Expert Advice: How Does House Clearance Work?

Perhaps you are a landlord, and your tenants just left the flat they rented from you, but they did not take all of their belongings with them. Maybe you are moving, and you have decided to get rid of many of the items in your house instead of packing them up and take them with you.

Possibly you have just had the terrible experience of losing a loved one, and you need to clear out their house, but you do not have the heart or energy to complete the task. In each case, one of the easiest and most efficient solutions is to hire a house clearance service.

How to Find a Service

How does house clearance work? First, you will have to choose a service. The best way to find a good service is to ask friends for recommendations, or the funeral home may be able to give you some information about local agencies.

You can also use Google to search for services in your area, and you can check the star rating and reviews of each service to pick one that will meet your needs. Asking for quotes from several different services will ensure that you get a reasonable price.

Some agencies will send an employee to perform an assessment before they give you a quote. Make sure that the service you choose has an official license for house clearance. This is important because licensed companies will be sure to dispose of waste in the proper way by taking it to landfills and recycling centers.

Positives and Negatives

The items to be disposed of can be divided into positives—things that can be sold and earn money—and negatives—things that cost money to be hauled away. Positives may include appliances and furniture. Keep in mind that clearance agencies may give you lower prices for these things than you would receive if you sold them yourself, but of course, that would take more time and organization.

You may also want to consider giving these items to a charity. Negatives may include bedding and used clothing. If you have hazardous materials, the cost will be higher. Some materials are not removed by house clearance companies, for example, medical waste, asbestos, petrol, weapons or ammunition. If you need to dispose of any of these kinds of items, be sure to ask specifically if the service you are hiring is able to deal with these kinds of materials. Extra fees are often charged for items like paint, refrigerators, mattresses, tyres and light bulbs.


It may be worth your while to consider using a charity for your house clearance. BHF (Beat Heartbreak Forever) will haul away small boxes of donations as well as furniture for free if the items can be sold in their shops.

They may even perform a free house clearance if most of the items are in good condition and usable. Remember, furniture and clothes do not need to be in perfect condition, but if you would not use them or wear them, then somebody else probably would not want to either. You can check on their website to see if they offer any clearance services in your area. You can also check around in your area for other charities that might want donations. Churches or other religious organizations may be able to recommend NGOs that would willingly receive your donations.

How Much Will it Cost me?

When you consider the quotes you have received, you need to keep several things in mind. Some agencies may give you a lower overall quote in order to get the job but might end up charging you more by asking for a large deposit fee that they will have many reasons not to return.

Most services will give you a general idea of how much it will cost and when they arrive to clear the rubbish to give you a final amount. You can expect to pay a minimum of about £100 for a small amount (about two cubic yards) to £500 for a large truck (about two tonnes).

If the space you are clearing was occupied by a hoarder, you should be sure to arrange for this with the clearance company since these houses and flats have their own set of obstacles and problems when clearing them out.

The Day of Removal

Once you have agreed on a time and date with an agency, they will probably ask you to prepare the rubbish in a specific way in order to expedite the labour. Of course, there are special services for which you do not have to prepare anything, and they will completely clear out the space you desire. These services will charge you for the employees’ labour by the hour or day as well as hiring the truck they will use to haul your goods to landfills and recycling centres.

You will be charged less if you prepare everything to be hauled away in an easy to access area to be loaded onto a truck. For smaller loads, some agencies will expect everything to be loaded by their employees in just 10 to 15 minutes. If it takes longer than this, you may have to pay extra.

A large truck should be able to be loaded in just an hour. Keep these times in mind as you prepare items to be hauled away. If you separate recyclables, you may be given a discount. Obviously, if you donate furniture, clothes and other items ahead of time, you will have less to be hauled away and thus have to pay a lower fee. How much you prepare ahead of time will depend on the time, energy and budget you have.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, it is not fun to clear out a house, especially if the things are not yours or you are in the grieving process. For these reasons, hiring a company to perform a house clearance is a great idea. If you are careful to pick a reputable company and prepare your items ahead of time, it will be a positive experience for all involved. is written by David Jacobs who is on a quest to retire early and get out of the rat race. David is a financial expert who lives for early retirement. Follow his journey making money, saving and investing to retire early and get the best out of his retirement.

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