Tips for moving home during the pingdemic

Dave Sayce, founder of Compare My Move, on the do’s and don’ts.

With positive COVID-19 cases spiralling after Freedom Day and a record number of people ‘pinged’ by the NHS Covid-19 app, it got us thinking about those preparing to move house, how this could potentially affect them on completion day, and ways to minimise any issues and spiralling costs from cancelled removals and disruptions.

Here’s the lowdown.

Do your pre-move survey remotely

After choosing your removal firm, it’s worth asking if you’re able to have your pre-move survey done remotely.

This is where someone is able to make a list of everything to be moved and assess any access problems, discuss unique challenges for your move (like fragile items) and talk to you to understand your plans including when you’d ideally like the move to happen. 

Many removal firms should be able to offer alternatives to in-home consultations including simple video surveys via app on your smartphone/tablet, online inventory forms to provide your own list and/or consultation by phone.

This allows removal firms to understand your requirements and provide a clear and accurate quote for your move without someone being in your home.

Understand removal companies’ availability and re-booking policies

If you’re concerned about potential disruption to your home move, whether it’s your side or the seller’s, it’s a good idea to check with local removal companies before going ahead about their availability if your moving date does have to be pushed back and whether there are any charges for cancelling if someone in your household tests positive or you are told to self-isolate.

This can help you make a better decision when it comes to weighing up the cost of a quote, versus their availability and policies for cancellation or rebooking at short notice.

Ask about safety policies

Just because legal restrictions set by the government have ended doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about your safety and the safety of removal staff. With cases rising, many companies are continuing to keep in place rules to protect their staff and customers. So, for peace of mind, check with a removal company about their ongoing precautions and request your movers wear a mask while attending your property.

There are also steps you can take to limit to risk of COVID-19 spread during your home move. When removal workers are at your property, continue to practice social distancing where possible, clean any handles, doors or rails they may need to touch while carrying out their work, and keep your house well ventilated by opening any external doors and windows.

Consider packing yourself

While it might not be an option for some movers, if you are able to pack your own boxes ahead of moving day, it can limit extra-household contact, your risk of being “pinged” and it can cut costs too. Most removal companies offer packing boxes as part of their service or for an extra charge, or alternatively, you could recycle any delivery boxes or look on freecycle websites where people local to you want to get rid of their moving materials.

If you get pinged ahead of moving day

If the worst-case scenario happens and you or a family member tests positive for COVID-19, has symptoms and is awaiting a test result, or is under instruction to self-isolate, contact your removals company as soon as possible to inform them of the situation. You won’t be the first customer to do so and firms should have policies in place to handle it. It may mean that your move is delayed.