November 7, 2022

Probate and void house clearance

How professional clearance can cut costs associated with void and probate property

Every landlord, whether private, corporate or council, knows that void properties cost money. There is the obvious lack of revenue and also a barrage of additional costs such as insurance, utilities, mortgages, community fees etc.

There can be many reasons why a property becomes void, such as a death in the family, squatters being evicted or simply a tenant moving out at the end of the contract. Unfortunately, in many cases, when a property has been vacated it isn’t left in the best condition. Sometimes there are can hazardous substances, detritus from hoarders, vandalised fixtures and fittings and broken furniture. And occasionally, there is the odious prospect of human faeces to deal with. So, the obvious solution is to arrange for a professional clearance service to go in a do the job as soon as possible.

Why a quick clear out is essential

As an example of how big the problem is and the importance of getting council stock cleared and ready for occupancy. The Brighton and Hove News reported in Feb 2022, that the number of ‘voids’ in the district is unacceptable in the face of the national housing shortage. In 2021, the average re-let time was 89 days for a standard refurbishment and in some cases the timeframe between becoming vacant and re-letting a property has reached 223 days. The borough’s target turnaround is 21 days!

What happens when a council home becomes void?

When a council property becomes vacant it will be inspected to assess any maintenance and clearance requirements. The Council’s Repair Team will then arrange for either an in-house crew or a professional home clearance company with experience of dealing with void properties, such as G&S Clearance, to remove all detritus, white goods, bulky items etc., ready for any necessary repairs to be carried out. The aim is to bring the properties up to a ‘minimum lettable standard’.

Private property clearance

Private landlords are more susceptible to feeling the financial pinch if a property is left empty. G&S Clearance works with landlords directly (and their solicitors) in order to clear out vacated properties as soon as possible. Similar to the council’s requirements, landlords need to get their investments up to a lettable condition as quickly as possible.

Private landlords also need to adhere to the same stringent regulation regarding the safe disposal of waste, ensuring that there is no risk to the environment, the clearance professionals and the general public. This is why it is important to employ the services of a fully licensed and insured professional clearance service that is conversant with the UK government regulations covering waste management. This is particularly important if dealing with drugs paraphernalia and other hazardous waste, so that all operatives follow standard safety rules and precautions whilst clearing the waste.

Bespoke clearance service

When G&S Clearance is contracted to clear a void property, we’ll allocate a team and transport based on the size of the property, the type and amount of rubbish to be cleared. If we are clearing a small flat, this may require a few vans and multiple black bin bags! Whereas clearing a former hoarder’s home would need considerably more muscle power and big removal vans.

G&S Clearance guarantees to recycle 100% of items that can be donated to charity or upcycled, and the rest, such as white goods and WEEE, are disposed of safely in the appropriates waste disposal plants.  

What is probate house clearance?

A Grant of Probate is the legal process of administering the deceased estate, which often includes a property that needs to be cleared ready for sale. A professional house clearing service is usually the fastest and most hassle-free route for sorting out the belongings and valuing the assets.

The executor of the deceased’s estate has the legal authority to clear the property, dispose of waste and a duty to assess the value of the estate and distribute the bequests. In most cases, the deceased will not have sorted out their belongings before passing, therefore the onus is placed on the executor of the estate to organise it.

Why use a professional clearing company?

A professional clearance service can often complete the job in just one day depending on the size of the property, which is quick and convenient. Probate clearance is usually a highly emotional and stressful time for family members, so whatever can ease the burden and speed up the process is the best option.  

Apart from the convenience, there is also a legal and financial obligation to provide probate content valuations for the HMRC. Yes, a monetary value must be placed on the estate for inheritance tax purposes. For more information, read our blog, Our Guide to Probate House Clearance.

In summary, the quicker an empty property can be turned around, the sooner the owner can re-let and start earning money or in the case of bereaved relatives, they can receive their inheritance and move on with their lives. There is also the peace of mind that all guidelines have been followed and there is no danger to the environment or people that the owner could be liable for at a later date.

For more information about G&S Clearance void property and probate clearance services or would like a no-obligation quote for clearing local authority or private properties, get in touch on

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