Collecting for Damages After a Move

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Collecting for Damages After a Move

Oh My Apartment · Sep 21, 2009

Moves can be tough, even if you bring in movers and packers to help you with the process. Even with careful packing, there’s always a chance that a piece of glassware will be broken or a table will get scratched. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to prevent such incidents — but you can always protect yourself so that problems are limited.

The first step you should take to protect yourself is check with your moving company about its policy on damages, preferably before you schedule a move. Some companies set out the types of damages they’ll cover up front. Some may require an extra fee in order to move larger and more expensive items, such as a piano or large television, and some moving companies will not guarantee to cover damages in certain situations, like if you pack boxes yourself. Your movers should do their utmost to protect your belongings, but since accidents happen, it’s important to work with a mover who has a clear cut policy on damages.

In the event that something does go wrong during your move, there are two steps you need to take. First, it’s crucial to document exactly what happened. Take photos of the damage, whether it’s to your own furniture or to your apartment. Second, you need to inform the manager of the moving company — not the movers — of the issue as soon as possible. Most companies do not empower movers to address damage issues, but a manager can help you resolve the issue quickly. If possible, call the manager before the move is over. The longer you wait to report damage, the harder it can be to come to a fair solution. If the damage was done to your apartment rather than to your possessions, it’s important to quickly contact your landlord as well.

How a moving company will address damage complaints can vary between companies. You may find that some moving companies prefer to give you a check and let you arrange for repairs, while others will handle any repairs on their own. If the damage is to your apartment, you may need to go through your landlord to both arrange for repairs and determine what the cost of those repairs might be. It’s generally best to have an estimate from a reliable repair company before agreeing on a solution, just to make sure that any settlement covers the full cost of repairs.

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