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Who Pays For House Clearance After Death?

Nicola Ryan

Written by

14th Jun 2023 (Last updated on 6th Jul 2023) 5 minute read

House clearance costs are typically covered using funds from the deceased person's estate. This payment is arranged by the executor of the will in most cases or the next of kin if there is no will.

Losing a loved one is an upsetting ordeal and a difficult time, which is why many people make arrangements for house clearance in their will. This helps to alleviate any financial and emotional stress.

In this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about who pays for a house clearance.

  1. Who’s Responsible for Clearing the House?
  2. Who Has to Pay for the House Clearance?
  3. Council House Clearance After Death
  4. Can I Clear a House Before Probate?
  5. How Much are House Clearance Costs?
  6. What Will a House Clearance Company Not Take?
  7. Find a House Clearance Provider

Who’s Responsible for Clearing the House?

The executor of the will is responsible for arranging the house clearance. They will arrange the distribution of items as dictated by the deceased in their will. They must also check whether the deceased had any arrangements in place for house clearance or if any funds were left to cover the cost.

Hiring a professional house clearance company means that you can focus on other arrangements. They will take care of the deceased's accumulated possessions on your behalf.

If no will or instructions are left, the next of kin must contact the local authority. They will then help manage the deceased’s assets. The next of kin is typically a family member such as a child, spouse, or civil partner.

Who Has to Pay for the House Clearance?

Most house clearances are paid for using assets that the deceased has left behind. The payments from these assets will be made by the next of kin or the executor of the will. They will also have to pay any Inheritance Tax owed and look into the sale of any valuable items.

If the assets do not fully cover the house clearance cost, it will then be the responsibility of the next of kin to pay the remaining amount. In these instances, you can choose to liquidate more assets or cover the cost yourself.

The deceased may also have house clearance covered by their insurance policy. Some local councils may offer discounts for their services, but there will still be a cost. Not all local authorities offer house clearance services, so it’s best to check whether your council can assist.

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Council House Clearance After Death

If the deceased's home was rented and shared with someone else, this is known as beneficial joint tenants. The deceased person's money and estate will then pass onto the living tenant.

Council house clearance has different rules as the council will provide a notice period. By the end of this notice period, the house must be cleared of all unwanted items.

On average, council house clearances should be carried out within 4 weeks. If the property is not cleared by the end of the notice period, the next of kin will face extra rent demands or a fine by the council.

Not every local council offers house clearance services. However, most do and some may offer a discounted service depending on your situation. Dealing with house clearances can be upsetting and stressful, which is why it’s best to research and contact your local council.

Each local council has different requirements when it comes to house clearances. You may be asked to simply remove unwanted items, including the upholstery and furniture. However, some councils may request that the carpets are removed during the house clearance.

Can I Clear a House Before Probate?

Before a probate house clearance can take place, it’s essential to check whether any items have been granted in the deceased’s will. The executor of the will is responsible for ensuring that these items are passed on accordingly. They must also ensure that there are no remaining items of sentimental value that could cause tension within the family.

Once the will has been read, the executor should file the document at probate court and compile a detailed inventory of the remaining items.

Any valuable possessions should be appraised and readied for resale. Many house clearance companies work with a local auction house. This means that they can arrange a professional appraisal on your behalf.

Insurance checks should be carried out as the deceased may have arranged for their insurance to cover the house clearance cost.

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How Much are House Clearance Costs?

House clearance costs can range between £325 and £595 on average. This varies from extra small to large clearances. The total price is dependent on various factors including the clearance volume and the type of items being cleared.

Here are the average costs by clearance size:

SizeVolume (of Luton van)Cost (£)


½ van load or 500kg



¾ van load or 750kg



A full van load or 1,000kg


What Will a House Clearance Company Not Take?

Fully licensed and insured house clearance companies are able to clear most items. It’s essential to provide a detailed inventory beforehand so the company can send the right number of staff and the correct equipment.

Some items including hazardous materials and weapons may need to be handled by specialists. In these instances, it’s best to contact your local authority.

You should always check that the company has a Waste License Number and is covered by Public Liability. This means that they can be trusted to follow regulations when disposing of the items.

Any large items such as unwanted furniture may be donated to local charities if they are still in good condition.

Choosing a company that is fully licensed will eliminate the risk of fly-tipping. If your rubbish is found fly-tipped and it is traced back to you, you could face a fine.

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Find a House Clearance Provider

Compare My Move can connect you with up to 6 verified house clearance companies working in your area. Fill out our house clearance comparison form and you can compare quotes and save money on your clearance fees.

All our clearance partners are fully covered by Public Liability and carry a Waste License Number. This means that they can be trusted to dispose of your items according to regulations set out by WEEE and the Environmental Agency.

Nicola Ryan

Written by Nicola Ryan

Nicola focusses on all things moving house at Compare My Move where she writes articles for the advice centre, guiding users through everything they need to know about moving house.

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