This advice is based on clearing a house after the death of a tenant or non-family member, we have further advice on:
A house clearance after the death of a parent or relative.
You can also learn about our unattended death house clearance service too.
How Do You Clear A House After Death?
When someone dies in a property or dies (say in a hospital) and leaves a home full of possessions that need clearing, it can be a shocking, emotional, and even traumatic experience.
Often, with a bereavement, there is a whirlwind of thoughts, not just of the practicalities of what needs to be done, but also of considering what is the right thing to do, and the caring and considerate way to approach the clearance and cleaning of the property.
It really is a very tough task to undertake, not just emotionally but physically too, there is so much to think about and consider, and of course, you want to do everything as well as you can, and with the utmost compassion.
Apart from removing the general “non-valuable” items, there is the haunting task of sorting personal items – memories (like photos, documents, etc), personal effects that would be special and meaningful, and of course any valuables that should be passed onto the family, if there are any.
However, if you need to rent out the property, for example, to pay a mortgage, then these considerations need to be balanced with the practicalities of life, and it’s striking this equilibrium that can be troublesome.
However, there may be some obstacles in your way that you must take legal advice on, for example, if the person has left a will then you may need to wait for the will to be read before you can start removing any items from the property.
Assuming that you get to the point where you have the green light to clean out the house, and you need to do it quickly, then really your best bet is to hire a team of professional, experienced house clearance specialists to do it for you.
The reasons for this are simple.
If you are relying on rental income to fund the property, then the sooner it is completely cleared, the sooner you can market it and get new tenants.
If you try clearing the house yourself to save money, we can promise you that:
- You will underestimate the number of skips you will need.
- Or the length of time a van needs to be hired for.
- And the costs of tipping the contents.
- And you will not even be aware of the potential legal ramifications of incorrectly disposing of a variety of seemingly innocuous items.
Some of the fines for getting it wrong are truly eye-watering.
When you hire a professional waste disposal firm like Keke, you can rest easy knowing we can clear a typical 3 bedroom semi in 1 day, recycle as much as possible through our waste handling partners, donate everything possible to charity, and send roughly only 5% to landfill.
When you compare the costs of our service, with us doing all the heavy lifting and transportation, sorting, recycling, etc, against the cost of a couple of skips if you do it yourself, it really makes no sense at all to do anything else but hire us.
Feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation quote so you can compare our prices against the costs, time, physical effort, and workload of doing it by yourself.
And if you choose not to use us and decide you’d prefer to go it alone, then that’s perfectly okay, at least you checked the options out first to make sure what’s best for you.
If you decide to do it by yourself, here are some useful tips:
Make sure you know what the costs will be for:
- Skip hire
- Van hire
- Tipping costs
- Recycling costs
- All other costs
Set a date
Set a date to begin the clearance, and give yourself realistic times for completing it depending on:
- The number of people you have helping you.
- The amount that needs clearing.
- The date you want the property to be cleared by.
Have a system
Preparation is 9/10ths of the job, so plan it all out, and create a system. For example:
- Sort the contents of the house.
- In each room have a cluster of things you want to keep, and a pile of things to go.
- Decide which of the things to go can be donated, recycled, or need to go to landfill.
- Have different people sort different rooms at the same time (for speed), then all check each room to ensure no mistakes have been made.
Some charities will come and collect items, if you have a reasonable quantity, this can save you a lot of time and effort.
Once you’ve got to this point you can begin the task of methodically clearing the home until it is emptied.
What Do You Do With A Dead Person’s Belongings?
Assuming that the contents of the house pass onto you…
It’s possible that some items, however modest the home may be, might be valuable as antiques, collectables, or object d’art.
For this reason, if there are any items you are unsure of it is well worth getting a professional appraisal.
If it transpires that there are valuable items or artefacts rather than bric-a-brac, then they could be sold privately or at auction and depending on what they are they could raise a substantial amount of money.
Although we do not claim to be experts in antiquities, after many years of experience at Keke we can often identify items that are likely to be desirable and advise you on this fact.
You are then free to pursue them as you see fit – much better than them being thrown into a skip!
The strangest of things can be worth significant amounts of money, such as:
- Porcelain (for example the image of the tiny little cream jug at the top of this page sold for an incredible £46,800!)
- And a whole host of other seemingly trivial items
Besides the above, donations to charity and recycling are a great way to make sure the most use possible is obtained from their possessions.
Our standard prices are in the table below:
The average UK house clearance cost is £805 PLUS VAT - Our prices are lower and INCLUDE VAT - saving you £271 on a standard house clearance!
|Standard House Clearance||£695||Including VAT!|
|Larger House Clearance||£695+ (contact for exact quote)||Including VAT!|
|Hoarder House Clearance||£Dependent on scale of job||Please contact for quote|
|Other Clearances||£Dependent on scale of job||Please contact for quote|