London House Clearance is a 20th Century Business
House clearance in London and throughout the UK, as an industry, only came into existence fairly recently in history. Up until the early part of the last century, nearly all families, right through the social classes, would pass down furniture and effects to other members of the family, or friends. With lower class families, their household furniture would have been very basic and hard wearing and made by local craftsmen. In this period there would have been few, if any used furniture shops, around 1900. Wealthy families would also have retained their furniture and household effects, subsequently passed them to family members and descendants. These upper class families would have had their furniture hand made or purchased it from one of the high class furniture craftsmen of that time.
A lot of these fine items have survived to the present day, and as a long established London house clearance company, and firm of fine art and furniture valuers, we see these amazing pieces on a regular basis as part of our work. Towards the end of the first quarter of the 20th century, the introduction of machinery made it possible to mass produce furniture. New materials such as laminate and plywood made it possible to create new and stylish furniture at very reasonable prices. From this period onwards furniture became abundant, and soon after, families that had suffered bereavement or were just moving home, found that they had a surplus and would need a house clearance. Hence the beginning of the house clearance industry.
Before the advent of house clearances, there was still a need for goods and chattels to be sold, most often after bankruptcy. (A number of these occurred around the time of the ‘South Sea Bubble’. As a result, chattels and furniture auctions have been in existence in the mid 1700’s. The first recorded auction was by James Christie (founder of the Christie’s Auction House) on 5 December 1766, held and organized by the founder James Christie in London. Christie’s then became the major hub of the international art trade after the French Revolution. Good quality furniture, books and antiques would have been on offer. House clearance in London then became a regular service right through until the present day.
In the 1960’s people really started getting interested in collectibles and furniture, and we saw the first of the ‘boot fairs’. Many quite valuable antiques and collectables would appear regularly at local boot fairs, as family members would sell off possessions, not knowing what they were worth. Boot fairs have now become one of the biggest pastimes for the British public, and for many a way to make a living.
You may have seen the Antiques Road Show and the Boot Fair Challenge, which has made people aware of what their antiques and collectibles are worth, and that they may have a ‘fortune in their attic’. Sadly, house clearance in London has become a very expensive service, due to the cost of fuel, and heavy, ever increasing government landfill tax, which makes up nearly 75% of the tonnage price at all landfill sites.
With the appearance of the Internet and its popularity, for finding business services, a large number of London house clearance companies have appeared. Although there are a number of good London house clearance companies, you should be careful not to choose one of the many unlicensed contractors, and end up with a heavy fine for not having checked their credentials with the Environment Agency, and ensuring they have a valid waste carriers’ licence. It is also possible for dishonest contractors to ‘fly tip’ house contents, instead of at a local authority waste site, and the original owner of the rubbish is then responsible, and can receive a hefty fine. (Unlicensed carriage of waste carries a penalty of £2000).
The introduction of the low emission zone and the standard of at least Euro 4 for all mid range vans, in January 2012, will almost certainly see a reduction the number of house clearance London companies, as they will not be able to fund the cost of upgrading their vehicles. Some of these smaller companies that will be forced out of business are very competitive and have been providing professional London house clearance services for many years, and will be sad to see them go. All London house clearance companies have found it necessary to increase their charges for property clearance in the city, and these increases have obviously been passed on to the general public.
Jeffrey Avery and Associates have worked hard to keep prices as low as possible and at the same time to maintain a high standard of work. Our efficient recycling centre and reuse program make it possible to keep landfill to a minimum, protecting the environment and keeping prices down.
Our vehicles all meet the Euro 4 standard, and we recycle up to 85% of all material that passes through our hands
For free confidential advice call Jeffrey Avery on 0800 567 7769