Covid-19: How does it affect your house removal?

March 26 2020, Matt Brownsey

The Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly affecting all our lives. In these new and confusing circumstances, you probably have a lot of questions. You may want to know how this situation affects your house removal. Therefore, we have created a small FAQ to help you understand how the Covid-19 pandemic influences your current or potential house move, and how you can stay safe in the process.

Note: Circumstances change fast, we cannot guarantee that this article is forever accurate. Regularly check the U.K government’s website to get the latest Covid-19 information.

Are moving companies still operating? If yes, what security measures are taken?

The U.K government has not specifically asked removal companies to stop working. However, removal services are not considered “essential work”. Therefore, it is suggested that removal companies should stop working. Considering this, we understand that many removal companies are shutting down temporarily during the lock-down period.

The largest moving company association in the U.K, the British Association of Removers (BAR), has advised its members what to do during this period. The BAR advises that any moves that are underway should be completed as soon as possible. However, the BAR also insists that removal companies should immediately cancel any moves that have not started.

It is important to note that not every removal company in the U.K is a member of the BAR. Therefore, we cannot say for sure that every moving company is suspending their services. If you have already organised a move, you should contact your mover immediately. If you are planning a future move, then many companies may still complete any service leading up to (quotations, moving surveys) but not including the move.

What happens with my planned move when there is a ban on leaving your house in my country?

If you are instructed to not leave the house, then you are required by law to follow these guidelines.

What if I already paid part of my move, but now it’s being cancelled? Can I postpone my move? Can I receive a refund?

Moving companies are doing their best to complete any moves that have already begun. However, the closure of borders and ports have made the moving process more difficult. Therefore, it is possible that your move could be severely delayed or cancelled.

If delayed, then you need to determine with your removal company who incurs the cost.

If cancelled, you should contact your mover to see what their policy is. Companies may offer a refund, partial refund or postponement of services.

What if my container is already on its way overseas, but I can’t travel there?

This situation has little concrete advice. The most likely outcome is that your container will have to go into storage overseas until you are able to travel. However, this also depends on whether the destination country’s port is still allowing goods to arrive. If you have any concerns, we advise you to contact your mover directly to find a solution.

Be sure to note that travel to the USA from Europe is banned temporarily. Furthermore, travel to China and other parts of Asia may be restricted.

We have found some links that can provide more information regarding international moves:

I have planned to move abroad in a few weeks/months. What do I do now?

Unfortunately, there are no concrete answers at the moment as the situation is ever-changing. Contact your moving company to see if a prospective move is still possible. We advise you to try and postpone your move if possible.

What’s the procedure to follow in the event of a move?

If your house removal is still scheduled to happen then there are certain guidelines. If anyone in the house is feeling unwell then the house removal should be cancelled immediately. This is to protect all parties involved. If everyone is healthy then it is still highly recommended that everyone:

  • Participates in “social distancing” (stand at least 1.5m apart)
  • Wears protective gloves and face masks and
  • Should regularly wash their hands with soap.

What next?

Keep following the advice and guidelines of the UK government in order to stay safe and within the rules. For the latest updates in the moving industry, be sure to follow the websites of IAM and FIDI.

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