What Are the Elements of a Valid Moving Contract?
You have decided to move to a new city. It is time to hire Best Long Distance Movers for the job. After you decide on the company and set up a moving date, the moving company will give you a contract you need to sign. This is so both you and the company will be secure legally. However, sometimes fake companies offer warranties to scam you or seem more legit. That is why it is crucial to know the elements of a valid moving contract in order not to get scammed. We want to help you differentiate between actual moving companies and scams. So, we will look over the elements of a valid moving contract so it can be easier for you to decide on a moving company.
We will divide this into a few different sections. Firstly, we will look at what a moving contract generally is, and what it consists of. Then, we will look at some bad signs you need to look out for. This will help you differentiate between real and fake moving companies,
What is a moving contract?
To look at what types of elements are there in a moving contract, we first need to explain what a moving contract is. A moving contract is a legal document between two parties: you and the moving company. This is just to ensure both parties come out of this deal unharmed. You are bound on legal bases to carry out your side of the deal. The contract is usually constructed based on a company’s policies.
We will list every single aspect of a moving contract that is important. Before actually signing a moving contract, there is usually a verbal agreement first. You usually get the basic outline of your contract with the verbal agreement. The moving company and you agree upon the moving date, logistics, price, and any additional info. After you have a verbal agreement, everything is put into a contract. It is crucial not to leave it at the verbal agreement only because you want to be secured legally.
What are the elements of a valid moving contract?
Knowing the elements of a valid moving contract is one of the crucial things when signing a moving contract. Yes, there are other important things to look for in a moving company, but their policies and the way they handle the legal side of things is essential if you want to stay safe and protected. that is why we will look into some elements of a valid moving contract, so you can know what to look at when analyzing the moving contract. There are a few key parts of every legal agreement:
- Mutuality of Obligation
We will look into each one of them in more detail.
This is the first element of a moving contract. It is also the main reason the moving contract even exists. An offer happens verbally first. When you need some type of service and someone else can fulfill it is when an offer happens. In this case, you need to hire long distance movers Virginia to help you with the move, and they can fulfill the type of move you need.
An offer is an essential element as it encompasses the duties and responsibilities of each party. Additionally, it defines what type of goods the service will be exchanged for. This might sound a bit complicated, but it really isn’t, as “the goods” most often mean money. To sum up what an offer represents: it is what each party offers in this contract, it defines an exchange of offerings of sorts.
Consideration further defines the offer. It puts into words and numbers what the service or goods are exchanged for. What this means for you is that this is the part of the contract where the exact cost of the move should be announced. In a non-moving contract, consideration defines what the goods and services are exchanged for and it doesn’t necessarily have to be money. However, you have to pay the moving company with actual money, as this is their job, and our society functions like that. Besides, you don’t want to know what happens if you don’t pay the movers.
One thing to note is to read the fine print and brackets, as there might be additional hidden costs you might not be aware of. A legit and established moving company does not usually use cheap tricks like this. However, you can never be careful enough.
In order for a document to be in power, it must be accepted by someone. Whether you are hiring long distance movers Arizona for moving there or their storage services, both parties need to accept the conditions that were defined. When giving a written acceptance, you are accepting everything previously defined in a contract. This means you are obliged to fulfill your end of the deal.
When looking at the legal side of things, an offer can be reviewed and altered if both parties agree. However, moving companies usually stick to the offer and consideration made at the time of signing. So, just keep that in mind.
Mutuality of Obligation
This part is more about the legal side of things. It basically means that both parties know they are signing a legal contract and what their duties are. They agree to be obliged by this moving contract. Every action you take when it comes to your relationship with the moving company must be within the limits of the contract.
Capacity defines the borders within which the moving contract can influence you. This means you cannot sign away your rights as a human being with this contract. Capacity also defines who is and is not capable of signing a moving contract. Who cannot sign a moving company?
- a minor
- a person with neurological disorders
- somebody under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and heavy medical drugs
- a person who is not completely capable of understanding the language used in the contract
When it comes to moving, there really should be no problem with this section of the contract, as this is a service-type of contract. We still recommend reading through capacity, although it might not seem as important as the rest of the contract.
To put it simply: legality means the moving contract must be according to the laws of the independent administration. To explain it a bit further, all contracts are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which they operate. This includes federal, state, and local laws and ordinances. One thing to note is that a contract becomes invalid if the parties’ agreement runs afoul of local laws. This applies even if the parties aren’t aware of that. This can cause a lot of unnecessary legal trouble, so, be careful!
These are all of the crucial elements of a legal contract, and every legally valid moving contract should have them. The outline can vary from contract to contract, but every moving contract has these sections defined. You can easily recognize all of these parts.
What is something you need to look for when signing a moving contract?
So, besides these basic elements, there are some other things you can look for that will help you realize a moving contract is legit. In most cases, on the moving contract, you should find information about a moving company and a way to contact the moving company. What exact information should be there?
- Full name of the company
- Headquarter address
- E-mail address
- Phone number
Besides this, you should read all the tiny letters as there might be something hidden there. Look for additional costs and the words “Guaranteed Not to Exceed”. What this means is that your final bill is guaranteed not to exceed 10% of the original estimate. However, this does not include packing fees.
What are some bad signs that might mean a moving company is fraudulent?
We will look at some of the most common signs that might mean a moving company is a scam. These are not strictly related to moving contracts only but are connected to other things as well. From the company’s presentation to the actual deal presented, we will look into all of that.
Avoiding scams can be pretty hard, especially in the moving industry. There have been very believable fraudulent movers who have got away with scamming people. We don’t want this to happen to you. That is why we have decided to list all of the things that might seem like red flags when making a deal with the moving company.
No personal branding
This might be one of the easiest ways to tell whether a moving company is real or fake. This can include several things such as websites, logos, business cards, and more. Especially look at the moving contract, which should have some type of personal branding (probably a logo of sorts).
Other aspects to look at: if a company doesn’t have a website it is probably a scam. If they don’t put their logo on things in the building, they are probably a scam. Basically, if they seem like they are scared to brand their thing, they might not be legit. If they have nothing to hide, they will be proud to show off their company!
No office or address
If the address is nowhere to be found or is listed as just a city or a P.O. box, the moving company is not legit. Especially if it is not written in the moving contract. The address of a moving company should be public information. This means that everyone, including you, should have access to it. If they don’t invite you to the office to sign the contract, that might mean they don’t have an actual office. This means they are probably fraudulent.
Inaccurate estimates and additional hidden costs
Every company is required to provide you with an estimate of the cost of moving when moving to a new place. Every company has its policies on how they calculate this. However, an estimate is usually done by calculating the distance, amount of people needed for the job, and the weight of the things being moved.
The first thing to note is that if a moving company tries to give you an estimate over the phone, be careful. They will most likely give you a wrong estimate, higher than the actual one. This will result in you paying more than what is needed.
If the offer and consideration don’t match the price you have verbally agreed on, check whether everything is alright with that moving company.
What are blank contracts and why you should stay away from them?
We have already mentioned that you need to make sure that you sign some type of contract. Because this means that any registered company or entity is legally required to fulfill its duty. Neither you nor they cannot back out of a move if you had already paid.
One of the easiest ways fake moving companies can scam you is by asking you to sign a blank contract. A blank contract is a contract that has a basic outline, but some of the spaces are not filled. These usually include your name, the cost of the move, and the date of the move.
A fake company usually claims that they’re busy now but that they’ll fill in the empty spaces later. What they essentially ask you is to believe that they’ll fill in the contract with the correct information. You are basically gambling with your future.
After choosing the location for your move, be careful when finding a company. If you are, for example, looking for long distance movers Ohio, make sure they are legit. You don’t want to get scammed. Carefully reading the contract is crucial. We have listed elements of a valid moving contract to make it easier for you, and, hopefully, this list will help.