Moving Nightmare: Australia’s Backyard Furniture Removalists Thriving

Moving house could be a challenge, which is why some homeowners choose to hire professional movers for their help. However, an unregulated group of backyard removers—that is, unlicensed and unprofessional—in Australia is thriving because of this.

Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA)

The regulating body tasked to monitor the furniture removal industry and to accredit removalists in the country follows a certain set of standards before they consider a company as legitimate removalists. Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney furniture removalists, for example, are duly accredited by the AFRA to ensure that they operate properly, and are held liable should any accident or damage occurs.

The problem is that being a furniture removalist does not require strict rules as it is. Joe Lopino, the executive director of AFRA, said that these backyard removalists just have trucks or vans and advertise themselves as removalists. They do not even operate in offices like legitimate ones, and some, if not all, may not even be trained or qualified formally.


Damages and Delayed Services

One common thing that homeowners worry about is that these removalists are often late, if they show up at all. One woman says that she had to pay for extra rent on the property that she was supposed to vacate because the removalists only turned up two days after the set date. This happened despite her booking and paying for the service in advance.

While that is bad already, another customer got something worse. An elderly woman from Adelaide claimed that she booked and paid for the removalists one month in advance, but they never showed up. They just kept on telling her that they were an hour away, but they never came. The 73-year-old woman had to book and pay for another service just to get the job done.

Others still have had their properties “held for ransom” by these removalists. One customer from Perth says that they paid for the service including four weeks of free storage. However, the removalists were unable to deliver until three days after said free storage duration, for which the customer had to pay additional $570 if they wanted to claim their belongings.

AFRA receives about 20 complaints a week because of these removalists. To prevent falling prey to them, be sure that your Perth, Canberra, and Sydney furniture removalists are duly accredited by the association.