the company is properly insured, and to ask about any exclusions in their policies which you might need to cover yourself. Any particularly precious items should be checked carefully and photographed before being packed.
There are numerous bodies which need to know that you have moved house. These include your telephone and internet providers, who can usually transfer your account to a new address, and the Television Licensing group. Fines for being officially unlicensed in your new home – which is what happens if you don’t tell them to transfer your licence to a new address – can be as high as £1000.
Fortunately, this can be updated online via their website. The bank, building society, credit card companies, store card agencies and pension provider all need to know that you have moved, as do Inland Revenue, the Local Authority for Council Tax, and the DVLA. Don’t forget to update magazine subscriptions as well. The final preparations also include arranging a mail redirection with the Postal Service and remembering to cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries.
On the day of the move, have made plans so that the children and any pets are in someone else’s care whilst the removal team are in your old house. This is for everyone’s benefit: children can easily be unsettled by the presence of strangers, or else will get underfoot whilst someone is carrying large boxes and become hurt. Make sure to collect all sets of keys from neighbours, baby sitters, relatives and anyone else so that they are all returned to the solicitor on the day.
When in your new house, it can be very useful to have given the removal company’s foreman a floor plan or layout of the new property, so that boxes can be unloaded into the right rooms in the first place. A large number of moves encounter hiccups when the removal team arrive and there is no one to meet them with keys. When you go into the new home, check that lights, central heating, water, gas and electricity all work, then take a meter reading. Later remember to check the telephones and any security alarms. If carpets, light fittings and curtains were included in the sale, check they too are all present and accounted for.
If anything is wrong, alert your solicitor.
Then, at the end of the long day, sit down in your new home and enjoy your new start.
Choosing Your Removal Company: What To Ask
The first thing that should guide the choice of a removal company is the business’ reputation. Typing keywords into a search engine can help bring up reviews from previous customers – entries like typing ‘removals from Horsham’ will bring up lists of companies serving the area, with scope to see what others have said. Offline, speak to friends, family members and colleagues and see if any of them recently used a removal company that they would recommend – or if they’ve had experiences with businesses they would warn you away from.
Think of discussions with potential moving companies as a kind of interview. It is important to ask the right questions to see whether their service suits your needs, just as they will be asking you questions about your items to make sure their quote covers all the required elements. Start by finding out how long the removals team have been in the industry. Experience is valuable: it can’t guarantee that the move will be totally smooth, but can help to reassure customers that the brand
understand that some items are truly irreplaceable and that they will take care with your goods. It can also be useful to look online or to simply ask the company if they have ever won any certificates for service, or if they have any other awards to their name or letters of recommendation from previous satisfied customers. Again, these indicate a history of good service which makes it more likely you will be happy with your move. Reviews online also go a long way to establishing their track record. Social media outlets and other websites are often set up to let customers discuss their experiences.
Then, it is a case of discussing the practicalities of the move. Ask the company what exactly is included in their rates – does it cover packaging materials, VAT or petrol payments? Will there be additional charges on top of the advertised rates? Bear in mind that different days of the week can also have different pricing strategies, as more people want to move house at the weekend than they do in the week. Ask about the moving team – how many people will come to your house to help
move the boxes, and how long does this usually take them? It is important to find out whether they will help you to wrap up furniture items to protect them, or if this needs to be done in advance, and whether or not they are able to help with unwrapping at the other end. Similarly, find out what the policy is on overtime, and what happens if a job takes longer than planned.