How do house clearances work

How Do House Clearance Services Work?

Looking for information on, how do house clearance services work? Below we answer some of the most commonly asked questions in our comprehensive house clearance guide.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a House Clearance Service?
  2. Do House Clearances Take Everything?
  3. Deciding What To Keep and What To Dispose Off
  4. How Much Does a House Clearance Cost?
  5. What is a Probate House Clearance?
  6. Do Local Councils do House Clearance?
  7. Identity Theft and Confidential Waste
  8. Avoiding Rogue Unlicensed Operators
  9. Hiring a Professional House Clearance Company

What is a House Clearance Service?

House clearance services are used by homeowners for various reasons 1) Bereavement, 2) A family member has permanently moved into care, 3) Moving abroad, 4) House sale 5) Downsizing, are the most common reasons. What does a house clearance involve? A house clearance service is used to empty a property of its contents. Depending on the reason for the house clearance would determine the extent of the clearance.

Some house clearances simply require unwanted clutter removed, before moving to their new home. Others require a full house clearance in preparation for a house sale, after a bereavement. Other reasons include past tenants who have vacated the property, fire damage, renovations etc. House clearances can prove invaluable in many situations, which I explain in more detail below.

Do House Clearances Take Everything?

Removerr is a professional house clearance company residing in Northern Ireland. Based on our experience clearing property’s on a daily basis, the comprehensive list below includes the most common household items we clear on a regular basis.

Items included in a house clearance

  • White goods, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, cookers, tumble dryers
  • Cupboard contents, crockery, pots, cutlery, food
  • Sofas, recliners, bed settees, beds, mattresses
  • Carpets, curtains, rugs, underlay, blinds
  • Electrical appliances, TV’s, heaters, kettles, toasters, lamps
  • Clothing, duvets, bedding, linen, towels
  • Wardrobes, drawers, tables, side-boards, cabinets
  • Gardens sheds, attics and garage contents

We can also remove, asbestos, oil tanks and heating oil as an add-on service. All hazardous waste collections must be prearranged, pre-notification’s must be submitted to the NIEA 3 days before collection.

House Clearance Guide Northern Ireland

House clearance items

Deciding What To Keep and What To Dispose Off

The first and most important step of preparing for a house clearance is to organise the items you wish to keep, donate and dispose off. Most house clearance companies offer free no obligation quotations, based on the information you provide.

If you are unable to remove the items you wish to keep from the property. Allocate a room as a store for furniture, pictures, antiques, confidential paperwork and sentimental items. Alternatively place labels onto everything you wish to (keep).

Once you have categorised everything that you wish to donate or dispose off, its now time to contact a professional clearance company. The fastest way to acquire a price for a house clearance is to either forward an itemised list, photos or both. All quotations are confirmed on the day and are subject to change based on the information you provide to us in your initial inquiry. For more information, please refer to our terms and conditions.

Clearing a house of its entire contents can be time consuming, labour intensive and stressful. Depending on the circumstances, there may be very little that is being kept. If this is the case, simply forward an image of each room with the instructions to clear everything.

How Much Does a House Clearance Cost?

One of the first questions we are asked by customers, how much does a house clearance cost? The average three bedroom house clearance in Northern Ireland costs between £650 – £850. There are many factors that influence the price, location, size of the property, number of van loads, non recyclable and recyclable materials and Vat.

A three bedroom house example

  • Washing machine, fridge freezer, microwave
  • Dining table and 6 chairs, coffee table, dresser
  • 3 seater sofa, 2 seater sofa, 1 recliner
  • 2 double beds, 1 single bed, plus mattresses
  • 2 sets of bedside cabinets, 4 chests of drawers
  • 2 standard double wardrobes, 1 single wardrobe
  • TV, small electrical appliances
  • Garden equipment, tools, plant pots
  • Cupboard contents and general rubbish

The above house clearance would require 1.5 loads based on using a 3.5 tonne luton box van, which can hold 17.35 cubic metres. The main factors that influence price are, volume, the number of items to be removed and weight.

3.5 Tonne Luton Van, House Clearances

3.5 Tonne luton van for house clearances

We use waste transfer stations across Northern Ireland for recycling and disposing of unwanted items. Our vans are weighed on a weigh bridge and we are charged by weight (kg), the type of waste also effects costs. Non recyclable materials, (landfill) cost more, in comparison to other materials that can be reused.

What is a Probate House Clearance?

Probate is the procedure used to settle an estate after a person passes away. If a will has been left, then a named executor, normally a member of family is nominated to deal with any belongings, (assets) that have been left. The removal and disposal of all the household contents and personal possessions then becomes the responsibility of the administrator, (executor).

If the deceased did not leave a will, the closest living relative can apply to become the administrator of the estate. More information on applying for probate in Northern Ireland, can be found at NI Direct – Apply for Probate.

Does it matter if the house was owned or rented? No. During a probate house clearance  the executor has a legal obligation to ensure the house is empty before handing over ownership. If the house was rented, check with the landlord or housing executive, as some items (furniture, white goods, garden equipment) may belong to them.

Do Local Councils do House Clearance?

No, councils in Northern Ireland do not offer house clearance services. Even if you rent a council owned property, you are responsible for clearing the property before leaving. Most councils do however offer a bulky waste collection service, this unfortunately has its limitations.

  • Maximum of 5 items per collection
  • All bulky waste must be placed outside, 72 hours before collection
  • Waiting time, 2 – 4 weeks due to backlogs
  • No commercial waste permitted

Bear in mind when booking a council collection, staff cannot enter your property, (outhouses, garages, sheds). You are responsible for moving any large bulky items from their location to your normal bin collection point. Only resident’s of the borough can use their local councils bulky waste collection service. Check your local councils website for their terms and conditions, as each council has different charges.

Identity Theft and Confidential Waste

Your identity is one of your most valuable assets. Identity theft refers to the stealing of personal information for financial gain. There were 226,000 reported cases of identity fraud in the UK in 2021, the most vulnerable age group, 60 plus. A stolen identity can be used to open bank accounts, apply for loans, credit cards and more.

Preventing Identity theft

  1. Hire the services of a professional licensed house clearance company. All house clearance companies who transport waste must have a waste license. You can check if a license is valid on the registered carriers database, search by license no, company name or postcode.
  2. Use a confidential document shredding service to destroy personal information. Any document or hard drive that contains sensitive information is classed as confidential waste. Passport, driving licence, bank statements, utility bills, credit card transaction receipts, payslips, birth certificates etc.

Avoiding Unlicensed Rogue Operators

Beware of rogue unlicensed operators, paying someone who fly-tips your waste harms the environment, undermines registered traders, and carries a criminal charge. If the quote sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Below I have included tips to avoid being conned by rogue operators.

  • Legitimate house clearance companies will offer you various payments methods, (“30Net” Card Payments, Bank Transfer, Cash).
  • Read what others are saying, “Testimonials” professional companies will have reviews across several platforms, Google, Yell, Facebook, TrustPilot etc.
  • As I mentioned earlier, check for a valid waste license on the registered carriers database.
  • Research their company name online for any bad reviews, also check their terms and conditions. Most trusted clearance companies will have a website.

Hiring a Professional House Clearance Company

There are many reasons why a professional house clearance service could save you time, money and stress. 

Upfront costs: Obtaining a price for clearing your house is simple. Either forward an itemised list, photos or both. Only include the items you wish to dispose off, this will be enough information for a quote. For large clearances, hoarders, probate or commercial, site visits can be requested. 

Physical and emotional stress: The process of clearing a house after a bereavement can be very distressing for family members. Having to sort through the items of a loved one and then disperse, donate and dispose of their possessions can be mentally draining. 

High recycling rates: Professional house clearance companies are experts at diverting waste from landfill. Most companies will have an extensive list of contacts for donating, repurposing and recycling all types of waste. Removerr recycle and divert as much as 80% of all waste collected during house clearances. We have also partnered with Ecologi, planting 100’s of trees to offset our carbon emissions. 

Dismantling and removing bulky items: During a clearance, items such as wardrobes, sliderobes, recliners, fridge freezers and pianos may need to be dismantled. This service is included in our house clearance service, we do all the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to.

If you’re interested in hiring the services of licensed house clearance company in Northern Ireland. Give us a call on 07434 691 809 or email A full list of house clearance locations can be found on our sitemap.