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How Much Does House Clearance Cost?

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When you need to clear a property quickly, it’s best to hire a house-clearance contractor. But how much does it cost?

On average, three-bedroom homes will be charged between £500 and £1,000. This ensures the building is cleared quickly, safely and with specialist handling for larger items.

It’s important to clear old, inherited, or recently vacated buildings promptly to avoid the risk of insects and infestations.

You also need to make sure you hire a licensed disposal expert to comply with regulations around correct handling and responsible waste removal.

Table of Contents

How Much Does a House Clearance Cost?

Most house clearances are priced based on the volume of items to be removed, so a clearance company may provide an estimated cost, but they will typically need to visit the property to give you an exact quote.

Additional items such as large appliances or pianos can incur extra charges as they require additional personnel.

If your property has a lot of steps or levels, your contractor may need to use a winch or other specialised equipment.

To give you an idea of the cost, we have provided average house clearance prices below.

Clearance Requirements

Average Cost

Very small clearance job up to 250 kg

 

From £80

 

Small clearance job up to 500 kg

From £175

Medium clearance job up to 750 kg

From £250

Large clearance job up to 1,000 kg

From £320

Clearing an average-sized three-bedroom home

£500 – £1,000

Specialist clearance of long-term hoarding or other more complex jobs

£1,000 – £2,000 or above

Removing and disposing of large furniture items

£30 to £50 per item

Removing TVs and monitors

£15 each

Piano removal

£100 each

Large appliances

£95 each

Small appliances

£50 each

Mattress removal

£20 each

Some house clearance contractors offer estimates based on the number of van loads or days of work. Others will provide an itemized price based on the number of rooms, the amount of waste, and whether there are large or heavy items to be disposed of.

Factors That Impact the Cost of a House Clearance

House clearances can vary greatly depending on the type of property and items that need to be removed. If any of the items are salvageable or recyclable, you may be able to sell them at an auction or to a salvage yard.

If none of the items can be reused, your house clearance contractor will need to factor in skip hire and waste disposal fees. For example, if any of the items present a health hazard, these costs could be higher.

Below are the primary factors that will affect your house clearance costs. Quantity of Items to Clear

As we’ve explained, house clearance providers will quote per room, day or item, but if you have a large volume of appliances and furniture items to remove, it will cost more in disposal charges and labour hours.

How much does house clearance cost
House clearances can vary greatly depending on the type of property and items that need to be removed.

Nature of House Clearance Contents

If a hoarder has been living in the property, there may be items that are unknown or require special handling. Your house clearance provider needs to factor this into their quote.

House Clearance Access

Most properties are relatively easy to access, but there are several scenarios where access may be restricted and command additional equipment or planning, for example:

  • Homes with small entrance ways where larger items are difficult to manoeuvre.
  • Properties with steep, narrow or numerous flights of stairs.
  • Buildings where bigger appliances must be winched or craned from an upper-storey window.
  • House clearances without space or access for a skip or removal vehicle.
  • Dilapidated or derelict homes with overgrown gardens or disused pathways that require preparatory work before the house clearance can take place.

If you foresee any potential access difficulties, it is important to share these with your house clearance provider beforehand since they may be able to advise on the quickest or cheapest options to clear the property.

The Volume of Waste

Contractors will need to know how many van loads the clearance requires – they may also quote per kilogram or ton.

Some providers will use multiple vehicles for a large clearance project or may make return visits, which will cost more in fuel charges and waste disposal costs.

Location

House clearances in London and the Southeast are more expensive than in other areas. This is due to the higher labour costs, insurance, and travel expenses associated with any contracted work.

If you need to clear a property in a dense urban area with parking restrictions or a more remote location, this could potentially increase your total budget.

Quality of Your Clearance Provider

It’s important to avoid house clearance contractors who quote an unrealistically low price or cost significantly less than other providers.

These companies are often unregistered and lack the necessary licences or certifications to clear properties properly and responsibly.

In many cases, this leads to your waste items being dumped illegally, which can result in fines, penalties, or even a charge of up to £50,000 for fly-tipping, even if you were unaware of the contractor’s actions.

Who pays for house clearance
If you need to clear a property in a dense urban area with parking restrictions or a more remote location, this could potentially increase your total budget.

The House Clearance Process

A full house clearance is different from a removal job or decluttering activity and usually does not apply if you only want to get rid of some extra items or old appliances. House clearances involve:

  • Getting rid of all things from the whole house.
  • Clearing items and appliances in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Throwing away all pieces of furniture.

There are numerous scenarios when you need to clear a property. Common ones include clearing a home after someone has passed away, clearing an inherited house, clearing a rental residence after a tenant has vacated it, or clearing a property acquired at auction.

You can talk about your needs with your chosen contractor, but you may want to take out some items you want to keep beforehand or ask them to leave some possessions in place.

However, most house clearances will involve a complete disposal service for all items that remain on the property.

House Clearances for Severely Cluttered Properties

Hoarding is the accumulation of an excessive amount of items, often with no monetary value, over some time, which can pose a problem for the property owner when they want to redecorate or sell the house.

Properties in a state of disrepair, or with a long history of hoarding, can be more difficult to clear. If privacy is a concern, it’s possible to contact an experienced clearance provider and request a confidentiality agreement.

Contractors may use additional safety equipment and protective clothing when dealing with a large number of hoarded items.

Clearances differ from decluttering in a few ways. The contractor will not just declutter, but will also clear the entire property, including larger and bulkier appliances.

Unwanted items can be recycled or sold at auction, with the profits being passed to the owner or used to offset the clearance costs; alternatively, the items may be donated to charity.

Homeowners can choose to have a clearance service for individual rooms, or for the etire property. If a property needs to be cleared due to bereavement, or if it has been inherited through the probate system, it may be wise to hire a specialist, who can carry out the clearance with sensitivity.

Creating a House Clearance Timeline

The time needed to clear a home varies depending on the size, location, layout, and amount of items to be discarded.

Generally, it takes one full day to complete the process, though larger properties with storage spaces such as lofts and garages may require more time.

To help you get an accurate estimate of the time needed, we have outlined the steps below.

How does house clearance work in UK?
The time needed to clear a home varies depending on the size, location, layout, and amount of items to be discarded.

Preparing for a House Clearance

It is essential to get ready for your property clearance before your contractor arrives – this can take a few days, so it is important to set aside some time before.

Beforehand, clearly separate, remove, or label any items you want to keep, so there is no confusion about what must be disposed of.

Moreover, it is best to remove any valuable items to make sure that they are not cleared away with other waste.

If there are valuable or sentimental items which cannot be removed (e.g. a large piece of furniture or a piano), you should make sure to discuss this with your contractor.

Furthermore, you may be able to create a list of items you wish to donate to charity, and items that could be sold at auction or through a reclamation yard.

Attending the Clearance

Most contractors prefer it when the homeowner is present during a house clearance. This way, they can consult if they come across anything they think shouldn’t be thrown away.

You can give them access at the start of the day and then leave, but it’s better to stay around or on-site if you can. That’s because small items such as jewellery may be revealed as furniture is removed.

Staying on-site is a good idea since you can check that all the rubbish, furniture and appliances have been cleared. Plus, you can keep track of the items that you’d like to resell, so there are no disagreements about their expected value.

Selling Clearance Items

The easiest way to organize the sale of cleared items is usually through a local auction house that is experienced in house clearance sales.

It is your choice whether you would like to be present at the auction or let the experts take care of it – you will typically receive between 75% to 80% of the sale value.

On the other hand, your house clearance provider might be able to handle the reselling of anything of value and subtract the proceeds from the house clearance cost.

However, you will usually get a lower price than if you arrange the sale yourself. Most electrical appliances are not ideal for auctions but can be donated to charity.

How Much Does a House Clearance Cost
The highest costs for a house clearance provider are typically staffing, legally disposing of waste, and recycling.

Costs Included in a House Clearance Quotation

The highest costs for a house clearance provider are typically staffing, legally disposing of waste, and recycling. It’s useful to understand what services are included in the price.

Prices can vary, but the average costs for each element of a house clearance service are outlined below.

Waste Recycling Costs

Companies must dispose of waste at an approved and licenced facility. Furthermore, they must hold a waste carrier’s licence, or subcontract to an accredited waste disposal firm.

Recycling plants charge up to £200 per ton for the responsible disposal of cleared items. The average prices are £180 per van (based on a Luton van with a 1.5-ton capacity), £60 per mattress, £80 per fridge or freezer, £40 per TV, and £50 for ten small electrical appliances.

House Clearance Insurances and Licences

A professional clearance company must be registered with the Environment Agency and hold professional and public indemnity insurance.

Insurance for house clearance providers typically costs from £1,000 annually, and charges for this element of the service usually range from £5 and up.

How do I arrange my house clearance?
All in all, the typical cost of a house clearance in the UK is just under £800. If you're unsure of what is or isn't included in your quote, or how the cost is divided, you can ask your contractor for a detailed estimate.

Transport Costs

Most house clearance teams typically rely on Luton vans. These are long-wheelbase vehicles with a larger capacity than a standard transit van, yet they are still small enough to access most residential properties and tight roads.

The cost to buy one of these vehicles is around £26,000, and you should also factor in running costs, taxes, repairs, and insurance. Your house clearance contractor will likely charge around £60 per job.

On top of that, fuel charges could be around £20, though this could be higher if you need multiple vehicles or return journeys.

House Clearance Labour

Unless your property is on the smaller side, you’ll usually have three people arrive on the day. House clearance companies will use at least three workers to meet health and safety and insurance regulations, as well as having enough personnel to move large, heavy or valuable items.

On average, labour costs start at £216, although this varies depending on the number of days or hours of work needed and any extra requirements, such as if there are exceptionally heavy objects that require more people or specialised removal equipment.

All in all, the typical cost of a house clearance in the UK is just under £800. If you’re unsure of what is or isn’t included in your quote, or how the cost is divided, you can ask your contractor for a detailed estimate. Still wondering how much a house clearance will cost?

Depending on the extent of the work, the costs can vary. To get an idea of the small costs that will add up, such as the cost to demolish a wall, the cost of demolishing an extension, and other demolition-related services, read up on the costs and services available.

Do you pay for house clearance or do they pay you?

It is possible to receive remuneration for house clearance services. If you find selling your old items, or dealing with the possessions of a deceased family member too hard, there are house clearance companies that can take care of it for you.

They will get rid of the mess, such as clutter, recyclables, and junk, for a fee.

Do councils do house clearances?

Local councils can have different demands when it comes to house clearances. You may be asked to take away any undesirable items, such as furniture and upholstery. However, some councils may go as far as to ask for the carpets to be removed during the clearance.

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