Many homeowners have lost money to scam artists that masquerade as home clearance service providers. You don’t want to be the next victim.
So, how can you spot a bogus house clearance company? In this article, we share several signs you should look out for in a home clearance company before entering into a deal with them.
Warning Signs For Fake Home Clearance Firm
1. The vehicles they use
A reputable home clearance firm will have a fleet of well-maintained large furniture box vans, which are fully insured. Be wary of a clearance firm that turns up in a rusty caged tipper van or a small- to a medium-sized van that can’t carry everything you want to clear from your house.
2. The kind of licenses they hold
Any company that handles waste must have a valid waste carriers license and be registered with the Environment Agency. Be careful not to hire a firm that does not have these licenses. Otherwise, your waste may not be disposed of legally, subjecting you to hefty fines and even jail time if the waste is traced back to you.
3. Where they are located
Most bogus house clearance companies are operated either from home or from a van. They have no traceable registered business address. This makes it easy for them to hide after swindling an unsuspecting homeowner. Be sure to hire a firm that has a registered business address that can be verified.
4. How their staff look
Reputable home clearance firms usually send 3 fully-uniformed workers to clear a property. These employees are well-trained, insured, and have the recommended personal protective gear. So, a gang of unkempt men with no proper uniform and who don’t seem to understand what they are doing should raise a red flag.
5. Their price
Unscrupulous house clearance firms are known to undercut reputable service providers by hundreds of pounds because they haven’t incurred most of the costs of setting up a legitimate business. These firms also usually sell items instead of donating them to charity. So, be wary of prices that seem too good to be true.
6. Their accreditations
While some websites claim to represent the clearance industry, you should realise there is no professional house clearance association. So, don’t fall for companies that claim to be a member of some organisation or accredited with some nondescript award.
7. Their payment methods
Be wary of a house clearance company that asks for a deposit up front or cash during or after completing the clearance. A reputable and established will normally want to ‘bank’ money, thanks to their regular cash flow and many overheads. Conversely, a bogus house clearance company normally doesn’t have a real bank account and no tangible cash flow, and hence prefer cash payment.
8. What they do with the items cleared
Be wary of a clearance team that seems to focus more on items that could have some monetary value than the junk that you’re paying them to get rid of. Many fake clearance firms also operate second-hand shops.
Reputable house clearance companies usually inform their clients what they do with the stuff before the clearance. They also provide proof of disposal after clearance.
Many people have suffered in the hands of bogus house clearance firms. Keep the above warning signs for fake home clearance firm in mind whenever you’re looking for a clearance company. That way, you’ll avoid falling victim to the scammers and be able to choose a reputable house removal and clearance company like Removals For You.
Read next article: How to Do a Perfect House Clearance