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  1. Blog
  2. How much does house clearance cost?
House selling tips
11 October 2023

How much does house clearance cost?

Kimberley Taylor
Writer & Researcher

Table of contents

  1. 1. What is a house clearance?
  2. 2. Average house clearance cost in the UK
  3. 3. Additional fees
  4. 4. Finding the right house clearance company
  5. 5. What impacts the price of property clearance?
  6. 6. Tradesmen and labour costs for house clearances
  7. 7. Earning money from your items
  8. 8. Council house clearance costs
  9. 9. Carpet cleaning cost
  10. 10. How long does a house clearance take?
  11. 11. Why should you outsource your house clearance?
  12. 12. Summary: Accurate inventory = accurate house clearance cost!
  13. 13. FAQs

Most people don't enjoy a spring clean, let alone the thought of having to clear a house. But if you want to improve the saleability of your home, or even create a better living environment for yourself, sometimes a house clearance might be needed.

But what exactly does a house clearance involve? And how much does a house clearance cost? We'll take you through everything you need to know.

What is a house clearance?

The house clearance process involves removing items from a home (usually when you're moving house). House clearance services often remove those items for charity, disposal or resale. A house clearance is like a large-scale rubbish clearance or huge waste collection.

They can vary in size and weight, from a couple of items that need removing like a large fridge or freezer, to an entire house that needs to be cleared.

It's also possible to go for a house and garage clearance, which (you guessed it!) involves garage clearing as well as the rest of your home. Other house clearance services include garden clearance, skip hire and recycling.

To check out our comprehensive moving out checklist, click here.

Average house clearance cost in the UK

House clearance prices vary depending on the overall size, weight and number of items you want to get rid of. House clearance costs will generally start at £170, covering up to 500 kg or half of a large van load.

Medium clearance costs will usually be anywhere between £250 and £300, which covers a maximum of 750 kg or three quarters of a large van load. A major house clearance (up to 1000 kg or a full van load) will cost between £300 and £350.

Location also impacts the overall cost of a house clearance. In London, a house clearance cost could be up to £750 plus VAT for an average three-bedroom home. Because of the higher cost of living, house clearances in London tend to be the most expensive.

If the clearance is on the smaller side, the house clearance company may offer individual pricing for each item.

Additional fees

As well as core house clearance costs, there may be additional fees for certain services, including:

Disposing or recycling items

According to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, all electrical goods need to be disposed of or recycled properly. The aim is to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Unwanted clutter

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all unwanted clutter must be disposed of to make sure any rubbish removal is done properly.

Garage clearing

Garage clearance may or may not be included in the final cost. Some house clearance companies will charge extra, particularly if they're clearing the entire house. Garage clearance can be a whole job in itself, especially if there's a lot of stuff to get rid of, which is why it will sometimes come with an extra fee.

Garden clearance

Your house clearance company may also offer garden clearance, which ensures all the waste and excess grass and shrubbery is removed. There's often an extra fee for this as well as garage clearance.

For more ways to make your garden look top notch, check out one of our previous blogs.

Skip hire costs

The cost of a skip hire will vary depending on the type of skip you need for your house clearance. There are two main types of skips: standard and roll-on-roll-off (also known as RoRo skips). Cheaper per yard than standard skips, RoRo skips are generally used for large clearance like heavy items of furniture or appliances.

Standard skips are a lot smaller than RoRo skips, which is why they can't usually be used for large clearances. Labour costs will also play a part in the total fee; if more people are needed for the house clearance, it will most likely be more expensive.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment directive

Some house clearance companies will charge these extra fees for useless items to be removed in order to comply with waste disposal regulations and avoid leaving poisonous waste. One common example of this is white goods like a fridge or freezer. Make sure you clarify these fees with your house clearance company to avoid any legal issues.

Finding the right house clearance company

There are plenty of companies that offer house clearance services. But it's really important to make sure the clearance company you choose has the proper credentials to get the job done, including a waste licence and a membership to a trade association. Here are the main things you should check for:

A local authority licence

Make sure the house clearance company has the local authority's approval to carry out house clearances, especially when dealing with hazardous waste. You should also check for a VAT registration number.

Waste collection registration number

The company should have a waste collection registration number, which is also referred to as a waste licence. This will give you peace of mind that all of your items will be disposed of properly.

Public liability insurance

The company should always be covered by public liability insurance, which in turn covers you if anything goes wrong or if the property is damaged. Though public liability insurance tends to increase the overall house clearance cost, it's absolutely worth it for security and protection.

Competitor quotes

It's always worth checking competing companies to decide whether or not the company you've selected is offering a fair price for their services. This doesn't necessarily mean looking for the lowest price either.

In fact, companies that undercharge are often too good to be true. In some cases, they can be extremely risky as they may illegally dispose of the items and contribute to fly-tipped waste. If that happens, you could be held liable and incur penalties.

Any hidden costs

House clearance companies should give you a quote before you make any sort of payment. You should always ask for a quote breakdown to avoid any hidden costs cropping up further down the line. This will help you to budget accordingly.

Can they do the job?

It might seem obvious, but it's important to check if the house clearance company can carry out the work you need to do. Some clearance companies will only specialise in larger goods, while others may only be able to dispose of smaller items. That's why it's really important to give them an accurate inventory, so they can inform you whether or not they're able to carry out the entire disposal and recycling of your goods.

What impacts the price of property clearance?

A number of factors affect the cost of a house clearance. The main ones are:


House clearance providers will first assess how easy it is to access your property and if a skip is needed. Accessibility is really important to ensure the house can be cleared properly, especially for larger clearances that require a skip. If there is restricted access, the clearance company can add a big extra fee to your quote to cover the extra measures needed to access the property.


As with most things, location will affect how much it costs to clear a house. House clearances cost more in big cities like London and Edinburgh because they have a higher cost of living. Whereas house clearances in smaller villages and towns will usually be on the cheaper side.

Type of items

The total house clearance cost will also be impacted by the types of items that need to be cleared. Items that need to be recycled involve more paperwork for waste disposal, and large clearances need more movers. That's why you need to make sure your inventory includes every detail so you can get as accurate a quote as possible.

More fragile items like antiques and pianos will also be more expensive to move. House clearance specialists need professional equipment and it can take a lot longer than a regular property clearance, which naturally incurs more cost.

The number of items

The more items that need clearing, the higher the cost will be. The van load will be higher, meaning more vehicle space, and more people needed to get the clearance done. Large clearances will often need to cover skip hire and transportation costs too.

The weight of the items

Weight also has a part to play with house clearance costs. Companies are charged by weight to recycle household waste with a minimum of one tonne. Prices can range from £180 to £200 per tonne, depending on the area and which recycling station they use.

Most house clearance companies use Luton vans, which carry up to 1.5 tonnes. There are quite a few items that clearance companies have to pay extra to recycle, many of which you might find during a house clearance.

Mattress£20 to £40
Fridge freezerMinimum £40 based on average of two
Televisions£15 to £45 depending on size
Electrical items like kettles, toasters and irons£5 to £10 per item

Tradesmen and labour costs for house clearances

A tradesperson's house clearance prices will usually be higher than a freelance clearer. Their hourly rates can range from £15 to £20, while a freelance clearer's rates are usually between £10 to £15. Though you may save money using a freelancer, it can be riskier because they don't come from an agency that can vouch for them or refund you if the house clearance goes wrong.

Garden clearance

Specialist garden clearing teams can remove any debris from the land surrounding your property including grass, weeds, hedges and trees. Garden clearance can cost anywhere between £45 and £65 per hour, but if the material is harmful or higher risk, it might be more difficult to remove. And as always, with higher difficulty comes higher cost.

Local clearance specialists will vary in cost depending on where you live, and the same can be said for garden clearance. In the Northeast, garden clearance will cost around £180-£200, but removals in London can cost up to £450.

Earning money from your items

A lot of house clearance companies tend to sell any valuable goods and will then subtract the profit from the final clearance cost. They tend to sell common items like furniture, and electrical items are usually donated to charity.

However, it's generally recommended to sell clearance items yourself because they'll often take a cut. You should also remove and sell any antiques separately to keep them protected from damage and ensure you get the best resale value for your items.

Council house clearance costs

A council house clearance costs between £325 and £595. Much like other house clearance costs, a council house clearance costs depend on the location. Each council charges different prices and offers different services.

Carpet cleaning cost

A professional carpet cleaning service will vary in cost, depending on the size and space that needs to be cleaned. For example, a small bedroom costs on average between £20 and £30, but a large bedroom will cost nearly double that. Landing and stair cleaning costs will average between £70 and £90.

You can choose to have your entire house cleaned, and again the cost will vary depending on the type and size of your home. A two-bedroom terrace would cost between £120 and £160, while a three bedroom semi-detached would be £190 to £240. The cost of a house with four bedrooms would be between £290 and £370.

The condition of your carpets would also impact the cost of your cleaning because it'll take longer to clean, and more people to do the job. Most cleaners charge per square metre of the room or house, ranging from £2 to £2.5 per square metre.

Carpet cleaning specialists may cost more, charging between £100 and £140 a day.

For tips on how to deep clean your house before a sale, take a look at one of our previous blogs.

How long does a house clearance take?

Again, (you guessed it!) how long a house clearance takes will depend on the size of the task. A house clearance service for a small house can be done in just an hour, but bigger jobs will understandably take longer to complete.

Factors like the weight and number of items, accessibility, skip hire and parking all play a role in the length of the house clearance process. A thorough house clearance service would usually take 8 - 14 hours or a full day (or they may need a bigger team to cover larger projects).

Why should you outsource your house clearance?

When you're selling your home, there are a number of benefits to using house clearance providers, from saving time and money, to making the home more attractive to potential buyers. It's also really beneficial for the general health and quality of your home, even if you're not looking to sell in the near future.

It's cost-effective and convenient

Hiring house clearance specialists can be a great investment in the long run. Whilst it might seem like a large expense, using a house clearance service will ensure it's done thoroughly and efficiently. It also could save you time and money if you didn't conduct the house clearance properly yourself.

Putting off house clearance to save money could also be a health and safety risk, increasing the likelihood of hazardous waste which spreads pests and pathogens.

It's good for the environment

Avoiding a house clearance can be really bad for the environment, with waste and rubbish damaging the local flora and cluttering the area. If the clutter is really bad, it could even lead to trip hazards or damage to vehicles and pedestrians living nearby.

It gets the job done properly

Recycling properly and disposing waste correctly is really important during a house clearance. A house clearance company will ensure everything is done properly and according to waste collection and disposal regulations.

They'll also be able to get rid of hidden dirt that you may have missed yourself. For example, there may be stains not visible to the naked eye, but a professional clearer will know where to look to find them and get rid of them.

Summary: Accurate inventory = accurate house clearance cost!

The bottom line? House clearance costs vary depending on what you want to move, the size and weight of your items, and the location of your home. That's why being as accurate with your inventory as possible is essential to getting an accurate quote from your house clearance company.

Whilst it might seem like a big expense, a thorough and efficient house clearance will probably help you save money in the long term. Not only that, it's better for the environment, helps to avoid dangerous waste and inappropriate disposal or recycling, and improves general health and well-being.

If you want to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, it's always better to give your house a spruce, and a house clearance is a great way to make sure it's as spick and span as possible. Selling a home is a long process, but it's a great start.

If you're already started your home sale journey, check out our Estate Agent Comparison Tool to find the right agent to make your house sale as smooth as possible.


Do I need to be there for my house clearance?

You don't have to be present for your house clearance - it's completely up to you. But make sure you give the clearance company a detailed description of what you want to be cleared, and if you need anything to be removed before the clearance begins.

How long does a house clearance take?

How long a house clearance takes depends on the size of the project. Smaller projects can take as little as an hour, but if you're going for an entire house clearance, this could take a whole day, and in some cases, even more.

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