Removals survey highlights flaws in property transaction procedure

A new survey of staff working in the furniture removals industry has highlighted problems experienced by both removals firms and their clients.

The survey was carried out by Movingetc, and its results suggested that the main issues lie between exchange of contracts and the final completion of the move.

86% of those surveyed described cases where it had been uncertain until last minute as to what the moving date would be.

79% had experienced late handovers of keys to new properties, and 55% of those surveyed had known housing contracts to fall through at the last moment, disrupting the planning, logistics and staffing of their firm.

After estate and letting agents, conveyance solicitors, property surveyors and mortgage lenders, removal companies are the fifth supplier to be contacted by customers when moving home, and they are very often forgotten about until the last minute, when the house move is only a few days away.

“One client we currently have in storage has had three provisional moving dates booked with our company and had to cancel all of them at late notice,” said Stephen Terry, of Anglo French Euro Removals.

“The main problem is finding something else for the guys that were booked in to conduct the move. Also this client is elderly and getting more stressed by the day!”

Jane Finch, managing director of Movingetc, identifies some relocation problems as lying with the removals industry, but claims that the chaotic buying process causes many more problems.

“Customers should try and book their removal company at least two to three weeks in advance of their moving date,” she advises.

“This means requesting the same period of time between exchange and completion from your solicitor, and will give enough time for your movers to plan the logistics of your relocation.”

One remover based in Scotland agreed that a longer period of time was needed for removals companies to prepare.

“The majority of our moves are booked with less than two weeks’ notice, which results in more removals being undertaken without a survey, so no chance to check parking, volume or access”.

Movingetc is calling for changes within the property transaction procedure that would eliminate such problems and ensure a smoothing moving process for both the customer and the removals company.

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