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On an initial secure order can you automatically remove personal property?
An "initial secure" work order is the first securing of the property and HUD regulations do not specify what is involved in an initial secure. In fact, the HUD regulations do not even use the phrase. Each M&M or their servicing companies has compiled their own list of requirements for an initial secure.
Personal property should never be removed unless specifically stated on your work order and then every contractor must be knowledgeable of and abide by any local ordinances or state laws that specify how to handle removal of personal property.
Your best guide for what to do for an "initial secure" is to follow the contractors' procedures manual supplied by the company requesting the work. Contractors have a tremendous amount of liability concerning personal property. Never remove personal property unless specifically directed to do so - and get it in writing.
How much is in a cubic foot?
A cubic foot is a measurement of volume often described as a cube one foot by one foot by one foot. It's important to realize a cubic foot is a measurement of volume and the dimensions can vary.
12" x 12" x 12" equals 1728 cubic inches. The desktop tower computer beside me is 7 inches by 16 inches by 16 inches which is 1792 cubic inches or just over one cubic foot.
What is the maximum allow per cubic yard for debris removal in Missouri?
HUD Regulations Attachment 5 - Debris Removal Service Schedule shows that property preservation contractors in Missouri are approved for $35 per cubic yard. You can see the Debris Removal Service Schedule here on Cubic Yard.
List at least 5 examples of items that you would consider personal property.
- Neatly arranged clothes in a closet or drawer
- Fine jewelry
- Lawn mower
- Living room couch
- ten wooden pallets thrown against a shed in the back yard (Don't laugh. One contractor was sued by the previous owner when the contractor removed the pallets as specified in the debris removal work order. The homeowner won and the contractor paid for the pallets.)
Contractors are asked questions like this primarily to help determine if they realize the determination of what is debris and what is personal property is not as simple as it may sound.
We at Cubic Yard strongly encourage contractors to talk with their legal counsel and their insurance agent before accepting even their first assignment - strongly encourage.
Property Preservation Contractors will experience the ultimate atmosphere of being an "independent contractor" when a legal issue arrises over differentiating between debris and personal property - you will never find a company that will support you; you're own your own.
If you go to a property and there is more than allowable exterior debris what do you do?
Bid to remove all of the debris.
What 2 bids are required if you go to a property with a moldy refrigerator?
(1) Bid to clean out the refrigerator.
(2) Bid to remove the refrigerator and lawfully dispose of it.
IF THERE IS ONLY A MINIMAL AMOUNT OF DEBRIS, IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO PLACE IT AT THE CURB FOR LOCAL PICKUP? THANKS JERRY
No. Regs require that all debris be disposed of at a licensed dump and you must be able to produce a receipt for any debris removed and dumped. Besides, the sanitation crew is pretty savvy, they know the place is vacant probably way before we do and they will not pick it up.
How i could get information on prices to quote for debris removal?
You will have to go the HUD guidelines for pricing. You can find the HUD specifications on the main menu at www.CubicYard.us. Look for the general information and the attachments on the main menu.
In most instances, you will need to get a very close estimate of the debris in cubic yards and then use your state's price guide to figure up your bid. All other work will pretty much go by the guidelines too. If boarding is required, measure and use the specs to multiply combined inches by allowance per specs.
Of course you can bid as low as you like if you are so inclined. However, one theory says that is not the thing to do since you give a percentage of the total to your client. I can't really say but the company your are doing the work for may prefer to give it another contractor that offers a higher discount or possibly quoted more debris. Hence, more money for them.
Your client will let you know their insurance requirements. I can let you know the company that writes our policy. Email me off-line and I will send you the info.
Are there any guidelines to removing abandoned vehicles? i.e. are contractors required to run vin numbers to make sure there not stolen? Whose liable if a vehicle does turn up stolen?
The only guidelines published by HUD are the allowable fees for vehicle removal. You really should consult with your legal advisor about vehicle removal - every state has different laws and you need to know the laws in the states you operate.
I imagine your local law enforcement agencies would be willing to run a VIN for you.
The procedure my company uses is:
(1) have a work order in hand and on file giving instructions to remove the vehicle you previously described to them including the VIN. Make sure the VIN is on the work order.
(2) call a local scrap dealer specializing in automobile removal - give them the description of the vehicle and the address of its location and let them do the rest.
In Alabama the scrap dealer has to advertise the car in the legal section of the newspaper and hold the vehicle for sixty or ninety days before it can be legally scrapped.
Treat your insurance company nice too. Give them a call and get their thoughts.
Who's responsible? You are!
What do I do if I go to do a secure order and the home is occupied
Most clients just ask for a picture of the property and a statement of supporting evidence that helped determine that it was occupied. Charge a trip fee!
What is a good way to estimate cubic yards during a trashout?
A cubic yard is a unit of volume. It tells you how much space something occupies. Picture in your head a box that measures three feet on each edge. The space inside that box measures one cubic yard.
A cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet. One cubic foot holds about 7.5 gallons - so, one cubic yard is about 200 gallons of liquid. Picture in your head 200 one gallon milk jugs. Regardless of how you arrange them, as long as they are tightly grouped, they will occupy approximately one cubic yard.
Other visuals that may help:
- A kitchen built-in dishwasher is about one cubic yard.
- A regular 1/2 ton pickup truck bed filled level to the top of the bed is about 2 cubic yards.
- A living room couch is about 2 cubic yards.
- A kitchen free-standing stove is about one cubic yard.
- One twin-size mattress is about 1/2 cubic yard.
- One small filing cabinet (the small cheap kind) is about 1/4 cubic yard.
Contractors can very easily lose money when bidding debris removal by the cubic yard. Unfortunately HUD Regulations require bidding in cubic yards and pays for debris removal by the cubic yard. Although no allowance is made in the regulations and most companies have no provisions for "real world" circumstances, rather than loose money on debris removal explain in narrative form why your bid is above the authorized HUD fee. Do not bump up the cubic yard measurement as that does not explain the circumstances and warrants a possible charge back.
Editor's Note: We have some simple rules at our property preservation business - if there is no profit in it, we're not going to move it. We will move one cubic yard of gold bullion for free. One cubic yard of crushed stone in the front yard of a vacant home is going to cost considerably more than the allowable.
What step do you take if you arrive at a property with a secure order and you believe it may be occupied?
Take pictures that support your decision and leave. Send the pictures along with your invoice for a trip charge fee.
For an initial secure order under HUD guidelines how many cubic yards am I allowed to remove without a bid?
First, remember that the HUD Guidelines are directed at the M&M. A preservation contractor does not have the authority to proceed with any work until a work order is issued authorizing the contractor to proceed with the prservation services. Certain emergency procedures are authorized, however.
Take a look at the HUD Guidelines: Attachment 5 - Debris Removal Service Requirements and Cost Schedule. Find the row for the state in which the property is located. This is where you will find the maximum allowable cost per cubic yard and the maximum allowable cost for all debris removal.
Lets use the Mississippi schedule as an example: The maximum allowable cost per cubic yard (Column #1) is $55. The maximum allowable cost for a One Unit property (Column #2) is $660. So, as long as you do not exceed $55 per cubic yard or a total of $660, you are within the guidelines.
What is the difference between safety hazards and health hazards?
This is in no way official - it just came out one day in conversation and it seems to answer the question: Safety hazards are those things that can hurt you. Health hazards are those things that can make you sick. Some items, situations, environments, etc. can fall into both categories. Both health hazards and safety hazards have the potential to cause death.
OSHA publications mention that safety hazards apply mostly to the physical conditions of the workplace or the way equipment and machinery are used. Examples mentioned include electrical safety, power and hand tools, working and walking surfaces, trip and fall hazards, ladders, scaffolds, and other personal climbing and elevated support devices, lock out and tag out procedures, compressed gases, flammable or combustible materials, other hazardous chemicals and so on.
The list of health hazards goes on and on and just about every environment and occupation has its own list. The most commonly listed are: carbon monoxide, cockroaches, dust mites, lead, mold, pesticides, radon, rodents, asbestos and arsenic-treated wood.
HUD Regulations Attachment 5 mentions that the EPA website (http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/index.htm) lists additional health hazards. Specific health hazards mentioned in Attachment 5 are: decaying food or other organic matter, dead animals and animal feces, pest infestations, broken glass or other sharp objects, large containers of liquids, large quantities of paint or paint products paints or solvents in any amount stored in or near papers, fabrics or other flammable materials, highly flammable chemicals (e.g., solvents, paint thinners, gasoline, motor oil and motor additives, etc.).
Contractors must know local laws and ordinances which may have their own list of safety hazards and health hazards and the required methods of disposal. Particular attention must be given to all objects, appliances in particular (ovens, refrigerators, food freezers, etc.) that have doors; many municipalities impose criminal charges for improper storage and/or disposal.
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