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Your Rights when you move

Your Rights and Responsibilities when you Move

Duncan Johnson, Legal Specialist, Moving Staff

There are many things to remember when you are moving, but there are certain legal requirements that must be met. This is true on both your side as well as the side of the movers. In order to make sure that your move goes smoothly, you should always be aware of the rights that you have as well as the things that you are responsible for. In order to make this task simple, we have compiled a list of the most important things to remember.

Your Rights

You always have certain rights when you move. All moving companies are governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They have set up legal requirements for moving companies that must be adhered to at all times. Knowing these rights will prevent many problems when dealing with various moving companies.

  • You have the right to a written estimate, which all movers must give. This prevents a lot of problems when it comes to the final payment for a moving service.
  • You have the right to refuse to sign incomplete contracts or other documents. This is why it is vital that you read anything that you sign.
  • You have the right to be there whenever your shipment is weighed, and you can also request that it be reweighed.
  • You have the right to get estimates from multiple moving companies. You should not, however, disclose one company's estimate to any other company.
  • You have the right to ask if you are dealing with an agent or an actual representative of the moving company. Remember that moving companies do not have to abide by estimates given by agents.
  • You have the right to request a binding estimate, but keep in mind that a mover does not have to give you one. If this is a must for you and your move, then you need to choose a company that will give you one.

Your Responsibilities

  • It is up to you to understand the movers liability for the loss of your goods. Each company has a different policy regarding the loss or damage of a consumers goods.
  • It is your responsibility to ask questions about anything that you don't understand. A good moving company will always be happy to answer the questions that you have.
  • It is your responsibility to verify that you have enough insurance coverage to cover the loss of your goods. A mover does provide some coverage, but they are limited by law as to how much they offer.
  • It is up to you to provide a detailed inventory of everything that is being moved. Take pictures and take notes to ensure that your things arrive in the same condition that they left.
  • It is your responsibility to plan ahead. Remember that you will pay more for expedited services than you would for services that have been booked in advance.

Moving Company Rights

  • Moving companies always have the right to inspect your things. If you have things that you want kept private, then you need to consider moving them yourself.
  • Moving companies have the right to charge up to 110% of any written estimate. You should budget this amount into your moving budget.
  • Moving companies have the right to hire an agent. Remember that the actual company does not have to abide by the estimates given by the agent, so get something in writing from the actual company before agreeing on a moving service from them.

Getting More Information

The FMCSA offers lots of information in both digital and paper formats. Every mover is required to give you a copy of these rights and responsibilities before you sign a contract with them. It is vital that you read over this information carefully in order to make sure you understand what you have the right to and what you are responsible for. Once you have this knowledge, you can be sure that your move will not bring you anything unexpected.

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