Safety considerations when moving house

Moving homes can be a physically draining task. Deciding to make use of a professional moving service can eliminate a lot of the hassle and make the process much smoother. When going this route, homeowners should keep several safety considerations in mind before hiring these services.

“As with most services, it is best to use a mover that has been referred to you by a trusted friend or family member. However, in the instance where there is no-one who can provide the contact details of a reputable moving service, online reviews can help to determine whether a company is reliable or not. I would also be cautious of companies that do not provide their address or information about licensing and insurance on their website,” explains Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.

Unfortunately, homeowners do need to be wary of con artists in this industry. Goslett warns homeowners not to work with a mover that wants a contract signed or deposit paid before they are willing to provide a quote – the quote should be free. To make sure there are no hidden costs, Goslett also suggests that homeowners ask the mover questions such as their hourly rate and if there are any additional costs such as fuel or packing materials.

“To be able to provide an accurate quote, the moving company will need to have a clear understanding of the volume of boxes and furniture that will be transported. It is very difficult for a mover to provide a precise quote over the phone – they should do an onsite inspection or require you to complete a full inventory list before they can provide a written quotation – never accept just a verbal quotation,” Goslett cautions.

When it comes to the actual moving day, there is always an element of risk when goods are transported, especially if the move is a far distance. While the moving company will not cover everything in its entirety, they should be able to give a certain level of insurance or guarantee in case of breakage or items going missing. The mover should provide an inventory list of all the household contents that they will be transporting, along with the pickup address and the final destination of the goods. Goslett recommends taking photos of all pieces of furniture to help prove liability on the part of the mover if any items are damaged in transit.

“It is advisable to contact your insurance company before the move to check what they will cover during the transportation of the household goods. Find out what is required in case of loss, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items,” he recommends.

As a final piece of advice, Goslett recommends that homeowners ask about the safety measures the company has in place during COVID-19. “Having multiple people in and out the homes presents some risk of infection. All movers should be wearing a face mask and should be sanitizing regularly. The company should also have a strict screening policy in place to ensure that none of their staff has symptoms or has been in contact with somebody who has symptoms within the last fourteen days,” he recommends.

Although moving can be a stressful exercise, especially during these unique circumstances, selecting the right moving company will ensure that the move is as smooth as possible. “Those who are looking for a reputable moving company could speak to their nearest real estate agent who will most likely know of a good company they can use. As area experts, real estate agents are a great source of information about a suburb and should be able to provide homeowners with a host of free advice around reputable businesses in the area,” Goslett concludes. 

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