When we think of moving home, we often assume that this is for a positive reason, be it getting on the property ladder for the first time, expanding the family or relocating for an exciting career progression. Sadly, the need to move out of a current home and into somewhere else is can be out of unfortunate necessity and urgency which makes for a rather trying time for all those involved. Moving in a crisis is not only daunting, it’s also upsetting. This guide has been put together to look at the issues surrounding moving under difficult circumstances, plus practical advice on where to go for tried and tested speedy solutions.
Crisis moves – Understanding the reasons
There are many reasons why people need to move out of their property as opposed to wanting to. These include:
– Domestic violence
– Loss of earnings
– Death of another occupant
– Hazardous current dwellings
– Fire/flood damage beyond repair
With many reasons for needing to move home in unfortunate circumstances, it stands to reason that many moves taking place across the UK are not out of choice; but where can people go to get advice when it comes to these crisis-motivated moves?
Where to turn when you need to move under negative circumstances
Women’s Aid is a charity set up to help women and children escape from abusive partners. Their survivor’s handbook is very comprehensive, providing you with information on emergency accommodation, outstanding rent on another property, court ordered injunctions and more. A fantastic guide for women suffering from domestic violence in the home, the handbook gives women a strong bank of resources to begin their move away. The financial guide created by Refuge for women in abusive households is another great starting point when considering how to orchestrate an emergency move.
Finding yourself out of work is a daunting experience that requires you to think on your feet in order to organise financial obligations as quickly as possible. This can be incredibly challenging when trying to come to terms with your change in circumstances on an emotional level. The Money Advice Service has a plethora of free guidance material for those who find themselves out of work and the benefits adviser tool tool on Gov.uk will also help you to plan for what your new monthly income will be based on your entitlements and how you can apply for certain benefits. Once you have this information, you will be able to see whether moving home is necessary. If this proves to be the case, consider private landlords that may advertise on Gumtree or in local papers as they tend to offer a more reasonable monthly rental cost than an agency.
In the event of needing to sell a home quickly, consider what figure you need to achieve from the sale of the house and think about selling at auction. There are many benefits of skipping the estate agents (namely their costly fees) that could make this alternative selling method a slicker process. Channel 4 offers some simple advice on selling a home via auction here.
Moving in the event of a death can be one of the most traumatic moves a person will ever make. Whether it’s a spouse or somebody else you shared the property with, coping with the passing of an occupant is a tough journey and the potential financial implications can seem like the final straw. If a will was not made, insurance was not taken out or the monthly income was low or based on benefits, this can leave you in a less than desirable financial situation which must be addressed as proactively as possible.
Try to plan the stages of the coming weeks after the death; organising immediate finances, stopping further payments coming out of the person’s bank account and arranging a funeral (funeral costs can be assisted by the government, this guide will help you ascertain if you are eligible). Once this has taken place, it’s time to think about your future in the home you currently live in. If you can no longer live there, seek guidance relevant to whether the property is rented or owned. A landlord may be able to offer you a more affordable housing solution through other properties they own and a mortgage provider could shed some light on where you stand with a house if the mortgage was being paid by the deceased person. Shelter offers a wealth of information on facing housing difficulties in the event of a death.
When a property is no longer deemed suitable to live in, whether this is through a fire or flood damage, a structural issue or another hazard relating to human health this can result in the need to move as quickly as possible. Under these circumstances, many people choose to put their belongings in storage and move to temporary accommodation such as a family member, friend or a hotel until they can find something more permanent. Be sure to check the insurance you or your landlord has as a proportion of the move could be covered by an existing home insurance policy. Knowing your rights as a tenant will help enormously when it comes to moving and footing the bill of doing so, be sure to review a copy of your tenancy agreement. Request a copy from your landlord if you no longer have access to yours.
Whatever the circumstances are that lead to a crisis move, it’s important to know that moving day will be as smooth a process as possible. You can help yourself by being as organised as possible and when moving as a matter of urgency (such as moving away from an abusive partner), you need to prioritise the possessions you truly need and nothing else. Choose a removals company that has experience in crisis moves as they may be able to offer a discounted rate alongside a sensitive and knowledgeable approach to your moving requirements.
An unwanted move is always a challenging and upsetting period of time, so it’s important to try and keep a view on what lies ahead. The move may not be reflective of the life you had planned at that moment in time but with planning and support, you can turn this into a positive experience for yourself and all others involved by starting a new chapter of life and making your new surroundings homely and most importantly, safe and secure.
This article was written by Sophie, who works alongside specialist removal company Two Men and a Truck and is currently assisting with an office move, therefore understands the importance of ensuring all items are safely moved from A to B.