Your rights and responsibilities when you move

Moving can often seem like a scary thing. This is because it is often something very foreign, something we do only a couple of times in life – some people never even move at all! So, when it’s time to prepare for the move, you might start to panic. You don’t know what the rules of this game are. How to behave when professional movers arrive, or what you need to do are just some unfamiliar things to you. However, there are clear rules that you need to follow. You have rights and responsibilities when you move, and you need to know about them. In this article, you can learn about the most important things that you need to know when preparing for your move.

You need to get “Your rights and responsibilities when you move” booklet

The first thing that we need to address is a booklet called “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move”. As you might imagine, inside this booklet, you can find everything that pertains to what you need to do when moving, as well as what you can expect from your moving company to do. It is made by the Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration, and the booklet’s purpose is to help you ensure that your move is as smooth and stress-free as can be.

a person reading the book
Read the booklet you got.

If you are worried about finding it – there is no need to do so! All moving companies are required to give you the booklet when you are using their services. This is required by Federal Law – so, if a company doesn’t do it, you know you are working with fraudulent movers – and can evade them immediately. But what can you find inside the booklet?

Everything about the estimates

The first thing that you can find inside the booklet are the estimates. You might have a lot of rights and responsibilities when you move, but understanding the estimates might be the priority. This is one of the main ways in which you will negotiate with the moving company, and plan your budget. So, if you are unsure about the estimate, you cannot be sure about your move.

So first, your right is to always get a written estimate. The moving companies are required to give this document to you. Once you both sign it, it will also have legal weight. If a moving company is trying to get their way out of giving you a written estimate, then you can be sure you are working with fraudulent movers.

However, this doesn’t mean the moving company needs to give you a binding estimate. This is why it’s important to learn the difference between binding and non-binding quotes¬†because non-binding estimates don’t always need to be accurate. Sometimes, the actual charge of the move can exceed the company’s non-binding estimate. That can lead to a nasty surprise if you are not prepared. That’s why this is another thing that you need to be aware of moving.

Be thoughtful about what you sign

Another big responsibility you have when moving is signing documents. Most probably, there will be a ton of things and papers you need to sign. From the moving licenses to the papers with which you are canceling your utilities, you will be facing a sea of paperwork. However, when a moving company provides you with a document, then you need to be careful.

a person signing a document
Read everything before you sign it.

If it is asking for your signature, this means that this document can be used in court. This is why it’s up to you to make sure that everything is in order before you sign it. First, make sure it’s as complete as it can be. Check all the dates and the shipping information on it. Make sure that, if there is a listing of your items there, the list is full and complete too.

Remember, once you sign a paper, you are agreeing with what it says on it. So one of the rights and responsibilities, when you move, is to call your lawyer if there is something you don’t understand. They can help you sort everything out, and clear out the things that you are unsure about. However, you are not powerless in this. The movers will need to give you the availability of guaranteed pickup and delivery dates when you ask them for it. What’s more, it’s a good idea to inform yourself about the various insurance policies the company offers. You can ask the company to explain everything unclear – but you need to understand everything before signing a document.

Screening the companies – rights and responsibilities when you move

Finally, when you are looking for a moving company, you have some rights too. First, you are allowed to have multiple companies come to your home and give their own estimate. Experts often encourage people to seek at least three different companies. However, you have a responsibility not to disclose the information about one competitor to the other. This can affect their own estimate, which can affect your moving experience.

google - used for screening
You have the right to screen the movers.

Finally, you have a right to contact FMCSA and request complain information about a company, under the Freedom of Information Act. However, know that you might need to pay a fee to get this info. Finally, you have a responsibility to read the “Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” pamphlet. It has a lot of great information about the move, and you need to know them. Only then will you be able to feel comfortable about the move, and you will know exactly what you need to do.

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