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Intrastate Moving Ordinances

State of Florida

Palm Beach County, Florida, Moving Ordinance 2005-007; Palm Beach County Code, Chapter 17, Article VIII

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

 

If you have questions or complaints unable to be resolved by the moving company, please contact the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division, Telephone: 561-712-6600 (Boca/Delray/Glades toll free 1-888-852-7362). Website: www.pbcgov.com/consumer (or current phone numbers and website address as may be changed from time to time).

 

Contract for Service: This contract for service is required and must include all of the terms and costs associated with your move. You are required to disclose all relevant information about your move to the moving company. Do not sign the contract unless it is given to you prior to wrapping, packing or loading your goods or if the total cost of your move is not clearly shown. You are entitled to a completed/signed copy of the contract. The moving company is required to deliver your goods inside your dwelling or designated area when you pay no more than the maximum amount stated in the contract.

 

Form of Payment: Your moving company must accept at least two of the following payment methods:

_____ Cash (Includes cashier’s check, money order or traveler’s check)

_____ Personal Check (Must show imprinted name and address)

_____ Credit Card (Must include but is not limited to VISA or MasterCard)

 

Inventory: A written inventory of your household goods is required to be prepared by the moving company at no additional charge when: 1) the move is not performed point-to-point, 2) your goods are placed in storage, 3) your goods are not delivered on the same day they were picked up or 4) more than one consumer’s goods are on the same moving vehicle. The written inventory must be signed by the moving company representative and you or your designated representative. In other circumstances, you may request an inventory and the moving company may charge for preparing the inventory after clearly and conspicuously disclosing in writing the charge.

 

 

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

VALUATION COVERAGE (FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS)

 

Standard Valuation Coverage: If your goods become damaged or lost, the moving company may be required to reimburse you to a maximum amount of only sixty cents (.60) per pound/per article, which is considerably less than the average value of household goods. There is no additional cost or deductible for this standard coverage. (Example: If you have a 5 pound table lamp worth $300 and it is damaged or lost, you are only entitled to a maximum reimbursement of $3.)

 

Additional Valuation Coverage: This coverage is available at an additional cost to compensate you for goods lost or damaged at an amount closer to the declared or replacement value or cost to repair the property or goods. The additional coverage may contain a negotiated deductible. The moving company is required to provide a complete explanation of the benefits and coverage of any Additional Valuation Coverage you purchase. If a deductible applies, it must be disclosed on the contract and be initialed/approved by you. You may still be entitled to the standard valuation coverage of $.60 per pound.

 

Damage or Other Claim: You have up to sixty (60) days after the completion of the delivery of your household goods to notify the moving company, in writing, of any claim for loss, damage, or delay in relation to your move. This does not limit any other legal remedy available to you.

 

 

 

Info for intrastate moving in Florida published by Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services: http://www.800helpfla.com/moving_text.html

 

How to Choose a Mover

When researching a potential company to handle your moving and storage needs, find out the following information:

• Is the company registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services?

• How long has the company been in business?

• Does the company offer extra services, such as packing, unpacking and storage?

• What type of protection does the company offer against loss or damage (full replacement cost, depreciated value, or the basic 60¢ per pound valuation carriers are required to provide)?

• Does the mover have a good reputation for settling claims?

• Does the company offer arbitration for claim disputes?

• Does the company have a good record of meeting its delivery schedules?

• Can the company provide proof of worker’s compensation coverage, general and legal liability coverage?

Two to six weeks before your planned move date, have at least three movers come to your home and provide you with a detailed estimate. The mover’s estimator should actually see the items to be moved so that a reasonable and accurate estimate can be provided. While phone and internet estimates can be a useful tool for a rough estimate, they are no substitute for having a trained and experienced estimator come to your house in person.

The Cost of your Move will Depend On

• Distance involved (generally applicable for long distance moves).

• Time involved (generally applicable for local moves).

• Volume of Shipment.

• Weight of Shipment.

• Additional services requested, such as packing, storage and unpacking of goods.

Special services required, such as long carries, stairs and elevators, and appliance servicing.

• Declared value of the goods to be moved.

Packing

When a moving company does the packing, they not only charge you for the labor to pack or unpack your goods but also the containers and packing materials used. You may be able to perform some of the packing yourself. Ask your mover if a do-it-yourself packing guide is available.

Here are some tips for successful packing:

• Allow four weeks to pack; the task can be much more time consuming than it appears.

• Consider packing less valuable items yourself and having the mover pack the rest.

• Suitable boxes may be found at local merchants. Do not use plastic bags or boxes that cannot be closed and sealed.

Pack properly—do not exceed the box’s weight rating (should be stamped on the box).

• Pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in large boxes.

• Wrap fragile items in tissue or bubble wrap.

• Number each box and keep an inventory list of the contents.

• Mark each box with the room in the new house where they should be placed.

If you choose to have movers pack your goods, this will be done before the actual moving day (usually one or two days prior). Make plans to be there to observe and provide direction. The more involved you are with your mover, the better the process is likely to go.

Be aware that delays can occur. Before the packers arrive, make sure you have set aside any personal items you will want to take with you, including such things as medicines. If you will need something immediately when you arrive at your new home, take it with you—do not pack it.

Before you sign the packing order, make sure all items you want moved are packed and that the carton count matches the packing order form.

What are my Rights?

Prior to providing you with any moving services, your mover must supply an estimate and contract, in writing. The estimate and contract must be signed by both parties and include the following:

• Name, telephone number, physical address and state registration number of the mover.

• Date the contract or estimate was prepared and proposed date of the actual move.

• Appropriate pick-up and delivery address, name and telephone numbers of the shipper.

• Name, telephone number and physical address where the goods will be held, if necessary.

• Itemized breakdown, description and total of all cost and services provided.

Acceptable forms of payment available.

Estimate and Contract

Intrastate movers are required to provide an estimate and a contract or service order for each move. Before signing this document, determine that the dates for packing, loading and delivery are part of the contract and provided to you in writing. Understand what the price is based upon:

• Appliance Servicing

• Cubic Footage

• Hourly Rates

• Stair/Elevator Charge

• Number of Items

• Packing/Unpacking

• Long Carry Charges

Before you sign an estimate or contract:

• Ascertain that all services you requested and require are on the estimate and contract.

• Provide your delivery address and all phone numbers where you can be contacted at origin, en route and at your destination.

• Check your homeowners insurance policy before moving to see if you are covered for damage or loss during a move by a professional moving company. If not, the insurance company may provide a rider to your policy at an additional fee. You may also be able to arrange with the mover for full depreciated or full replacement valuation.

Liability for Loss/Damage

Moving companies are required to assume some basic liability by carrying legal liability valuation and insurance coverage. Moving companies must also carry cargo legal liability coverage (loss or damage to household goods resulting from the negligence of the mover, its employees, or agents, in an amount not less than $10,000 per incident).

Movers must provide motor vehicle coverage, including combined bodily injury and property damage liability coverage in the following minimum amounts:

• $50,000—per occurrence—for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of less than 35,000 pounds.

• $100,000—per occurrence—for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of more than 35,000 pounds, but less than 44,000 pounds.

• $300,000—per occurrence—for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of 44,000 pounds or more.

The law also provides for a limitation on the release of the mover’s liability for the value of a shipper’s goods at a rate not less than 60 cents per pounds, per article. Your mover must disclose this limitation of liability to you, in writing, at the time the estimate or contract for services is executed and prior to any services being provided to you. Your mover must also inform you of the opportunity to reject or select additional valuation for goods being moved.

 

Florida Moving Statutes

CHAPTER 507

HOUSEHOLD MOVING SERVICES

507.01 Definitions.

507.02 Construction; intent; application.

507.03 Registration.

507.04 Required insurance coverages; liability limitations; valuation coverage.

507.05 Estimates and contracts for service.

507.06 Delivery and storage of household goods.

507.07 Violations.

507.08 Deceptive and unfair trade practice.

507.09 Administrative remedies; penalties.

507.10 Civil penalties; remedies.

507.11 Criminal penalties.

507.12 General Inspection Trust Fund; payments.

507.13 Local regulation.

507.01 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) “Accessorial services” means any service performed by a mover which results in a charge to the shipper and is incidental to the transportation or shipment of household goods, including, but not limited to, valuation coverage; preparation of written inventory; equipment, including dollies, hand trucks, pads, blankets, and straps; storage, packing, unpacking, or crating of articles; hoisting or lowering; waiting time; carrying articles excessive distances to or from the mover’s vehicle, which may be cited as “long carry”; overtime loading and unloading; reweighing; disassembly or reassembly; elevator or stair carrying; boxing or servicing of appliances; and furnishing of packing or crating materials. The term includes services not performed by the mover but performed by a third party at the request of the shipper or mover, if the charges for these services are to be paid to the mover by the shipper at or before the time of delivery.

(2) “Advertise” means to advise, announce, give notice of, publish, or call attention by use of oral, written, or graphic statement made in a newspaper or other publication or on radio or television, any electronic medium, or contained in any notice, handbill, sign, including signage on vehicle, flyer, catalog or letter, or printed on or contained in any tag or label attached to or accompanying any good.

(3) “Compensation” means money, fee, emolument, quid pro quo, barter, remuneration, pay, reward, indemnification, or satisfaction.

(4) “Contract for service” or “bill of lading” means a written document approved by the shipper in writing before the performance of any service which authorizes services from the named mover and lists the services and all costs associated with the household move and accessorial services to be performed.

(5) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

(6) “Estimate” means a written document that sets forth the total costs and describes the basis of those costs, relating to a shipper’s household move, including, but not limited to, the loading, transportation or shipment, and unloading of household goods and accessorial services.

(7) “Household goods” or “goods” means personal effects or other personal property commonly found in a home, personal residence, or other dwelling, including, but not limited to, household furniture. The term does not include freight or personal property moving to or from a factory, store, or other place of business.

(8) “Household move” or “move” means the loading of household goods into a vehicle, moving container, or other mode of transportation or shipment; the transportation or shipment of those household goods; and the unloading of those household goods, when the transportation or shipment originates and terminates at one of the following ultimate locations, regardless of whether the mover temporarily stores the goods while en route between the originating and terminating locations:

(a) From one dwelling to another dwelling;

(b) From a dwelling to a storehouse or warehouse that is owned or rented by the shipper or the shipper’s agent; or

(c) From a storehouse or warehouse that is owned or rented by the shipper or the shipper’s agent to a dwelling.

(9) “Mover” means a person who, for compensation, contracts for or engages in the loading, transportation or shipment, or unloading of household goods as part of a household move. The term does not include a postal, courier, envelope, or package service that does not advertise itself as a mover or moving service.

(10) “Moving broker” or “broker” means a person who, for compensation, arranges for another person to load, transport or ship, or unload household goods as part of a household move or who, for compensation, refers a shipper to a mover by telephone, postal or electronic mail, Internet website, or other means.

(11) “Moving container” means a receptacle holding at least 200 cubic feet of volume which is used to transport or ship household goods as part of a household move.

(12) “Shipper” means a person who uses the services of a mover to transport or ship household goods as part of a household move.

(13) “Storage” means the temporary warehousing of a shipper’s goods while under the care, custody, and control of the mover.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2002-53; s. 3, ch. 2006-4; s. 1, ch. 2011-121.

507.02 Construction; intent; application.—

(1) This chapter shall be construed liberally to:

(a) Establish the law of this state governing the loading, transportation or shipment, unloading, and affiliated storage of household goods as part of household moves.

(b) Address household moving practices in this state in a manner that is not inconsistent with federal law governing consumer protection.

(2) This chapter applies to the operations of any mover or moving broker engaged in the intrastate transportation or shipment of household goods originating in this state and terminating in this state. This chapter does not apply to shipments contracted by the United States, the state, or any local government or political subdivision of the state.

(3) This chapter is intended to secure the satisfaction and confidence of shippers and members of the public when using a mover.

(4) This chapter does not supersede the authority or jurisdiction of any federal agency for goods or services regulated or controlled under other provisions of law.

History.—s. 2, ch. 2002-53; s. 4, ch. 2006-4.

507.03 Registration.—

(1) Each mover and moving broker must register with the department, providing its legal business and trade name, mailing address, and business locations; the full names, addresses, and telephone numbers of its owners or corporate officers and directors and the Florida agent of the corporation; a statement whether it is a domestic or foreign corporation, its state and date of incorporation, its charter number, and, if a foreign corporation, the date it registered with the Department of State; the date on which the mover or broker registered its fictitious name if the mover or broker is operating under a fictitious or trade name; the name of all other corporations, business entities, and trade names through which each owner of the mover or broker operated, was known, or did business as a mover or moving broker within the preceding 5 years; and proof of the insurance or alternative coverages required under s. 507.04.

(2) A certificate evidencing proof of registration shall be issued by the department and must be prominently displayed in the mover’s or broker’s primary place of business.

(3) Registration fees shall be calculated at the rate of $300 per year per mover or moving broker. All amounts collected shall be deposited by the Chief Financial Officer to the credit of the General Inspection Trust Fund of the department for the sole purpose of administration of this chapter.

(4) A registration must be renewed biennially on or before its expiration date. In order to establish staggered expiration dates, the department may extend the expiration date of a registration for a period not to exceed 12 months.

(5) Each contract of a mover or moving broker must include the phrase “  (NAME OF FIRM)   is registered with the State of Florida as a Mover or Moving Broker. Registration No.  .”

(6) Each advertisement of a mover or moving broker must include the phrase “Fla. Mover Reg. No.  ” or “Fla. IM No.  .” Each of the mover’s vehicles must clearly and conspicuously display a sign on the driver’s side door which includes at least one of these phrases in lettering of at least 1.5 inches in height.

(7) A registration is not valid for any mover or broker transacting business at any place other than that designated in the mover’s or broker’s application, unless the department is first notified in writing before any change of location. A registration issued under this chapter is not assignable, and the mover or broker may not conduct business under more than one name except as registered. A mover or broker desiring to change its registered name or location or designated agent for service of process at a time other than upon renewal of registration must notify the department of the change.

(8) The department may deny, refuse to renew, or revoke the registration of any mover or moving broker based upon a determination that the mover or moving broker, or any of the mover’s or moving broker’s directors, officers, owners, or general partners:

(a) Has failed to meet the requirements for registration as provided in this chapter;

(b) Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any other act of moral turpitude;

(c) Has not satisfied a civil fine or penalty arising out of any administrative or enforcement action brought by any governmental agency or private person based upon conduct involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any violation of this chapter;

(d) Has pending against him or her any criminal, administrative, or enforcement proceedings in any jurisdiction, based upon conduct involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or any other act of moral turpitude; or

(e) Has had a judgment entered against him or her in any action brought by the department or the Department of Legal Affairs under this chapter or ss. 501.201-501.213, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

(9) Each mover and moving broker shall provide evidence of the current and valid insurance or alternative coverages required under s. 507.04.

History.—s. 3, ch. 2002-53; s. 12, ch. 2003-132; s. 566, ch. 2003-261; s. 5, ch. 2006-4; s. 2, ch. 2011-121.

507.04 Required insurance coverages; liability limitations; valuation coverage.—

(1) LIABILITY INSURANCE.—

(a)1. Except as provided in paragraph (b), each mover operating in this state must maintain current and valid liability insurance coverage of at least $10,000 per shipment for the loss or damage of household goods resulting from the negligence of the mover or its employees or agents.

2. The mover must provide the department with evidence of liability insurance coverage before the mover is registered with the department under s. 507.03. All insurance coverage maintained by a mover must remain in effect throughout the mover’s registration period. A mover’s failure to maintain insurance coverage in accordance with this paragraph constitutes an immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare. If a mover fails to maintain insurance coverage, the department may immediately suspend the mover’s registration or eligibility for registration, and the mover must immediately cease operating as a mover in this state. In addition, and notwithstanding the availability of any administrative relief pursuant to chapter 120, the department may seek from the appropriate circuit court an immediate injunction prohibiting the mover from operating in this state until the mover complies with this paragraph, a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000, and court costs.

(b) A mover that operates two or fewer vehicles, in lieu of maintaining the liability insurance coverage required under paragraph (a), may, and each moving broker must, maintain one of the following alternative coverages:

1. A performance bond in the amount of $25,000, for which the surety of the bond must be a surety company authorized to conduct business in this state; or

2. A certificate of deposit in a Florida banking institution in the amount of $25,000.

The original bond or certificate of deposit must be filed with the department and must designate the department as the sole beneficiary. The department must use the bond or certificate of deposit exclusively for the payment of claims to consumers who are injured by the fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, misfeasance, malfeasance, or financial failure of the mover or moving broker or by a violation of this chapter by the mover or broker. Liability for these injuries may be determined in an administrative proceeding of the department or through a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction. However, claims against the bond or certificate of deposit must only be paid, in amounts not to exceed the determined liability for these injuries, by order of the department in an administrative proceeding. The bond or certificate of deposit is subject to successive claims, but the aggregate amount of these claims may not exceed the amount of the bond or certificate of deposit.

(2) MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE.—Each mover operating in this state must maintain current and valid motor vehicle insurance coverage, including combined bodily injury and property damage liability coverage in the following minimum amounts:

(a) Fifty thousand dollars per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of less than 35,000 pounds.

(b) One hundred thousand dollars per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of 35,000 pounds or more, but less than 44,000 pounds.

(c) Three hundred thousand dollars per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross weight of 44,000 pounds or more.

(3) INSURANCE COVERAGES.—The insurance coverages required under paragraph (1)(a) and subsection (2) must be issued by an insurance company or carrier licensed to transact business in this state under the Florida Insurance Code as designated in s. 624.01. The department shall require a mover to present a certificate of insurance of the required coverages before issuance or renewal of a registration certificate under s. 507.03. The department shall be named as a certificateholder in the certificate and must be notified at least 10 days before cancellation of insurance coverage.

(4) LIABILITY LIMITATIONS; VALUATION RATES.—A mover may not limit its liability for the loss or damage of household goods to a valuation rate that is less than 60 cents per pound per article. A provision of a contract for moving services is void if the provision limits a mover’s liability to a valuation rate that is less than the minimum rate under this subsection. If a mover limits its liability for a shipper’s goods, the mover must disclose the limitation, including the valuation rate, to the shipper in writing at the time that the estimate and contract for services are executed and before any moving or accessorial services are provided. The disclosure must also inform the shipper of the opportunity to purchase valuation coverage if the mover offers that coverage under subsection (5).

(5) VALUATION COVERAGE.—A mover may offer valuation coverage to compensate a shipper for the loss or damage of the shipper’s household goods that are lost or damaged during a household move. If a mover offers valuation coverage, the coverage must indemnify the shipper for at least the minimum valuation rate required under subsection (4). The mover must disclose the terms of the coverage to the shipper in writing at the time that the estimate and contract for services are executed and before any moving or accessorial services are provided. The disclosure must inform the shipper of the cost of the valuation coverage, the valuation rate of the coverage, and the opportunity to reject the coverage. If valuation coverage compensates a shipper for at least the minimum valuation rate required under subsection (4), the coverage satisfies the mover’s liability for the minimum valuation rate.

History.—s. 4, ch. 2002-53; s. 13, ch. 2003-132; s. 6, ch. 2006-4; s. 25, ch. 2012-67.

507.05 Estimates and contracts for service.—Before providing any moving or accessorial services, a contract and estimate must be provided to a prospective shipper in writing, must be signed and dated by the shipper and the mover, and must include:

(1) The name, telephone number, and physical address where the mover’s employees are available during normal business hours.

(2) The date the contract or estimate is prepared and any proposed date of the move.

(3) The name and address of the shipper, the addresses where the articles are to be picked up and delivered, and a telephone number where the shipper may be reached.

(4) The name, telephone number, and physical address of any location where the goods will be held pending further transportation, including situations where the mover retains possession of goods pending resolution of a fee dispute with the shipper.

(5) An itemized breakdown and description and total of all costs and services for loading, transportation or shipment, unloading, and accessorial services to be provided during a household move or storage of household goods.

(6) Acceptable forms of payment. A mover shall accept a minimum of two of the three following forms of payment:

(a) Cash, cashier’s check, money order, or traveler’s check;

(b) Valid personal check, showing upon its face the name and address of the shipper or authorized representative; or

(c) Valid credit card, which shall include, but not be limited to, Visa or MasterCard.

A mover must clearly and conspicuously disclose to the shipper in the estimate and contract for services the forms of payments the mover will accept, including the forms of payment described in paragraphs (a)-(c).

History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-53; s. 64, ch. 2003-1; s. 7, ch. 2006-4.

507.06 Delivery and storage of household goods.—

(1) A mover must relinquish household goods to a shipper and must place the goods inside a shipper’s dwelling or, if directed by the shipper, inside a storehouse or warehouse that is owned or rented by the shipper or the shipper’s agent, unless the shipper has not tendered payment in the amount specified in a written contract or estimate signed and dated by the shipper. A mover may not refuse to relinquish prescription medicines and goods for use by children, including children’s furniture, clothing, or toys, under any circumstances.

(2) A mover may not refuse to relinquish household goods to a shipper or fail to place the goods inside a shipper’s dwelling or, if directed by the shipper, inside a storehouse or warehouse that is owned or rented by the shipper or the shipper’s agent, based on the mover’s refusal to accept an acceptable form of payment.

(3) A mover that lawfully fails to relinquish a shipper’s household goods may place the goods in storage until payment is tendered; however, the mover must notify the shipper of the location where the goods are stored and the amount due within 5 days after receipt of a written request for that information from the shipper, which request must include the address where the shipper may receive the notice. A mover may not require a prospective shipper to waive any rights or requirements under this section.

History.—s. 6, ch. 2002-53; s. 8, ch. 2006-4.

507.07 Violations.—It is a violation of this chapter to:

(1) Conduct business as a mover or moving broker, or advertise to engage in the business of moving or offering to move, without being registered with the department.

(2) Knowingly make any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, document, or record required to be submitted or retained under this chapter.

(3) Misrepresent or deceptively represent:

(a) The contract for services, bill of lading, or inventory of household goods for the move estimated.

(b) The timeframe or schedule for delivery or storage of household goods estimated.

(c) The price, size, nature, extent, qualities, or characteristics of accessorial or moving services offered.

(d) The nature or extent of other goods, services, or amenities offered.

(e) A shipper’s rights, privileges, or benefits.

(4) Fail to honor and comply with all provisions of the contract for services or bill of lading regarding the purchaser’s rights, benefits, and privileges thereunder.

(5) Withhold delivery of household goods or in any way hold goods in storage against the expressed wishes of the shipper if payment has been made as delineated in the estimate or contract for services.

(6)(a) Include in any contract any provision purporting to waive or limit any right or benefit provided to shippers under this chapter.

(b) Seek or solicit a waiver or acceptance of limitation from a shipper concerning rights or benefits provided under this chapter.

(c) Use a local mailing address, registration facility, drop box, or answering service in the promotion, advertising, solicitation, or sale of contracts, unless the mover’s, and, if applicable, the moving broker’s, fixed business address is clearly disclosed during any telephone solicitation and is prominently and conspicuously disclosed on all solicitation materials and on the contract.

(d) Commit any other act of fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to disclose a material fact.

(e) Refuse or fail, or for any of the mover’s or broker’s principal officers to refuse or fail, after notice, to produce any document or record or disclose any information required to be produced or disclosed.

(f) Knowingly make a false statement in response to any request or investigation by the department, the Department of Legal Affairs, or the state attorney.

History.—s. 7, ch. 2002-53; s. 9, ch. 2006-4; s. 3, ch. 2011-121.

507.08 Deceptive and unfair trade practice.—Acts, conduct, practices, omissions, failings, misrepresentations, or nondisclosures committed in violation of this chapter are deceptive and unfair trade practices under ss. 501.201-501.213, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and administrative rules adopted in accordance with the act.

History.—s. 8, ch. 2002-53; s. 10, ch. 2006-4.

507.09 Administrative remedies; penalties.—

(1) The department may enter an order doing one or more of the following if the department finds that a mover or moving broker, or a person employed or contracted by a mover or broker, has violated or is operating in violation of this chapter or the rules or orders issued in accordance with this chapter:

(a) Issuing a notice of noncompliance under s. 120.695.

(b) Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each act or omission.

(c) Directing that the person cease and desist specified activities.

(d) Refusing to register or revoking or suspending a registration.

(e) Placing the registrant on probation for a period of time, subject to the conditions specified by the department.

(2) The administrative proceedings which could result in the entry of an order imposing any of the penalties specified in subsection (1) are governed by chapter 120.

(3) The department may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer this chapter.

History.—s. 9, ch. 2002-53; s. 11, ch. 2006-4.

507.10 Civil penalties; remedies.—

(1) The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover any penalties or damages authorized in this chapter and for injunctive relief to enforce compliance with this chapter.

(2) The department may seek a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation of this chapter.

(3) The department may seek restitution for and on behalf of any shipper aggrieved or injured by a violation of this chapter.

(4) Any provision in a contract for services or bill of lading from a mover or moving broker that purports to waive, limit, restrict, or avoid any of the duties, obligations, or prescriptions of the mover or broker, as provided in this chapter, is void.

(5) The remedies provided in this chapter are in addition to any other remedies available for the same conduct, including those provided in local ordinances.

(6) Upon motion of the department in any action brought under this chapter, the court may make appropriate orders, including appointment of a master or receiver or sequestration of assets, to reimburse shippers found to have been damaged, to carry out a consumer transaction in accordance with the shipper’s reasonable expectations, or to grant other appropriate relief.

History.—s. 10, ch. 2002-53; s. 12, ch. 2006-4.

507.11 Criminal penalties.—

(1) The refusal of a mover or a mover’s employee, agent, or contractor to comply with an order from a law enforcement officer to relinquish a shipper’s household goods after the officer determines that the shipper has tendered payment of the amount of a written estimate or contract, or after the officer determines that the mover did not produce a signed estimate or contract upon which demand is being made for payment, is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. A mover’s compliance with an order from a law enforcement officer to relinquish goods to a shipper is not a waiver or finding of fact regarding any right to seek further payment from the shipper.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (1), any person or business that violates this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

History.—s. 11, ch. 2002-53; s. 13, ch. 2006-4.

507.12 General Inspection Trust Fund; payments.—Any moneys recovered by the department as a penalty under this chapter shall be deposited in the General Inspection Trust Fund.

History.—s. 12, ch. 2002-53; s. 14, ch. 2006-4.

507.13 Local regulation.—

(1)(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), this chapter preempts a local ordinance or regulation of a county or municipality which regulates transactions relating to movers of household goods or moving brokers.

(b) This chapter does not preempt an ordinance or regulation originally enacted by a county before January 1, 2011, or a subsequent amendment to such an ordinance or regulation. However, registration fees required by such an ordinance or regulation must be reasonable and may not exceed the cost of administering the ordinance or regulation. In addition, registration and bonding may be required only of a mover or moving broker whose principal place of business is located within that county’s jurisdiction.

(c) This section does not preempt a local government’s authority to levy a local business tax pursuant to chapter 205.

(2) The department may enter into a cooperative agreement with any county or municipality which provides for the referral, investigation, and prosecution of consumer complaints alleging violations of this chapter.

History.—s. 13, ch. 2002-53; s. 15, ch. 2006-4; s. 4, ch. 2011-121.

 

 

Copyright © 1995-2013 The Florida Legislature

 

 

Interstate Moving Valuation Options

Page for the following info: http://www.800helpfla.com/movingins.html

Protecting Your Household Goods - Valuation and Insurance Options for Interstate Moving

Are you moving? There's a lot at stake when you move. There's the money you'll spend. The memories you're taking from one place to another. And, of course, there's your possessions, like furniture, family pictures and children's toys. When you move, your personal property – including valuables – is loaded onto a moving truck. And while most moves go smoothly, accidents do happen and some items may be lost or damaged during shipment.

Your mover is liable for the value of the goods you ask them to transport. But there are different levels of liability, and the one you choose will determine the type and amount of reimbursement you'll receive if an item is lost or damaged. You should be aware of the various types of protection available and the charges for each option.

The two different levels of liability movers are required to provide are explained below and in Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move, a booklet movers are required by Federal regulations to provide to interstate moving customers. Be sure to read this information carefully and follow the instructions provided to declare a value on your shipment.

What are your Options?

Under Federal law, interstate movers offer two different liability options, referred to as valuation coverage: Full Value Protection and Released Value.

Full Value Protection

Under Full Value Protection, your mover is liable for the replacement value of lost or damaged goods in your entire shipment. This is the more comprehensive plan available for the protection of your belongings. Unless you select the alternative level of liability described below – Released Value – your mover will transport your shipment under the Full Value Protection level of liability. If any article is lost, destroyed or damaged while in your mover's custody, your mover will, at its discretion, offer to do one of the following for each item:

• Repair the item;

• Replace with a similar item; or

• Make a cash settlement for the cost of the repair or the current market replacement value.

Under this option, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents. An article of extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound (i.e., jewelry, silverware, china, furs, antiques, etc.). Ask your mover for a complete explanation of this limitation before your move.

The exact cost for Full Value Protection varies by mover and may be subject to various deductible levels of liability that may reduce your cost. Ask your mover for details of their Full Value Protection plan.

Released Value

Released value is the most economical protection available, since it is offered at no charge. However, the protection is minimal. Under this option, the mover assumes liability for no more than 60 cents per pound, per article. For example, if your mover lost or damaged a 10-pound stereo component valued at $1,000, you would only receive $6.00 in compensation (60 cents x 10 pounds).

There is no additional charge for Released Value. However you must sign a specific statement on the bill of lading or contract agreeing to it. But remember, it compensates you according to the weight of the item, not its actual value.

Full Value Protection and Released Value are not insurance policies governed by State insurance laws, but instead are Federal contractual tariff levels of liability authorized under Released Rates Orders of the Surface Transportation Board of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Third-Party Insurance

If you select Released Value, some movers may also offer to sell or obtain for you separate liability insurance. The cost of this insurance is not included in the basic move and must be purchased separately by you. This is not valuation coverage governed by Federal law – it is optional insurance regulated by State law.

If you purchase this coverage, the mover remains liable for the amount up to 60 cents per pound per article, but the rest of the loss is recoverable from the insurance company up to the amount of insurance you've purchased. Your mover is required to issue the policy or other written record of the purchase and provide you with a copy at the time of purchase.

You can also purchase insurance from a third-party insurance company. Before purchasing insurance, check your homeowner's insurance policy to see if you're already covered.

Additional Considerations

Some of your actions may limit your mover's liability. These include:

• Packing perishable, dangerous or hazardous materials in your household goods without your mover's knowledge.

• Choosing Released Value coverage when your household goods are valued at more than 60 cents per pound per article.

• Failing to notify your mover in writing about articles of extraordinary value.

Do not sign a delivery receipt for your household goods if it contains any language about releasing or discharging your mover or its agents from liability. By law, you have nine months to file a claim. Strike out this kind of language or refuse delivery until a proper receipt is provided.

Report loss and damage promptly. You have nine months following either the date of delivery, or the date on which the shipment should have been delivered, to file a claim.

Interstate movers are required to participate in a dispute resolution or arbitration program to address your loss and damage claims. If your mover does not provide you with information on its program, ask for it – movers are required to provide a concise, easy-to-read summary.

If You're Moving within Florida

Florida Intrastate Moving

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates intrastate movers of household goods within the State of Florida. The primary purpose of the Moving Services Act is to protect Florida residents from deceptive business practices common to some moving companies. This act is also designed to protect the moving companies who have a history of providing quality services to the residents of Florida.

Key Terms

 

Bill of Lading

The receipt for your goods and the contract for their transportation. The inventory lists and describes all of the items the mover is shipping for you.

Extraordinary Value or High Value Article

An article of high or extraordinary value is any item whose value exceeds $100 per pound.

Hazardous Materials

Explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Many common household items are considered hazardous materials. These include nail polish remover, paints, paint thinners, lighter fluid, gasoline, propane cylinders, and automotive repair and maintenance chemicals.

Intrastate Move

A move in which goods are transported from one point to another within the same state; no state borders are crossed.

Interstate Move

A move in which goods are transported from one state to another.

Tariff

A list of rules, regulations, available services and resulting charges. Each mover publishes its own tariffs and these must be provided to you upon request.

Valuation

The degree of worth of your shipment.

Palm Beach County Moving Ordinances

 

Sec. 17-281. Short title.

This article shall be known as the "Palm Beach County Moving Ordinance."

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 1, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-282. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:

Accessorial (additional) services shall mean any service performed by a mover which results in a charge to the shipper and is incidental to the transportation service; including, but not limited to: valuation coverage; preparation of written inventory; equipment, including dollies, hand trucks, pads, blankets, and straps; storage; packing; unpacking; or crating of articles; hoisting or lowering; waiting time; long carry (carrying articles excessive distances between the mover's vehicle and the residence); overtime loading and unloading; reweighing; disassembly or reassembly; elevator or stair carrying; boxing or servicing of appliances; and furnishing of packing or crating materials. Accessorial services also include services not performed by the mover but by a third party at the request of the shipper or mover, if the charges for such services are to be paid to the mover by the shipper at or prior to the time of delivery.

Advertising shall mean to advise, announce, give notice of, publish, or call attention by use of oral, written, or graphic statement made in a newspaper, telephone directories or other publication or on radio or television, any electronic medium, or contained in any notice, handbill, sign, including signage on the vehicle, flyer, catalog or letter, or printed on or contained in any tag or label (excluding inventory labels) attached to or accompanying any good.

Broker shall mean one who acts as an agent, whether independently or on behalf of, any moving company in negotiating, providing estimates or contracting for household moving services.

Commission shall mean the board of county commissioners of the county.

Compensation shall mean money, fee, emolument, quid pro quo, barter, remuneration, pay, reward, indemnification, or satisfaction.

Contract for service/bill of lading shall mean a written document prepared by the mover and approved by the shipper in writing, prior to the performance of any service, which authorizes services from the named mover and lists the services and all costs associated with the transportation of household goods and accessorial services to be performed on behalf of the shipper.

DCA shall mean the county division of consumer affairs or any other title approved for this organization by the commission.

Director shall mean the director of the county division of consumer affairs or his or her designee.

Estimate shall mean a written document provided to the prospective shipper which sets forth the total cost and the basis of said costs related to a shipper's move, which shall include, but not be limited to, transportation or accessorial services.

Household goods shall mean personal effects or other personal property found in a home, personal residence, storage facility, or other location, where the shipper is the owner or agent of the owner of the items. This definition includes personal property held or found in a storage or warehouse facility which is owned or rented by a shipper or his or her agent. This definition does not include freight or personal property moving to or from a factory, store, or other place of business.

Inventory shall mean a detailed descriptive list of all the goods, furniture, boxes, etc. that are tendered to the mover by the shipper showing the number and condition of each item.

Mover/moving company shall mean any person who engages in the transportation and/or shipment of household goods for compensation or any person, which holds himself out to the general public as engaging in the transportation and/or shipment of household goods for compensation.

Person shall mean both plural and singular as the context demands and shall include individuals, partnerships, corporations, companies, trusts, societies, associations, and any other legal entities whatsoever.

Shipper shall mean any person who utilizes the services of a mover for the transportation and/or shipment of household goods. This term shall include any other person whom the shipper designates in writing.

Storage shall mean warehousing of the shipper's goods while under the care, custody and control of the mover.

Unfair or deceptive trade acts or practices shall mean unfair methods of competition, unconscionable acts or practices, and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any consumer transaction and shall include but are not limited to the following:

(1)

Representations that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits, or quantities which they do not have;

(2)

Representations that a mover or broker has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection which he or she does not have;

(3)

Representations that goods are original or new if in fact they are not, or if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or second-hand;

(4)

Representations that goods are of a particular standard, brand, quality, style, or model, if they are of another;

(5)

Representations that goods or services are those of another, if they are not;

(6)

Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services;

(7)

Advertising goods or services intending not to sell them as advertised;

(8)

Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonable expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity;

(9)

Making false or misleading statements concerning the need for, or necessity of, any goods, services, replacements, or repairs;

(10)

Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representations of fact;

(11)

Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for the existence of, or amounts of price reductions;

(12)

Failing to return or refund deposits or advance payments for goods not delivered or services not rendered, when no default or further obligation of persons making such deposits or advance payments exists;

(13)

Taking consideration for goods or services intending not to deliver such goods or perform such services, or intending to deliver goods or provide services materially different from those contracted for, ordered or sold;

(14)

Offering gifts, prizes, free items, or other gratuities, intending not to provide them as offered in connection with the sale of goods or services to a consumer;

(15)

Making false or misleading statements concerning the existence, terms, or probability of any rebate, additional goods or services, commission, or discount offered as an inducement for the sale of goods or services;

(16)

Using physical force, threat of physical force, or coercion in dealing with consumers;

(17)

Any violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, F.S. § 501.201 et seq.

Vehicle decal shall mean a decal placed upon any moving vehicle granted approval to provide moving services by the DCA.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 2, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-283. Intent and application.

(a)

The provisions of this article shall be construed liberally to promote the following policies:

(1)

To establish county law governing the transportation, shipment and affiliated storage of household goods.

(2)

To address moving practices in the county in a manner not inconsistent with federal law and the laws of this state and county relating to consumer protection.

(b)

The provisions of this article shall apply to the operations of any mover engaged in the intrastate transportation of household goods, except that this article shall not be construed to include shipments contracted by the United States, the state, or any local government or political subdivision thereof. The provisions of this article shall apply to all movers engaged in the transportation of household goods originating and terminating in the county except that movers whose principal place of business is located outside of the county shall not be required to obtain an operating permit or decal from the DCA.

(c)

It is the intent of this article to secure the satisfaction and confidence of shippers and members of the public when utilizing a mover.

(d)

Nothing in this article shall be construed to remove the authority or jurisdiction of any federal, state, or local agency with respect to goods or services regulated or controlled under other provisions of law or ordinance.

(e)

This article does not apply to an act or practice required or specifically permitted by federal or state law.

(f)

All advertisements placed by movers shall furnish the complete business address, telephone number, and county moving permit number of said mover.

(g)

The provisions of this article shall be applicable to the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county. This article shall be effective in municipalities unless the municipality opts out or shall be effective up to the extent of conflict with the municipal ordinance.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 3, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-284. Operating permit and vehicle decal required; denial, suspension, and revocation of permit; hearing; appeals; loss, destruction, mutilation of operating permit; annual renewal.

(a)

No moving company based in the county shall engage in business, solicit business, or advertise as a mover of household goods originating in and terminating in the county without first obtaining an operating permit and vehicle decal(s) from the DCA and maintaining such permit and decal(s) as required herein.

(b)

Each mover shall annually register with the DCA for an operating permit and vehicle decal(s) and provide to the DCA: its legal business and trade name, current mailing address, and current business location for each place from which the mover operates a main office, branch office(s) or storage location(s); a designation of which location constitutes its principal place of business; a copy of the occupational license(s); the full names, current mailing addresses, current telephone numbers, and federal tax identification numbers of its owners or corporate officers and directors; the state registered agent of the corporation or partnership; a statement listing the names of any other corporations, entities, or trade names through which any owner, corporate officer or director of the registrant was known or did business as a mover within the five (5) calendar years immediately preceding the year in which the mover is submitting the application for registration; proof of vehicle liability insurance and general liability insurance; cargo legal liability insurance; the vehicle identification number ("VIN"), license tag number, and gross weight of each commercial motor vehicle operated by the mover; the number of employees who are currently employed; proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage required by F.S. ch. 440, a state certificate of exemption, or a letter from the mover indicating that no such worker's compensation is required by law; and proof of all insurances required by section 17-285 herein.

(c)

Prior to any mover changing its permitted business location, telephone number or registered agent, said mover shall notify the DCA of such change in writing. The permit may be modified upon completion of the required forms and payment of a fee to be established by resolution of the commission.

(d)

No permit shall be valid for any mover under any other name or at any place other than that designated in the permit. A permit is not transferable or assignable, nor shall the ownership structure of the mover be so modified as to constitute a change in the control or ownership of the permit. If the business changes its name or ownership structure, then a new operating permit application and all permit fees shall be submitted to the DCA.

(e)

The DCA shall require any person desiring to obtain a permit as a mover to do so on forms prescribed by the DCA. When obtaining a permit, changing a permit, or renewing a permit, each mover shall furnish to the DCA a nonrefundable fee. All permit fees shall be established by resolution of the commission.

(f)

The DCA shall issue to each mover an operating permit in the form and size prescribed by the DCA. The permit number shall be preceded by "PBC#M". Such permit shall be prominently displayed to the public in the mover's primary place of business. The currently assigned permit number shall appear in all advertising, including telephone listings in any and all telephone directories (except for those occasions when a "business listing" that only includes the company name, address and phone number is gratuitously provided by the telephone directory publisher); on all forms; and on all commercial motor vehicles operated by the mover. The continued use, display, or advertising of an expired permit number shall be a violation of this article.

(g)

The criteria for issuance of an operating permit shall be compliance by the applicant with all the applicable provisions of this article and submission to the DCA of a completed application for permit and applicable fees. Operating permits may be issued by the DCA subject to such conditions, limitations, and restrictions imposed by the DCA as the DCA deems necessary to protect customers and consumers, provided such conditions, limitations, and restrictions are consistent with the provisions of this article. Violation of such a condition, limitation, or restriction of a permit shall be a violation of this article.

(h)

The DCA may deny or refuse to renew the operating permit of any mover based upon a determination that a mover or any of its directors, officers, owners, or general partners:

(1)

Has failed to meet the requirements for initial application or renewal as provided in this section;

(2)

Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud, dishonest dealing, or theft involving transportation and/or storage of household goods for compensation (the DCA is authorized to conduct criminal background checks to obtain such information from the state department of law enforcement or any other government agency);

(3)

Has not satisfied a civil fine or penalty arising out of any administrative or enforcement action brought by any governmental agency or private person based upon conduct involving fraud or dishonest dealing, or any violation of this article;

(4)

Has committed a fraudulent transfer of a moving company as described in section 17-302

(5)

Has had a judgment or administrative order entered against it, him, or her in any action brought by the DCA under the provisions of this article; or

(6)

Has been denied registration by the state department of agriculture and consumer services.

(i)

Any operating permit issued to any mover based upon the presentation by such mover of false identification or information, or identification not current with respect to name, address, and place of employment, or any other fact material to such permit, shall be void.

(j)

The DCA may revoke or suspend an operating permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this article if the DCA determines that the applicant has:

(1)

Violated any provision of this article;

(2)

Misrepresented or concealed a fact on the application, renewal application or replacement application for an operating permit;

(3)

Aided or abetted a person who has not obtained a permit to evade or avoid the provisions of this article;

(4)

Engaged in any conduct as part of the performance of a contract for service which constitutes fraud, misrepresentation, or failure to disclose a material fact;

(5)

Violated any condition, limitation, or restriction of a permit imposed by the DCA;

(6)

Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud, theft or dishonest dealing involving transportation and/or storage of household goods for compensation;

(7)

Failed to comply with the terms of a cease and desist order, notice to correct a violation, written assurance of voluntary compliance, or any other lawful order of the director, the DCA, or the consumer affairs hearing board and/or hearing officer; or

(8)

Failed to obtain or maintain insurance as required by this article.

(k)

Two (2) or more violations of the following provisions of this article which result in civil fines/penalties, judgments or administrative orders entered by the DCA and/or a conviction or plea of guilty or nolo contendere may result in the revocation, suspension or denial of the operating permit: subsection 17-284(f), subsection 17-284(g)(2), subsection 17-284(o), section 17-285, section 17-286, subsection 17-288(a), subsection 17-288(b)(5), section 17-289, section 17-290(b), section 17-293, subsection 17-295(a), subsection 17-295(c), subsection 17-296(a), subsection 17-296(f), and/or subsection 17-298(d).

(l)

Upon denial, revocation, or suspension of a permit, the mover shall be entitled to an appeal according to the following:

(1)

Administrative appeal. Any moving company, which has had an operating permit, denied, revoked, or suspended by the DCA, may appeal such decision to the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within twenty (20) days of receipt of the decision. A nonrefundable filing fee must accompany the written request for appeal. The filing fee shall be established by resolution of the commission. The appeal shall be reviewed at a hearing of the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within sixty (60) days of receipt by the division of the request for appeal.

(2)

Administrative appeal—Insurance. When an operating permit has been suspended or revoked for failure of the mover to obtain or maintain required insurance and the mover wishes to appeal the suspension/revocation, the moving company may appeal such decision to the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within five (5) days of receipt of the decision. The appeal shall be heard by the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within ten (10) days of receipt of the written appeal. A nonrefundable filing fee must accompany the written request for appeal. The filing fee shall be established by resolution of the commission. When the operating permit of a moving company has been denied, suspended or revoked, all household moves by that moving company shall immediately cease and all funds or deposits received by the moving company shall be returned to the shipper.

(3)

Orders. At the conclusion of any hearing set forth in this section, the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer shall orally render its decision (order) based on evidence entered into the record. The decision shall be by motion approved by the affirmative vote of those members present and voting. The decision shall be stated in a written order and mailed to the moving company no later than ten (10) days after the hearing, and shall be deemed final agency action with regard to the matter appealed.

(4)

Court appeal. Any person may appeal a final determination of the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within thirty (30) days of the rendition of the decision by filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for the county.

(m)

In the event of loss, destruction, or mutilation of an operating permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this article by the DCA, the person to whom the operating permit was issued may obtain a replacement thereof upon furnishing satisfactory proof of loss, destruction, or mutilation to the DCA and payment of the applicable fee established by resolution of the commission. Applications for a replacement-operating permit shall include the following information:

(1)

Name and address of the applicant;

(2)

A verified explanation of the loss, destruction, or mutilation of the operating permit; and

(3)

Such other items and information as may be required by the DCA.

(n)

All moving permits shall be renewed annually. As part of the renewal process, the previous year's application shall be updated and verified by the applicant. Each updated renewal application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee, which shall be established by resolution of the commission. All monies received shall be deposited in a separate county fund and shall be used to accomplish the purposes of this article. All moving permits, which are not renewed, shall automatically expire upon the expiration date of the permit, as stated on the permit, and all moving and storage services permitted thereunder shall cease immediately. The director shall deny renewal applications that are not timely, are incomplete, are untrue in whole, or in part, are not accompanied by the required nonrefundable fees or results in a determination by the director that an applicant has failed to satisfy the requirements of this article.

(o)

Each permitted moving company shall obtain a decal from the DCA for each vehicle used for moving household goods. A nonrefundable vehicle decal fee shall be remitted to the DCA in an amount established by resolution of the commission along with a complete description of each vehicle. Upon issuance of a vehicle decal, such decal shall be affixed to the lower left corner of the front window in the vehicle at all times. The vehicle decal remains the property of the county and shall be used only under the authority of the DCA. Annual replacement vehicle decals shall be obtained upon application to the DCA evidencing continued compliance with the provisions of this article, and payment of a fee in an amount established by resolution of the commission. No vehicle decal may be sold, assigned, or otherwise transferred. If a vehicle is destroyed or sold, the mover must remove said vehicle decal (if in existence) and surrender the remains to the DCA. A nonrefundable fee for replacing decals shall be established by resolution of the commission.

Vehicle decals used by moving companies for short-term rental vehicles must be affixed to the magnetic sign as required in section 17-286.

(p)

Each vehicle decal and moving permit issued pursuant to this section shall be valid and effective for one (1) year, terminating on May 31 of each year. Failure to submit a moving permit application and the required fees for renewal by April 30 of each year will result in the assessment of a nonrefundable late fee. The late fee shall be established by a resolution of the commission.

Upon submission of an application, the DCA may provide the mover with a receipt which shall constitute a provisional moving permit and shall be valid for no longer than forty-five (45) calendar days or until the issuance or denial of the moving permit, whichever comes first.

Movers failing to submit a complete and true application within thirty (30) calendar days after the DCA's receipt of the application, shall be denied a moving permit. Within ten (10) business days of receipt of the DCA's notice of denial, such movers may refile a complete and true application and pay a nonrefundable re-filing fee established by a resolution of the commission. Failure to refile an application within this ten-day period will result in the mover being required to submit a new application and repaying the nonrefundable permit fee and vehicle decal fees.

(q)

Moving companies that are new and opening for business for the first time and desire to operate in the county must secure an operating permit and follow the permitting procedures described in this section prior to conducting business. If there are six (6) months or less remaining before the annual renewal period, the fee for the operating permit shall be fifty (50) percent of the approved fee, otherwise all other fees are applicable.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 4, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-285. Evidence of cargo legal liability and motor vehicle insurance coverage.

(a)

The minimum amounts of cargo legal liability insurance and motor vehicle insurance coverage provided by movers shall be as follows:

(1)

Cargo legal liability insurance coverage for loss or damage to household goods in the amount of no less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) in or on any one (1) vehicle.

(2)

Motor vehicle combined bodily injury and property damage liability insurance, covering all owned and hired vehicles, which shall be issued by an insurance carrier or company which is a participant in the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association and which shall be in accordance with the following:

a.

One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds.

b.

Two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds or more, but less than forty-four thousand (44,000) pounds.

c.

One million dollars ($1,000,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of forty-four (44,000) pounds or more.

(b)

A properly completed certificate of insurance evidencing all insurance coverages shall be made available to the DCA upon application for an operational permit. In addition, the policy shall provide an endorsement providing for thirty (30) days written notice to the DCA of any material change, expiration or cancellation of the policy. Certificates of insurance must contain the following name and address as the certificate holder:

Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County

c/o Division of Consumer Affairs

50 South Military Trail, Suite 201

West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Evidence of the renewal of the policy shall be filed with the DCA prior to such policy's expiration date. Failure to file such evidence of insurance, or failure to have same in full force and effect, may result in denial, revocation or suspension of the permit, a denial of renewal of such permit, issuance of a civil citation, a misdemeanor conviction or other such remedies available to the DCA herein. The insurance carrier or company must qualify as an insurance company authorized to transact insurance in the state.

(c)

Moving companies renting or acquiring moving vehicles for short-term/temporary use must provide proof that the required minimum cargo legal liability insurance is applicable to such short-term/temporary use vehicles.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 5, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-286. Moving vehicles signage.

Each moving vehicle must clearly display on the exterior of the driver and passenger side in contrasting colors permanently affixed letters that are at least two (2) inches high for the moving company's name and permit number and at least one and one-quarter (1¼) inches high for the moving company's physical address and telephone number. If the short-term use of a rental vehicle by a moving company is necessary, at a minimum, the same information and requirements must be affixed to the vehicle through the use of magnetic signs. Decals used for short-term rental vehicles must be affixed to the magnetic signs.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 6, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-287. Estimates of moving costs.

(a)

A mover shall provide to a prospective shipper a written estimate of the costs, which will be charged, for the transportation, and accessorial (additional) services incidental to the move of said prospective shipper's household goods. No mover shall charge for preparing an estimate unless, prior to preparing the estimate, the mover:

(1)

Clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the prospective shipper the amount of the charge for the preparation of the estimate or, if the amount cannot be determined, the complete basis upon which the charge will be calculated; and

(2)

Obtains the prospective shipper's written authorization to prepare an estimate.

(b)

It is a violation of this article for a mover to require a prospective shipper to waive his or her right to a written estimate. A prospective shipper cannot waive his or her right to a written estimate.

(c)

The written estimate provided to the prospective shipper shall, at a minimum, include the following:

(1)

The current name, telephone number, permit number and physical address, of the mover at which employees of the mover are available during normal business hours;

(2)

The name and address of the shipper, including the addresses at which the items are to be picked up and delivered, if known, and, if available, a telephone number where the shipper may be reached;

(3)

The name, telephone number, and physical address of the storage facility/warehouse where the goods will be held pending further transportation, if applicable;

(4)

A complete breakdown and description of all costs and services for transportation and accessorial (additional) services to be provided during the move and/or storage of household goods. The mover shall provide a total of all costs to the shipper;

(5)

The method of payment, subject to the provisions of section 17-293 (an alternative is to use the county household moving company disclosures form); and

(6)

A statement regarding the mover's limitation of liability, subject to the provisions of section 17-295 (an alternative is to use the county household moving company disclosures form):

PURSUANT TO COUNTY ORDINANCE THE MOVING COMPANY IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A WRITTEN ESTIMATE OF THE TOTAL COST OF YOUR MOVE. IT IS A VIOLATION OF COUNTY ORDINANCE FOR A MOVER TO FAIL TO RELINQUISH HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND TO FAIL TO PLACE THE GOODS INSIDE YOUR DWELLING WHEN PAYMENT IS TENDERED IN THE AMOUNT SPECIFIED IN THE WRITTEN ESTIMATE. PLEASE REVIEW THIS DOCUMENT TO MAKE SURE THE ESTIMATE IS COMPLETE

(d)

Prior to performing any transportation or accessorial (additional) service, a copy of the estimate, signed by the mover, shall be delivered to the prospective shipper. In addition, the mover shall maintain a copy as part of its records.

(e)

Nothing in this article shall be construed to require a prospective shipper to enter into a contract for service with a mover based upon the issuance of an estimate.

(f)

The estimate and disclosure may be provided on the same form as the contract for service.

(g)

No mover shall provide an oral estimate to any prospective shipper without subsequently providing an estimate in written form as required by this article. If a mover utilizes the services of a broker, the mover shall accept the broker's estimate.

(h)

It is a violation of this article to fail to comply with this section.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 7, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-288. Contract for service/bill of lading.

(a)

Prior to the performance of any service by a mover on behalf of a shipper, the mover shall prepare a written contract for service which shall be approved, signed, timed and dated by the shipper (or the shipper's agent) and the mover with a copy provided to the shipper.

(b)

A contract for service shall clearly and conspicuously disclose, at a minimum, the following:

(1)

The current name, telephone number, permit number and physical address of the mover at which employees of the mover are on duty during business hours;

(2)

The name and address of the shipper, including the addresses at which the items are to be picked up and delivered, and, if available, a telephone number where the shipper may be reached;

(3)

The name, telephone number, and physical address of the storage facility/warehouse where the goods will be held pending further transportation, if applicable;

(4)

The agreed pickup and delivery dates, or the period of time within which pickup, delivery, or the entire move will be accomplished;

(5)

A complete breakdown and description of all costs and services for transportation and accessorial (additional) services to be provided during a move and/or storage of household goods. The mover shall provide a total of all costs to the shipper;

(6)

The method of payment, subject to the provisions of section 17-293

(7)

The maximum amount required to be paid by the shipper to the mover at the time of delivery, subject to the provisions of section 17-290

(8)

The name and telephone number of any other person who may authorize pickup or delivery of any items to be transported, if the shipper designates such person in writing;

(9)

A statement regarding the mover's limitation of liability, subject to the provisions of section 17-295

(10)

A brief description of the mover's procedures for complaint handling which shall include a physical address and telephone number at which the shipper may contact the mover; and

(11)

If the cost for services provided is based on weight, a statement, which provides that the shipper has a right to observe any weighing before and after loading. All goods shall be weighed on a state certified scale and weight tickets shall be retained and supplied to the shipper and the DCA upon request.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 8, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-289. Disclosure statement required.

The disclosures included in this section and section 17-295 shall be provided to the shipper either in the contract for service or through the county household moving company disclosures form. The disclosures must be printed in letters of at least a twelve-point type. The household moving company disclosures must be signed by the shipper and mover prior to the signing of the contract for service. Disclosures/forms should be given to the shipper for review when the written estimate is provided. Disclosure documents must be signed by all parties before any work is performed. An executed copy shall be provided to the shipper and the original shall be kept and maintained by the mover. The disclosures required are:

A.

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

If you have questions or complaints unable to be resolved by the moving company, please contact the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division, TELEPHONE: 561-712-6600 (Boca/Glades toll free 1-888-852-7362). Website: www.pbcgov.com/consumer (or current phone numbers and website address as may be changed from time to time).

B.

Contract for Service

This contract for service is required and must include all of the terms and costs associated with your move. You are required to disclose all relevant information about your move to the moving company. Do not sign the contract unless it is given to you prior to wrapping, packing or loading your goods or if the total cost of your move is not clearly shown. You are entitled to a completed/signed copy of the contract. The moving company is required to deliver your goods inside your dwelling or designated area when you pay no more than the maximum amount stated in the contract.

C.

Form of Payment

Your moving company must accept at least two of the following payment methods:

____________ Cash (Includes cashier's check, money order or traveler's check)

____________ Personal Check (Must show imprinted name and address)

____________ Credit Card (Must include but is not limited to VISA or MasterCard)

D.

Inventory

A written inventory of your household goods is required to be prepared by the moving company at no additional charge when: 1) the move is not performed point-to-point, 2) your goods are placed in storage, 3) your goods are not delivered on the same day they were picked up or 4) more than one consumer's goods are on the same moving vehicle. The written inventory must be signed by the moving company representative and you or your designated representative. In other circumstances, you may request an inventory and the moving company may charge for preparing the inventory after clearly and conspicuously disclosing in writing the charge.

E.

Damage or Other Claim

You have up to sixty (60) days after the completion of the delivery of your household goods to notify the moving company, in writing, of any claim for loss, damage, or delay in relation to your move. This does not limit any other legal remedy available to you.

F.

ALTERNATIVE DISCLOSURE FORM

The DCA shall have authority to establish an alternative disclosure form(s) as long as the alternative disclosure form(s) complies with the essential elements of the disclosure requirements of this article.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 9, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-290. Charges in excess of written estimate; unlawful charges; refusal to relinquish goods prohibited.

(a)

It shall be a violation of this article for a mover to fail to relinquish household goods and/or to fail to place the goods inside the shipper's dwelling when payment is tendered in the amount specified in the written estimate or contract/bill of lading. A mover shall not demand payment until the contracted shipment arrives at the destination and prior to unloading the household goods. A mover may not refuse to relinquish prescription medicines and goods for use by children, including children's furniture, clothing, or toys, under any circumstances.

(b)

It shall be a violation of this article for a mover to fail to relinquish to a shipper any or all of the shipper's household goods or to fail to complete in a timely manner all transportation and accessorial (additional) services required to be performed pursuant to the contract for service. Any change orders must be initialed by the shipper.

(c)

Circumstances preventing the mover from obtaining reasonable access to the place of origin and/or destination, and for which the mover had no prior knowledge, may result in a change order/addendum to the contract. The mover shall provide a written explanation of such excess charges to the shipper along with the total cost of the additional service(s), which shall be authorized and signed by the shipper. It shall be a violation of this article to withhold delivery of household goods if payment has been made as delineated in the contract for service.

(d)

A mover that lawfully fails to relinquish a shipper's household goods may place the goods in storage until payment is tendered; however, the mover must notify the shipper of the location where the goods are stored and the amount due within five (5) days after receipt of a written request for that information from the shipper which request must include the address where the shipper may receive the notice. A mover may not require a prospective shipper to waive any rights or requirements under this article.

(e)

If a mover requires a shipper to pay a deposit, said deposit shall be disclosed in writing on the estimate and/or contract/bill of lading and in no event shall the deposit exceed twenty (20) percent of the total estimate or contract/bill of lading. A mover who accepts a deposit shall be obligated to conduct the move pursuant to the terms of the estimate and/or contract/bill of lading and shall not be permitted to broker the move. If the shipper cancels forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled or proposed date of the services, the moving company shall return all deposits.

(f)

In the event the moving company cancels or attempts to reschedule the move, the moving company shall refund to the shipper all monies paid including but not limited to, deposits, charges for estimates, and inventory, unless the shipper agrees to reschedule the move. Nothing herein shall prevent the shipper from pursuing legal action based on the mover's failure to conduct the move.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 19, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-291. Brokers.

(a)

Brokers shall comply with the terms of this article, including but not limited to section 17-287, and shall be held responsible for any violations of this article.

(b)

Brokers shall only utilize the services of a moving company permitted or registered to conduct household moves by the DCA and/or the state.

(c)

A broker may provide estimates on behalf of the mover, however, the mover shall adopt the broker's estimate as a mover issued estimate and incorporate it into the contract for service and/or bill of lading for purposes of compliance with this article.

(d)

At least seventy-two (72) hours prior to the move, the broker shall provide written disclosure to the shipper that the move will be brokered and provide the name, physical address, phone number and contact person of the permitted/registered moving company actually performing the household move. The shipper may cancel the move at his or her discretion and the broker shall refund all monies paid.

(e)

A broker shall provide to a prospective shipper a written estimate of the costs, which will be charged, for the transportation, and accessorial (additional) services incidental to the move of said prospective shipper's household goods. No broker shall charge for preparing an estimate unless, prior to preparing the estimate, the broker clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the prospective shipper the amount of the charge for the preparation of the estimate.

(f)

It is a violation of this article for a broker to require a prospective shipper to waive his or her right to a written estimate. A prospective shipper cannot waive his or her right to a written estimate.

(g)

The written estimate provided to the prospective shipper shall, at a minimum, include the requirements from subsections 17-287(c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of this article.

(h)

In the event a different mover appears on the scene other than the mover identified in the written estimate, the new mover shall be required to adhere to the same terms as defined in the written estimate and must secure the approval of the shipper in order to conduct the move. Failure of the new mover to conduct the move as defined in the written estimate is a violation of this article.

(i)

It is a violation of this article to fail to comply with this section.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 11, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-292. Inventory.

A written inventory of the shipper's household goods shall be prepared by the mover at no additional charge to the shipper when:

(1)

The move is not performed point-to-point;

(2)

The goods which are the subject of the move are placed in storage;

(3)

The goods are not delivered on the same day they were picked up; or

(4)

More than one (1) shipper's goods are on the moving vehicle at the same time.

The written inventory shall be signed by the mover and the shipper at both the origin and destination. Under any other circumstances, the shipper may request an inventory and the mover may charge for preparing the inventory after clearly and conspicuously disclosing in writing to the shipper the amount of the charge for the preparation of the inventory.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 12, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-293. Acceptable forms of payment.

A mover shall accept a minimum of two (2) of the three (3) following forms of payment:

(1)

Cash, cashier's check, money order, or traveler's check;

(2)

Personal check, showing upon its face the name and address of the shipper or authorized representative; or

(3)

Credit card, which shall include but not be limited to Visa or MasterCard.

A mover shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the shipper in the contract for service and the estimate, which methods of payment the mover will accept. A mover shall not refuse to relinquish household goods to a shipper or fail to place the goods inside a shipper's dwelling based on the mover's refusal to accept an acceptable form of payment.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 13, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-294. Reasonable dispatch.

Except when delays are caused by actions of the shipper, the following shall apply:

(1)

A mover shall transport all shipments on the dates and the time period agreed upon by the mover and the shipper as specified in the contract for service.

(2)

A shipper may seek recourse through filing a complaint with the DCA (pursuant to section 17-299) or in a court of competent jurisdiction if a mover fails to perform either pickup or delivery or any accessorial (additional) services as agreed upon in the contract for service and/or the shipper incurs any expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 14, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-295. Liability of movers; limitation and disclosure.

(a)

It shall be a violation of this article for a mover to limit its liability of a shipment of household goods to an amount less than sixty (60) cents per pound per article. A mover shall provide said minimum valuation coverage with no deductible and at no charge to a shipper.

(b)

As an option, a mover shall offer to the shipper additional valuation coverage for loss or damage to household goods. The cost to purchase this additional valuation coverage, including any deductible, shall be disclosed to the shipper on the estimate, contract and disclosure form prior to the move. Said additional valuation coverage shall not exceed the declared value of the shipment or the cargo legal liability insurance actually carried by the mover and available to the shipper on any one (1) vehicle. The shipper shall be entitled to a written and clear explanation of the specific benefits being provided when purchasing such additional valuation coverage including whether the mover will repair or replace damaged/lost items. A mover may utilize a third party insurance carrier to provide such additional protection and benefit to the shipper.

(c)

The rejection or selection of valuation coverage shall be made in writing on a disclosure form prescribed by the DCA and provided to the shipper with the written estimate. The disclosure form must be signed by the shipper at the time the contract is signed and prior to any work being performed. The original shall be given to the shipper. The heading of the form shall be in twelve-point bold type and shall state:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

VALUATION COVERAGE

Standard Valuation Coverage: If your goods become damaged or lost, the moving company may be required to reimburse you to a maximum amount of only sixty cents (.60) per pound/per article which is considerably less than the average value of household goods. There is no additional cost or deductible for this coverage. (Example: If you have a 5 pound table lamp worth $300 and it is damaged or lost, you are only entitled to a maximum reimbursement of $3.)

Additional Valuation Coverage: This coverage is available at an additional cost to compensate you for goods lost or damaged at an amount closer to the declared or replacement value or cost to repair the property or goods. The additional coverage may contain a negotiated deductible. If a deductible applies, it must be disclosed in the contract and initialed by you. You may still be entitled to the standard valuation coverage of $.60 per pound.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 15, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-296. Records, inquiry or complaint handling; inspection.

A mover shall maintain records, pertaining to any and all documents relating to moves, which shall include, but not be limited to, all estimates and contracts for services, bills of lading, inventories, disclosure forms, contract addendums, damage claims and third party insurance contracts for a period of at least three (3) years from the date of completion of performance of the contract for service. Records shall be made available for inspection and copying within one (1) business day, upon the written demand by the DCA for all moves, which occurred within the preceding twelve (12) months. Records of all moves which occurred more than twelve (12) months prior to DCA's request shall be made available for inspection and copying within five (5) business days of the mover's receipt of a written request from the DCA.

(b)

A mover shall establish and maintain a procedure for responding to inquiries and complaints from shippers. The procedure shall include a means whereby the shipper may communicate with the principal office of the mover by telephone. This procedure and telephone number shall be stated on the contract.

(c)

The mover shall retain and make part of the file relating to a shipment a written record of all complaints and inquiries received from a shipper.

(d)

All complaints and inquiries on file with the DCA pertaining to a contract for service or a mover shall be a public record open to public inspection as required by state law.

(e)

It shall be unlawful for the operator of the moving vehicle to conduct a move unless the moving vehicle operator providing such service maintains in his possession the completed written estimate and signed contract for service(s). Each completed written estimate and signed contract for service(s) shall be available for inspection on demand by DCA personnel or county sheriff/municipal police officers, at any time during the period of the move.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 16, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-297. Collection of freight charges on shipments involving loss or destruction in transit.

No mover shall collect, or shall require a shipper to pay any charges when all of the shipper's household goods are totally lost or destroyed.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 17, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-298. Claims.

(a)

No claim against a mover for damage shall be denied solely because the damage was not noted at the time of delivery. If a shipper files a claim for loss or damage not noted at the time of delivery, a mover remains obligated to investigate such claim. A shipper does not waive his or her right to a claim for damages solely by acknowledging receipt of the household goods on a bill of lading, contract, or other document.

(b)

Whenever a mover requires a signed statement acknowledging delivery or receipt of items, the statement shall include a clear and conspicuous notice that the shipper may make notations regarding the household goods as delivered, and that the shipper may file a claim with the mover for lost or damaged household goods.

(c)

Pursuant to this article, a shipper shall have a period of up to sixty (60) days after the completion of delivery of the household goods to notify a mover in writing of any claim for loss, damage, or delay resulting from the performance of its contract for service. Said limitation shall not be construed to limit any other remedy the shipper may have available at law.

(d)

Each claim filed against a mover shall be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the mover. If the claim cannot be resolved within thirty (30) days, the mover shall advise the claimant of the status of the claim and the reason for the delay in writing. A mover shall either object to or resolve a claim filed by a shipper and notify the shipper in writing no later than ninety (90) days after receipt of the claim.

(e)

When a claim asserted against the mover for loss of an item or an entire shipment cannot otherwise be authenticated upon investigation, the mover may request from the shipper, and the shipper shall be required to sign, a sworn written statement that the household goods for which the claim is filed have not been received from any other source. If the shipper presents a false or fraudulent statement, the shipper shall be liable for damages to the mover.

(f)

When a claim is settled on damaged item(s), the shipper shall retain possession of said item(s), unless the claim settlement is equal to the full value of said item(s).

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 18, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-299. Consumer complaints.

(a)

Any person aggrieved by one (1) of the following circumstances may file a written complaint with the DCA:

(1)

A violation of this article;

(2)

A mover who fails to perform any service pursuant to the terms and conditions as agreed upon in the contract for service; or

(3)

Any claim as described in section 17-288, which cannot be otherwise, resolved.

(b)

Said complaint shall include a brief statement of the allegations upon which the complaint is based.

(c)

Upon receipt of said complaint, the director shall take all action deemed appropriate, if any, including but not limited to: mediation; issuance of citations and/or cease and desist orders; further administrative action; requests for temporary and permanent injunctions; or dismissal of the complaint.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 19, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-300. Cease and desist order.

(a)

If the DCA, after due investigation, has reason to believe that a mover/broker has been or is violating any of the provisions of this article, then the DCA may cause to be served by personal service, certified mail or posting in a conspicuous place at the mover's/broker's place of business, a demand to cease and desist, stating the charges and shall incorporate and set out the following:

(1)

The name of the complainant;

(2)

The alleged charge and approximate date of the commission of the act;

(3)

The section of the article alleged to be involved.

(b)

Any moving company/broker which has been issued a cease and desist order by the DCA may appeal such order to the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within twenty (20) days of receipt of the order. A nonrefundable filing fee must accompany the written request for appeal. The filing fee shall be established by resolution of the commission. The appeal shall be reviewed at a hearing of the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within sixty (60) days of receipt by the DCA of the request for appeal.

(c)

The board shall keep a full record of the hearing, which record shall be public and open to inspection by any person, and upon request, the board shall furnish such party a copy of the hearing record, at such cost as the commission deems appropriate.

(d)

Procedure at hearings: At the hearing, the mover/broker may be represented by counsel and may bring all original documents and other data pertinent to the case; and will be given an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence he or she may deem appropriate.

(e)

The consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer shall hear the cases on the agenda. All testimony shall be under oath or by affirmation and shall be recorded. Each case before the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer shall be presented by the DCA. The consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer shall take testimony from county staff, if relevant, the alleged violator, and other relevant testimony. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but fundamental due process shall be observed and govern the proceedings. Upon determination of the chairperson, irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded, but all other evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs shall be admissible including hearsay evidence, whether or not such evidence would be admissible in a trial in the courts of the state. Due regard shall be given to the competent, reliable and technical evidence which will aid the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer in making a fair determination of the matter, regardless of the existence of any common law or statutory rule which might otherwise make improper the admission of such evidence.

(f)

Any member of the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer or the attorney representing the DCA, may inquire of or question any witness before the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer. The alleged violator, or his/her attorney, shall be permitted to inquire of any witness before the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer. The right to cross examine witnesses shall be preserved.

(g)

At the conclusion of the hearing, the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer shall orally render its decision (order) based on evidence entered into the record. The decision shall be by motion approved by the affirmative vote of those members present and voting. The consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer's decision shall be transmitted to the mover/broker in the form of a written order including findings of fact and conclusions of law consistent with the record. The order shall be transmitted by certified mail/hand delivery/posting to the mover/broker within ten (10) days after the hearing. The order may include a notice that it must be complied with by a specified date.

(h)

Any person may appeal a final determination of the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer within thirty (30) days of the rendition of the decision by filing a petition for writ of certiorari in the circuit court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit in and for the county.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 20, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-301. Assurance of voluntary compliance.

In the enforcement of this article, the DCA may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with respect to any method, act, or practice deemed to be violative of law from any person who has engaged, or was about to engage in, such method, act, or practice. Any such assurance shall be a formal written agreement between the DCA and the mover/broker, approved as to form and legal sufficiency by the county attorney's office, and filed with the clerk of the circuit court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. Such assurances of voluntary compliance may be conditioned on a commitment to reimburse consumers or any other appropriate corrective action such as the payment by the mover/broker of the costs of the investigation by the DCA. An assurance of voluntary compliance is not evidence of prior violation of this part, however, unless an assurance of voluntary compliance has been rescinded by agreement of the parties or voided by the court for good cause, subsequent failure to comply with the terms of an assurance of voluntary compliance shall be deemed prima facie evidence of a violation of this article. No such assurance of voluntary compliance shall act as a limitation upon any action or remedy available to a person aggrieved by a violation of this article.

Every mover/broker desiring to negotiate an assurance of voluntary compliance shall be apprised of his or her right to have his or her case heard by the consumer affairs hearing board/hearing officer in the event he or she does not wish to enter into such assurance of voluntary compliance.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 21, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-302. Fraudulent transfer of moving company.

(a)

A transfer of a moving company to a successor company shall be deemed a fraudulent transfer if said transfer is made by the moving company for the purpose of evading permit fees or civil penalties issued pursuant to this article. In determining intent to defraud, consideration may be given among other factors to, whether:

(1)

The transfer was to an insider;

(2)

The moving company retained possession or control of the property transferred after the transfer;

(3)

The transfer was disclosed or concealed;

(4)

Before the transfer was made or obligation was incurred, the moving company had been sued or threatened with suit;

(5)

The transfer was of substantially all the moving company's assets;

(6)

The value of the consideration received by the moving company was reasonably equivalent to the value of the asset transferred or the amount of the obligation incurred;

(7)

The moving company was insolvent or became insolvent shortly after the transfer was made or the obligation was incurred;

(8)

The transfer occurred shortly before or shortly after substantial permit fees or civil penalties were incurred; and

(9)

The moving company transferred the essential assets of the business to a lienor who transferred the assets to an insider of the moving company.

(b)

It shall be a violation of this article for a mover to fraudulently transfer a moving company.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 22, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-303. Deceptive and unfair trade practices.

No person shall engage in any unfair method of competition, unconscionable acts or practices or unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of the transportation and/or shipment of household goods, including accessorial (additional) and broker services. A mover and/or broker engages in an unfair method of competition, unconscionable acts or practices or unfair or deceptive acts or practices when in the course of his or her business, vocation or occupation, he or she knows or in the exercise of care should know, that he or she in the past engaged or is now engaging in any unfair method of competition, unconscionable acts or practices or unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any mover and/or broker services.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 23, 4-19-05)

Sec. 17-304. Enforcement and penalties—Civil and criminal.

(a)

Failure to comply with the requirements of this article shall constitute a violation of county ordinance, including the consumer affairs ordinance (Ord. No. 77-10, as amended), and shall be prosecuted and punishable, pursuant to F.S. ch. 162, and/or F.S. § 125.69(1), as may be amended from time to time, by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) per violation or imprisonment not exceeding sixty (60) days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs or continues to occur constitutes a separate violation. In addition to the sanctions contained herein, the county shall take any other appropriate legal action, including but not limited to, cease and desist orders, other administrative actions, and requests for temporary and permanent injunctions to enforce the provisions of this article. It is the purpose of this article to provide additional cumulative remedies.

(1)

Any violation of this article is a civil infraction.

(2)

Any person who has committed an act in violation of this article shall receive a citation from the DCA or any law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a civil infraction in violation of this article.

(3)

The county court shall have jurisdiction over all violations of this article.

(4)

The county clerk shall:

a.

Accept designated fines and issue receipts therefore.

b.

Provide a uniform citation form serially numbered for notifying alleged violators to appear and answer to charges of violation of this article. Such citation forms shall be issued to and receipted by the DCA.

(5)

Violation of any provision of this article shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00). Any person who has violated any provision of this article shall be fined an amount as established by resolution of the commission.

(6)

Any person issued a citation shall be deemed to be charged with a civil violation and shall comply with the directives on the citation.

(7)

Payment shall be made, either by mail or in person, to the violations bureau within the time specified on the citation. If a person follows this procedure, s/he shall be deemed to have admitted the infraction and to have waived his/her right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the infraction.

(8)

All fines collected as a result of said citations (except those fines collected as a result of citations issued by municipal law enforcement officers, which shall be remitted by the clerk of the court directly to the municipality issuing the citation) shall be paid into the county treasury and deposited into the general fund for the DCA and used for the moving and storage program. Pursuant to F.S. §§ 938.01, 938.15 and 938.17, mandatory costs shall be assessed against every person convicted of a violation of this article.

(9)

Any person who fails to make payment within the specified period shall be deemed to have waived his/her right to pay the civil penalty as set forth in the citation.

(10)

Any person who elects to appear before the court to contest the citation shall be deemed to have waived his/her right to pay the civil penalty. The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether a violation has occurred and may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus court costs.

(11)

If a person fails to pay the civil penalty, or fails to appear in court to contest the citation, s/he shall be deemed to have waived his/her right to contest the citation; and in such case, a default judgment may be entered and the judge shall impose a fine at that time. An order to show cause may be issued. If the fine is paid, the case shall be dismissed. If the fine is not paid, judgment may be entered up to the maximum civil penalty.

(12)

Any person cited for an infraction under this article shall sign and accept the citation indicating a promise to pay the fine or appear in court. Any person who willfully refuses to sign and accept a citation issued by an officer shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided by F.S. 775.082 or 775.083.

(13)

The DCA may require mandatory court appearances for violations resulting in the issuance of a third or subsequent citation to a person. The citation shall clearly inform the person of the mandatory court appearance. The DCA shall maintain records to prove the number of citations issued to the person. Persons required to appear in court do not have the option of paying the fine instead of appearing in court.

(b)

This article shall be enforced by personnel authorized by the DCA, county code enforcement officials, and the police agencies of the various municipalities in the county and by the county sheriff's office. When specifically authorized by the DCA director, other county personnel may enforce this article.

(c)

The DCA shall maintain a system by which movers are given citations or written notice of all violations. DCA personnel shall be permitted to enter the business premises of a mover to ascertain whether the business is in compliance with this article. If DCA personnel are unreasonably refused entry or access to the business premises as stated above, the DCA shall obtain an inspection warrant pursuant to F.S. §§ 933.20—933.30, in order to ascertain compliance with this article.

(d)

The DCA is authorized to enforce the provisions of this article by administrative fines of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation in accordance with the consumer affairs ordinance (Ord. No. 77-10, as amended). Each day of a continuing violation shall be deemed a separate violation.

(Ord. No. 05-007, § 24, 4-19-05)

Secs. 17-305—17-310. Reserved.

While this information is applicable to moves within Palm Beach County, you should also consider if your move matches any of the following conditions:

• Interstate Moves -- If you are moving to/from another state it is considered an InTERstate move. Interstate moves are regulated by the Federal Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Go to the Interstate moving section on this website for more information.

• Intrastate Moves -- The State of Florida has enacted laws regulating InTRAstate moves (taking place wholly within the State of Florida). The Florida Department of Agriculture/Consumer Services Division has overall responsibility for enforcing the state law. Contact the Consumer Services Division at 1-800 HELP FLA (435-7352) or via the Internet at: www.800helpfla.com/moving_text.html [External Link]

The Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division has a cooperative agreement with the state to enforce the state moving statute. This agreement permits Consumer Affairs to enforce the law on intrastate moves where the offense took place in Palm Beach County, but where the move may have originated from Miami-Dade, Broward, Martin or St. Lucie County. For more information, contact the Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs Division

• Broward and Miami-Dade Moves: Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have county ordinances similar to Palm Beach County. Local moving companies are required to be licensed by each of those counties. If you are moving from Palm Beach County to either Broward or Miami-Dade County it is possible that their consumer protection agency may be able to assist you. Their phone numbers are as follows:

 

Broward: (954) 765-5350

Miami-Dade: (305) 375-3677

 

Helpful Moving Hints

• Licensing: If doing a local move, be sure the moving company being considered is licensed to operate in Palm Beach County and/or with the State of Florida (Department of Agriculture Consumer Services). Broward and Miami-Dade Counties each have their own moving company licensing and regulations.

• Reference Checks: Ask friends and relatives who have recently moved -- to recommend a moving company. Look up a consumer dispute history and business information report for moving companies (and all other businesses). You can also call Consumer Affairs Division to obtain these "Business Information Reports".

• Written Estimates: Obtain written estimates from at least three licensed moving companies. Insist that the moving company come to your place to see your household goods before giving a written estimate. Phone estimates are of little value and we discourage consumers from even requesting them of a moving company. The written estimate prepared by the moving company should include all the costs for packing and transporting your goods. It is your responsibility to fully disclose everything that is to be moved. Make sure you tell the mover if elevators or stairways are present at the old or new site.

Do not use price as the only factor in selecting the moving company best for you. The lowest or highest estimates do not mean the worst or best service

• Brokers: A broker is someone who is acting as an agent for one or more moving companies. Brokers normally receive a commission for moves they arrange for a moving company. For moves entirely within Palm Beach County, brokers must only utilize moving companies that are licensed by Palm Beach County and/or the State of Florida. A broker can provide a written estimate, but the contract for service/bill of lading must be issued by the moving company actually performing the move. The broker must disclose the name and information about the company actually performing the move at least 72 hours prior to the move. Brokers are not licensed by Palm Beach County or the State of Florida. The Palm Beach County Moving Ordinance does require brokers to follow certain laws. For more information, review the County Moving Ordinance.

• Packing: Determine who will do the packing of boxes. The cost of the move will increase when the moving company packs your goods in boxes. Moving companies will not take responsibility for items broken in boxes they do not pack.

• Valuation Coverage: Every moving company must provide minimum valuation coverage (similar to insurance) of $.60 (sixty cents) for every pound of every item damaged, destroyed or lost during transit. For example: If you have a 5-pound table lamp worth $300 and it is damaged or lost, the moving company is only obligated to pay you sixty-cents per pound - or a total of $3! Ask your moving company about the cost of purchasing "Additional Valuation Coverage". If you purchase "Additional Valuation Coverage" the moving company must provide you with a complete written explanation of the cost to you, what is covered, any deductibles and how a damage claim will be processed. The moving company must disclose if damaged goods will be replaced or repaired. Determine who will decide the value of damaged or lost items. Deductible: If the deductible is $250 and you have damage of $300, you would only be eligible to receive $50 from the moving company or the minimum valuation coverage of $.60 pound (whichever is greater). Check with your homeowner's insurance company to determine if your policy will cover repair and replacement of goods while being transported by a moving company.

• Bill of Lading/Contract for Service: Prior to doing any work, your moving company MUST provide a "Bill of Lading" (or contract for service). If the move is totally within Palm Beach County your mover must also provide you with a Palm Beach County (or Tri-county) Disclosure Form. Both the Bill of Lading/Contract and the Disclosure Form must be signed by you AND the moving company representative. Take your time and read everything carefully. Ask questions and understand what you are signing. The total/bottom line cost and the specific delivery date are required to be clearly stated on the contract for your review and approval.

• Deposits: Moving companies must disclose deposit requirements. Deposits are limited to no more than 20% (twenty percent) of the total estimate of the move. Moving companies accepting deposits are required to perform the move (it can't be brokered to another company). If deposits are required and the move is cancelled by the consumer within 48 hours of the scheduled move (best to do it in writing/fax), the moving company is required to return the deposits.

• Unloading: The total amount you are required to pay should be no more than the written estimate (unless you did not meet your obligations- i.e., failed to fully disclose all the goods being moved, failed to reserve the freight elevator, etc.). Under Florida State Law Chapter 507, the moving company must unload your goods at the final destination point if you have paid the amount shown on the written estimate or Bill of Lading. It is a felony criminal offense for a moving company to refuse to unload the household goods if the amount of the estimate/Bill of Lading has been paid by the consumer. The moving company may legally refuse to unload your household goods if you do not pay the estimate/Bill of Lading amount. In such instances, the moving company is required to inform you where the goods are being stored. You will likely also be charged an additional amount for storage.

• Truck Signage: When the moving truck(s) arrives to pick-up your goods, be sure each truck has the name of the company, physical address, phone number and Palm Beach County moving license number (it is preceded with "PBC#") as signage on the vehicle. Each vehicle is also required to have a current year "Consumer Affairs" decal on the windshield.

• Rental Trucks: Some moving companies on occasion must use rental trucks. If your company is using an obviously rented vehicle, look for a magnetic sign on the truck fully identifying the company and a Palm Beach County "temporary use" decal on that magnetic sign. The decal is a good indication and means the company planned for the possibility of using a rental vehicle.

• Last Minute Changes: If anything changes on moving day and additional charges are required, an addendum to your Bill of Lading should be completed. Your signature of approval is required on any changes.

• Payment of Services: Moving companies must accept two of the following forms of payment for services rendered:

1. Cash - which includes a cashier's check, money order or traveler's checks

2. Personal Check - which shows your name and address

3. Credit Card - which must include VISA or MasterCard

The moving company cannot demand payment for the move until the shipment has arrived at the destination.

• Damage: If your household goods are lost or damaged in the move, it is your responsibility to give written notification to the moving company within 60 days after delivery of your household goods. Your written notice should be very specific and clearly state that you wish to make a claim for compensation of lost or damaged goods. Normally, the moving company must notify you within 30 days of the action they will be taking. For a justifiable reason, the moving company can take up to 90 days to provide a written plan/response for resolving your claim.

• PROBLEMS OR QUESTIONS: If your move started and ended in Palm Beach County, please call Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs, (561) 712-6600 (Boca, Delray and Glades residents call toll free 1-888-852-7362).

If you are having a dispute with a moving company and the moving vehicle is still present, please call Consumer Affairs immediately. If possible we will dispatch an investigating officer to assist.

 

Broward County Moving Ordinances

Sec. 20-176.90. Definitions.

(a)

Advertise shall mean to advise, announce, give notice of, publish or call attention by use of oral, written or graphic statement made in a newspaper or other publication or on radio or television, any electronic medium, or contained in any notice, handbill, sign (including signage on vehicle), flyer, catalog, or letter, or printed on or contained in any tag or label attached to or accompanying any good.

(b)

Accessorial services shall mean any service performed by a mover which results in a charge to the shipper and is incidental to the transportation service, including, but not limited to, preparation of written inventory, storage, packing, unpacking, or crating of articles, hoisting or lowering, waiting time, overtime loading and unloading, reweighing, disassembly or reassembly, elevator or stair carrying, boxing or servicing of appliances, and furnishing of packing or crating materials. Accessorial services include services not performed by the mover but by a third party at the request of the shipper or mover if the charges for such services are to be paid to the mover prior to, or at the time of, delivery.

(c)

CAD shall mean the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division.

(d)

Commission shall mean the Board of County Commissioners of Broward County, Florida.

(e)

Compensation shall mean money, fee, emolument, quid pro quo, barter, remuneration, pay, reward, indemnification or satisfaction.

(f)

Contract for service shall mean a written document prepared by the mover and approved by the shipper in writing, prior to the performance of any service, that authorizes services from a named mover and lists the services and costs associated with the transportation of household goods and accessorial services.

(g)

Customer shall mean a person who inquires about, makes a request for, or enters into a contract for service.

(h)

Director shall mean the Director of the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division or his or her designee.

(i)

Division shall mean Division 5 of Chapter 20 of the Broward County Code of Ordinances.

(j)

Equipment shall mean those items utilized by the mover to secure, deliver, transport and/or protect the shipper's household goods. Such equipment includes, but is not limited to, dollies, hand trucks, pads, blankets, and straps. The mover shall not charge a consumer for equipment; however, the mover may sell, lease or rent the equipment to the shipper, if necessary, for storage purposes only at a location other than the mover's storage facility.

(k)

Estimate shall mean a statement given to the shipper in writing which sets forth the total cost and the basis of the charges related to a shipper's move, such as, but not limited to, transportation or accessorial services.

(l)

Household goods shall mean personal effects or other personal property found in a home, personal residence, where the shipper is the owner or agent of the owner of the items. This definition includes personal property held or found in a storage or warehouse facility which is owned or rented by a shipper. This definition does not include freight or personal property moving to or from a factory or store or other place of business.

(m)

Mover shall mean any person who engages in the transportation of household goods for compensation or any person which holds itself out to the general public as engaging in the transportation of household goods for compensation.

(n)

Packing material shall mean the container utilized by a mover to package, deliver, transport, and/or protect the shipper's household goods. If a mover charges for packing material, the mover shall only charge for such material on a per container basis. This container charge shall include the cost for each container and any wrap, tape or other materials utilized by mover to pack the container. The mover shall not separately charge the shipper for labor to move household goods and for labor to pack or unpack containers.

(o)

Person shall mean both plural and singular as the context demands and shall include individuals, partnerships, corporations, companies, trusts, societies, associations, and any other legal entities whatsoever.

(p)

Registration or registration certificate shall mean the authorization of the CAD required before a person is authorized to engage in business in Broward County as a mover of household goods.

(q)

Shipper shall mean any person who contracts with a mover for the transportation of household goods. This term shall include any other person whom the shipper designates in writing.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 1, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.91. Intent and Application.

(a)

The provisions of this division shall be construed liberally to promote the following policies:

(1)

To establish Broward County law governing the transportation and affiliated storage of household goods.

(2)

To address moving practices in Broward County in a manner that is not inconsistent with federal law and the laws of this state and county relating to consumer protection.

(b)

The provisions of this division apply to the operations of any mover engaged in the intrastate transportation of household goods; except that this division shall not be construed to include shipments contracted by the United States, the state, or any local government or political subdivision thereof. The provisions of this division shall only apply to the transportation of household goods originating in Broward County and terminating in Broward County, Dade County, or Palm Beach County; or originating in Palm Beach County or Dade County and terminating in Broward County.

(c)

It is the intent of this division to secure the satisfaction and confidence of customers and members of the public when utilizing a mover. This division shall be known and cited as the "Broward County Moving Ordinance."

(d)

Nothing in this division shall be construed to remove the authority or jurisdiction of any federal, state or local agency with respect to goods or services regulated or controlled under other provisions of law or ordinance.

(e)

This division does not apply to an act or practice required or specifically permitted by federal or state law.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.92. Registration required; denial, suspension, and revocation of registration certificates.

(a)

No person shall engage in business or advertise to engage in the business of moving or offering to move any person in Broward County as a mover of household goods without first obtaining a registration certificate from CAD and maintaining such registration certificate as required.

(b)

Each mover shall register every year with the CAD and, where applicable, provide to the CAD: its legal business and trade name, current mailing address, and current business location for each place from which the mover operates either a main or branch office; a designation of which location constitutes its principal place of business; the full names, current mailing addresses, current telephone numbers, and social security numbers or federal tax identification numbers of its owners or corporate officers and directors; the Florida registered agent of the corporation; a statement listing the names of any other corporations, entities, or trade names through which any owner, corporate officer or director of the registrant was known or did business as a mover within the five (5) calendar years immediately preceding the year in which the mover is submitting the application for registration; proof of vehicle liability insurance and general liability insurance; the Vehicle Identification Number ("VIN"), license tag number, and gross weight of each commercial motor vehicle operated by the mover; the number of employees who are currently employed; proof of workers' compensation insurance coverage required by Chapter 440, F.S., a state certificate of exemption, or a letter from the mover indicating that no such workers' compensation is necessary; and proof of all insurance required by section 20-176.94

(c)

Any mover desiring to change its registered name, business location, or registered agent shall notify the CAD of such change. No registration shall be valid for any mover under any other name or at any place other than that designated in the registration unless the CAD is notified in writing within thirty (30) days of the change. A registration is not transferable or assignable.

(d)

The CAD shall require any person desiring to obtain a registration as a mover to do so on forms prescribed by the CAD. Renewal of registrations may be staggered by the CAD to facilitate the workload. When obtaining a registration, changing a registration, or renewing a registration, each mover shall furnish to the CAD a fee. All fees shall be established by resolution of the Commission.

(e)

The CAD shall issue to each registrant a registration certificate in the form and size prescribed by the CAD. Such certificate shall be prominently displayed to the public in the mover's primary place of business. The registration number appearing on the registration certificate shall appear on all advertisements, including telephone listings in any and all "Yellow Pages"; on all forms; and on all commercial motor vehicles of the mover.

(f)

The criteria for issuance of a registration certificate shall be compliance by the applicant with all the applicable provisions of this division and submission to the CAD of a completed application for registration and applicable fees. Registration certificates may be issued by the CAD subject to such conditions, limitations, and restrictions imposed by the CAD as the CAD deems necessary to protect customers and consumers, provided such conditions, limitations, and restrictions are consistent with the provisions of this division. Violation of such a condition, limitation, or restriction of a registration certificate shall be a violation of this division. The CAD may deny or refuse to renew the registration of any mover based upon a determination that a mover or any of its directors, officers, owners, or general partners:

(1)

Has failed to meet the requirements for initial application or renewal as provided in this section;

(2)

Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud or dishonest dealing involving transportation for hire;

(3)

Has not satisfied a civil fine or penalty arising out of any administrative or enforcement action brought by any governmental agency or private person based upon conduct involving fraud or dishonest dealing, or any violation of this division;

(4)

Has pending against it, him or her any criminal, administrative, or enforcement proceedings in any jurisdiction, based upon conduct involving fraud or dishonest dealing, or any violation of this division; or

(5)

Has had a judgment or administrative order entered against it, him or her in any action brought by the CAD under the provisions of this division.

(g)

Any registration made under this part by any mover based upon the presentation by such mover of false identification or information, or identification not current with respect to name, address, and place of employment, or any other fact material to such registration, shall be void.

(h)

The CAD may revoke or suspend a registration certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this division if the CAD determines that the applicant or registrant has:

(1)

Violated any provision of this division;

(2)

Misrepresented or concealed a fact on the application, renewal application or replacement application for a registration certificate;

(3)

Aided or abetted a person who has not obtained a registration certificate to evade or avoid the provisions of this division;

(4)

Engaged in any conduct as part of the performance of a contract for service which constitutes fraud;

(5)

Violated any condition, limitation, or restriction of a registration certificate imposed by the CAD;

(6)

Has been convicted of a crime involving fraud or dishonest dealing involving transportation for hire; or

(7)

Failed to comply with the terms of a cease and desist order, notice to correct a violation, written assurance of compliance, or any other lawful order of the director, the CAD, or the Consumer Protection Board.

(8)

Advertised its business without first obtaining proper licensure from the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 2, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.93. Loss, destruction or mutilation of registration certificate; replacement.

In the event of loss, destruction, or mutilation of a registration certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this division, the person to whom the registration certificate was issued may obtain a replacement thereof upon furnishing satisfactory proof of loss, destruction, or mutilation to the CAD and payment of the applicable fee established by resolution of the Commission. Applications for a replacement certificate shall include the following information:

(a)

Name and address of the applicant;

(b)

A verified explanation of the loss, destruction, or mutilation of the registration certificate; and

(c)

Such other items and information as may be required by the CAD.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.94. Evidence of current and valid cargo legal liability valuation and insurance coverage.

(a)

The minimum amounts of cargo legal liability valuation and insurance coverage for movers are as follows:

(1)

Valuation coverage at the rate of sixty cents ($0.60) per pound per article.

(2)

Cargo legal liability insurance coverage for loss or damage to household goods as a result of loss or damage to any commercial motor vehicle, with the exception of loss or damage as the result of acts of God, in the amount of no less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) per shipment.

(3)

Motor vehicle combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance which shall be issued by an insurance carrier or company which is a participant in the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association and which shall be in accordance with the following:

a.

Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than 35,000 pounds.

b.

One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 35,000 pounds or more, but less than 44,000 pounds.

c.

Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) per occurrence for a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 44,000 pounds or more.

(4)

All evidence of insurance shall be executed and filed with the CAD by the insurance carrier in a form or forms acceptable to the Broward County Risk Management Division. The insurance carrier or company shall qualify as an insurance company authorized to transact insurance in the State of Florida.

(5)

Said insurance shall be kept in full force and effect by the certificate holder at all times. Failure to file evidence of such insurance with the CAD, or failure to maintain the same in full force and effect, may be cause for the suspension or revocation of the registration certificate of the mover. Said insurance shall provide that the certificate holder's insurance coverage may neither expire nor be canceled prior to thirty (30) days after the CAD receives written notice of said expiration or cancellation from the carrier.

(b)

Mover shall disclose to the consumer/shipper on its bill of lading and/or contract the applicable valuation and the availability of additional valuation coverage or insurance which may be purchased by the customer at an additional cost.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 3, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.95. Contract for service and disclosure statement required.

(a)

In any agreement for service, the mover shall prepare a written contract for service. The contract for service shall be provided to the shipper for his or her authorization and signature before commencing the performance of any transportation or accessorial services.

(b)

A contract for service shall clearly and conspicuously disclose, at a minimum, the following:

(1)

The name and telephone number of the mover and the address of the mover at which employees of the mover are on duty during business hours.

(2)

The name of the shipper; the addresses at which the items are to be picked up and delivered, if available, and a telephone number where the shipper may be reached, if available.

(3)

The agreed pickup and delivery date, or the period of time within which pickup, delivery, or the entire move will be accomplished, if provided.

(4)

A description of the transportation and accessorial services expected to be provided during a move.

(5)

In the event that no estimate has been provided pursuant to this division, the total cost of the transportation and accessorial services to be provided.

(6)

The method of payment, subject to the provisions of section 20-176.99

(7)

In the event that an estimate has been provided pursuant to this division, the maximum amount required to be paid by the shipper to the mover at the time of delivery, subject to the provisions of section 20-176.97

(8)

The name and telephone number of any other person who may authorize pickup or delivery of any items to be transported, if the shipper designates such a person in writing.

(9)

A statement regarding the mover's limitation of liability, subject to the provisions of section 20-176.101

(10)

A brief description of the procedures for shipper inquiry and complaint handling and a telephone number which the shipper may use to communicate with the mover, accompanied by a statement disclosing who shall pay for such calls if other than the mover.

(11)

If the cost for services provided is based on weight, a statement that the shipper has a right to observe any weighing before and after loading.

(c)

The contract for service provided by a mover to a shipper shall include the following language in bold capitalized letters of at least twelve-point type:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

THIS CONTRACT FOR SERVICE IS REQUIRED BY COUNTY ORDINANCE AND MUST INCLUDE THE TERMS AND COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH YOUR MOVE. IN ORDER FOR THE CONTRACT FOR SERVICE TO BE ACCURATE, YOU MUST DISCLOSE ALL INFORMATION RELEVANT TO THE MOVE TO THE MOVER. COUNTY ORDINANCE REQUIRES THAT A MOVER RELINQUISH POSSESSION OF YOUR GOODS AND COMPLETE YOUR MOVE UPON PAYMENT OF NO MORE THAN THE SPECIFIED MAXIMUM AMOUNT DUE AT DELIVERY.

(d)

Prior to beginning the move, the mover shall present to the shipper a copy of the Moving Consumer Bill of Rights and Disclosure Statement (Disclosure Statement) on its letterhead in the form approved and as amended by the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division. The Disclosure Statement shall be signed by the mover and shipper and shall indicate the date and time of each signature.

(e)

The Disclosure Statement, once signed and dated by the mover and shipper, shall be incorporated in the mover's contract for services and shall bind all parties.

(f)

Failure to present the Disclosure Statement shall constitute a violation of this Section and shall be subject to civil penalties described in this Chapter.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 4, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.96. Estimates of moving costs.

(a)

A mover shall provide to the shipper a written estimate of the transportation and accessorial service costs for moving the shipper's household goods. No mover shall charge for preparing an estimate unless, prior to preparing the estimate, the mover:

(1)

Clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the customer the amount of the charge for preparing the estimate or, if the amount cannot be determined, the complete basis upon which the charge will be calculated; and

(2)

Obtains the customer's written authorization on the written estimate to prepare an estimate.

(b)

It is unlawful for a mover to require a shipper to waive shipper's right to a written estimate. A shipper cannot waive the shipper's right to a written estimate.

(c)

The written estimate provided to the shipper shall, at a minimum, include the following:

(1)

The total cost for transportation and accessorial services to be provided.

(2)

A description of the transportation and accessorial services to be provided.

(3)

A listing of the basis for which any charges may be assessed for the transportation and accessorial services to be provided.

(4)

The following in bold capitalized letters of at least twelve-point type:

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

UNDER COUNTY ORDINANCE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A WRITTEN ESTIMATE OF THE TOTAL COST OF YOUR MOVE AND A COPY OF THE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. PLEASE REVIEW THESE DOCUMENTS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE COMPLETE.

(d)

A copy of the estimate, signed by the mover, shall be delivered to the shipper prior to performing any transportation or accessorial service and a copy shall be maintained by the mover as part of its records.

(e)

Nothing in this division shall be construed to require a customer to enter into a contract for service with a mover based upon the issuance of an estimate.

(f)

The estimate and disclosure may be provided on the same form as the contract for service.

(g)

No mover shall provide an oral estimate to any customer or shipper.

(h)

The mover shall provide to the consumer, at the time of performing an estimate, a copy of the Moving Consumer Bill of Rights and Disclosure Statement on its letterhead, in the form approved and as amended by the Broward County Consumer Affairs Division.

(i)

Failure to present the Disclosure Statement shall constitute a violation of this Section and shall be subject to civil penalties described in this Chapter.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 5, 3-13-01; Ord. No. 2004-03, § 1, 2-10-04)

Sec. 20-176.97. Charges in excess of written estimate; refusal to relinquish goods prohibited; unlawful charges.

(a)

A mover shall not charge more than the amount of the written estimate unless there is a change in the requested services. If the mover charges an amount in excess of the written estimate, then the mover shall provide a written explanation of such excess charges to the shipper and prepare and execute a new contract for services consistent with such changes prior to the performance of any transportation or accessorial services.

(b)

It is unlawful for a mover to fail to relinquish to a shipper any of the shipper's household goods or to fail to complete timely all transportation and accessorial services required to be performed pursuant to the contract for service because the shipper has refused to pay for charges in excess of the amount set forth in (a) above or in excess of the total amount set forth in the contract for service as required by section 20-176.95(b)(5).

(c)

The mover shall relinquish possession of all of the shipper's household goods to the shipper and complete timely all transportation and accessorial services required to be performed pursuant to the contract for service upon payment of the total amount set forth in the contract for service as required by section 20-176.95(b)(5).

(d)

It is unlawful for a mover to charge a consumer for equipment. However, the shipper may purchase, lease or rent the equipment, if necessary, for storage purposes only at a location other than the mover's storage facility.

(e)

It is unlawful for a mover to charge separately for labor to move household goods and for labor to pack or unpack containers.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 6, 3-13-01; Ord. No. 2004-03, § 1, 2-10-04)

Sec. 20-176.98. Inventory.

A written inventory shall be prepared by the mover, unless the shipper waives, in writing, preparation of the inventory. The written inventory shall be prepared by the mover and be signed by the mover and the shipper prior to departure of the mover's motor vehicle from the shipper's pickup point(s). No mover shall charge for preparing the inventory unless, prior to preparing the inventory, the mover clearly and conspicuously discloses in writing to the shipper the amount of the charge for the preparation of the inventory. It is unlawful for the mover to require the shipper to waive preparation of the written inventory.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.99. Acceptable forms of payment.

A mover shall accept a minimum of two (2) of the three (3) following forms of payment:

(a)

Cash, cashier's check, money order, or traveler's check; or

(b)

Valid personal check, showing upon its face the name and address of the shipper or authorized representative; or

(c)

Valid credit card, which shall include but not be limited to Visa or MasterCard.

A mover shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the shipper in the contract for service and the estimate which methods of payment the mover will accept.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.100. Reasonable dispatch.

Except when delays are caused by actions of the shipper or circumstances beyond the control of the mover, the following shall apply:

(a)

Each mover shall cause shipments to be transported on the dates or during the time period agreed upon by the mover and the shipper and specified in the contract for service.

(b)

A shipper may seek recourse in a court of competent jurisdiction if a mover fails to perform either pickup or delivery or any accessorial services as agreed upon in the contract for service and the shipper incurs any reasonable expenses that would not otherwise have been incurred.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.101. Liability of movers.

(a)

A mover shall not limit its liability of a shipment of household goods to an amount less than 60 cents per pound per article in the shipment. Except when the shipper chooses a declared valuation in excess of the minimum limitation of liability, a mover shall offer the minimum coverage at no additional charge to a shipper.

(b)

A mover which chooses to limit its liability for a shipper's household goods shall offer the opportunity for a shipper to choose coverage in excess of the minimum liability required under this division, up to the declared value of the shipment. The rejection or selection of additional limitation of liability coverage shall be made in writing on a form prescribed by the CAD. The form shall fully advise the shipper of the nature of the limitation of liability and shall state that the minimum coverage is equal to the limit referred to in subsection (a) unless otherwise requested. The heading of the form shall be in a twelve-point bold type and shall state: "By signing this form, you are waiving certain valuable coverage which protects your possessions above the minimum amounts set by law. Please read carefully."

(c)

Mover shall disclose to the consumer/shipper on its bill of lading and/or contract the applicable valuation and the availability of additional valuation coverage or insurance which may be purchased by the customer at an additional cost.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94; Ord. No. 2001-08, § 7, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.102. Records; inquiry or complaint handling; inspection.

(a)

A mover shall maintain moving records which shall include, but not be limited to, all estimates and contracts for services. All such records held by the mover shall be available for inspection and copying by the CAD, for a period of at least five (5) years from the date of completion of performance of the contract for service.

(b)

A mover shall establish and maintain a procedure for responding to inquiries and complaints from shippers. The procedure shall include a means whereby the shipper may communicate with the principal office of the mover by telephone.

(c)

The mover shall retain and make part of the file relating to a shipment a written record of all complaints and inquiries received from a shipper.

(d)

All complaints and inquiries on file with the CAD pertaining to a contract for service or mover shall be a public record open to public inspection as required by state law.

(e)

The premises and all commercial motor vehicles of all movers shall be open to the CAD for inspection, investigation or for such other purposes as are necessary for the enforcement and administration of this division during the business hours of the mover and in no event not less than between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.103. Collection of freight charges on shipments involving loss or destruction in transit.

No mover shall collect, or shall require a shipper to pay, any charges when a shipper's household goods are totally lost or destroyed. The shipper shall, however, remain liable for any charges for valuation coverage, pursuant to section 20-176.101, or any insurance premium related to the shipment for which the insurance was secured from a third party.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.104. Claims.

(a)

No claim against a mover for damage shall be denied solely because the damage was not noted at the time of delivery. If a shipper files a claim for loss or damage not noted at the time of delivery, a mover remains obligated to investigate such claim.

(b)

Whenever a mover requires a signed statement acknowledging delivery or receipt of items, the statement shall include a clear and conspicuous notice that the shipper may make notations regarding the household goods as delivered, and that the shipper may file a claim with the mover for lost or damaged household goods.

(c)

A shipper shall have a period of up to sixty (60) days after the completion of delivery of the household goods to notify a mover in writing of any claim for loss, damage, or delay resulting from the performance of its contract for service.

(d)

Each claim filed against a mover shall be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the mover. If the claim cannot be satisfied within thirty (30) days, the mover shall advise the claimant of the status of the claim and the reason for the delay. A mover shall object to or satisfy a claim filed by a shipper no later than ninety (90) days after receipt of the claim.

(e)

When an asserted claim made to a mover for loss of an item or an entire shipment cannot be otherwise authenticated upon investigation, the mover may request from the shipper, and the shipper shall be required to sign, a sworn statement in writing that the household goods for which the claim is filed have not been received from any other source. If the shipper presents a false or fraudulent statement, the shipper shall be liable for damages to the mover.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.105. Civil penalties.

In addition to any other judicial or administrative remedies or penalties provided by law, rule, regulation or ordinance, any person who violates any of the provisions of this division or any cease and desist order or any assurance of compliance entered into with respect to matters regulated under this division or any other lawful order of the CAD, the director or the consumer protection board or any condition, limitation or restriction of a registration certificate issued by the CAD, shall be subject to the judicial imposition and recovery of a civil penalty in an amount of not more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed sixty (60) days in the county jail, or both, in the discretion of the court, per offense. Each day during any portion of which such violation occurs or continues to occur constitutes a separate offense.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.106. Presumption of continuous operation.

Except as expressly provided otherwise in this division, any person operating as a mover without first obtaining a registration certificate pursuant to this article shall be presumed to be operating as a mover on a continuous basis without a registration certificate from the date the registration certificate was first required by this division. Such presumption may be overcome by evidence presented by the mover. This section creates a rebuttable presumption of continuous operation.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.107. Enforcement and penalties; appeals of denial of initial or renewal registration or suspension or revocation of registration.

(a)

It shall be the duty and responsibility of all law enforcement officials to assist in the enforcement of this division and the code to the extent that it is within their jurisdiction to do so.

(b)

The CAD shall maintain a system by which registrants are given written notice of all violations. CAD personnel shall be permitted to enter the business premises of a mover to ascertain whether the registration certificate is current. If CAD personnel are refused entry or access to the business premises as stated above, the CAD shall obtain an inspection warrant pursuant to §§ 933.20—933.30, F.S. in order to ascertain compliance with this division.

(c)

The CAD is authorized to enforce the provisions of this division by administrative fines of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each violation in accordance with the Consumer Protection Code (Article VII, Chapter 20, Division 1, sections 20-159 et seq., Broward County Code of Ordinances). Each day of a continuing violation shall be deemed a separate violation.

(d)

In addition to fines, the CAD is authorized to enforce the provisions of this division by suspension or revocation of a registration upon notice and hearing as provided in this division, unless the registrant waives such notice and hearing.

(e)

Whenever any person has been determined by the consumer protection board to have engaged in conduct in violation of this division, the Board may order that person to return or refund those moneys which have been established as quantifiable damages in the particular instance.

(f)

Any person dissatisfied or aggrieved with the decision of the CAD to deny such person's application for initial or renewal registration may, within fourteen (14) days after the denial, appeal in writing to the CAD. Upon receipt of an appeal, the CAD shall schedule and hold a hearing within twenty (20) days. The dissatisfied or aggrieved person shall be provided with a notice of hearing which shall include a statement of the time and place for the hearing and a reference to the facts and relevant sections of the Broward County Code of Ordinances upon which the denial is based. The applicant may be represented by legal counsel and shall be entitled to present a defense to the denial of the application. Failure to appear at a duly noticed hearing shall be deemed a waiver of the right to hearing. Failure to claim certified mail notifying the registrant of the hearing shall be construed as failure to appear at a duly noticed hearing. Upon hearing, the consumer protection board shall affirm or reverse the decision of the CAD. Should the consumer protection board reverse the decision of the CAD, the CAD shall issue the registration forthwith.

(g)

All hearings required by this division for proposed suspensions or revocations of registrations shall be preceded by a minimum of twenty (20) days' written notice. That notice shall specify the CAD's proposed action and the grounds upon which the action is predicated. The registrant may be represented by legal counsel and shall be entitled to present a defense to the proposed action. Failure to appear at a duly noticed hearing shall be deemed a waiver of the right to hearing and an admission of the acts specified in the notice. Failure to claim certified mail notifying the registrant of the hearing shall be construed as failure to appear at a duly noticed hearing.

(h)

All hearings shall be conducted in the same manner as consumer protection board hearings (Article VII, Chapter 20, Division 1, sections 20-169 et seq., Broward County Code of Ordinances) and shall be before a three (3) member panel.

(Ord. No. 94-34, § 1, 7-12-94)

Sec. 20-176.107.1. Issuance and enforcement of notices to appear and civil citations.

(a)

If a county inspector, based upon personal investigation, has reasonable cause to believe that a mover has violated this ordinance, the inspector shall provide written notice to the person that the person has committed the violation and shall establish a reasonable time period within which the person must correct the violation. Such time period shall be based on considerations of fairness, practicality, ease of correction, nature, extent, and probability of danger or damage to the public or property, and any other relevant factor relating to the reasonableness of the time period prescribed. Such time period, however, shall be no fewer than five (5) days and no more than ten (10) days, except where such violation or the condition causing the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, and welfare or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible in nature.

(b)

If, upon personal investigation, the inspector finds that the person has not corrected the violation within the prescribed time period, the code inspector may issue a notice to appear or citation consistent with Chapter 8½ of the Broward County Code.

(Ord. No. 2001-08, § 8, 3-13-01)

Sec. 20-176.107.2. Decals; moving vehicle signage.

(a)

No moving company shall engage in moving household goods without first obtaining a decal from the Division for each vehicle used by the mover for moving household goods. A non-refundable vehicle decal fee shall be remitted to the Division in an amount set forth by resolution of the Commission along with a complete description of each vehicle. Except for short term rental vehicles, such decal shall be affixed to the lower left corner of the front window in the vehicle at all times, upon issuance of a vehicle decal. The vehicle decal remains the property of Broward County and shall be used only under the authority of the Division. Annual replacement vehicle decals may be obtained upon application to the Division evidencing continued compliance with the provisions of this Ordinance, and payment of a fee in an amount set forth by resolution of the Commission. No vehicle decal may be sold, assigned or otherwise transferred. If a vehicle is destroyed or sold, the mover must remove the vehicle decal (if in existence) and surrender the remains to the Division. A non-refundable fee for replacing decals shall be established by resolution of the Commission.

(b)

Vehicle decals issued to moving companies who use short term rental vehicles must be visible in the lower left corner of the front window. Each vehicle decal issued pursuant to this section shall be valid and effective for one (1) year, terminating on September 30 of each year.

(c)

Each moving vehicle must clearly display signage, on the exterior of the driver and passenger sides, with letters at least three inches (3") high and in contrasting colors, the moving company's name, physical address, telephone number and permit number. If the short term use of a rental vehicle by a moving company is necessary, at a minimum, the same information and requirements must be affixed to the vehicle through the use of magnetic signs.

(d)

Subsections (a) and (b), above, shall not be effective until October 1, 2001.

Broward County Moving Information Page

http://www.broward.org/PermittingAndLicensing/Forms/Pages/Movers.aspx

 

 

 

Miami Dade County moving Ordinances and Moving Tips

.

Hiring Professional Movers

Did you know that The Miami-Dade County regulates moving companies that operate in Miami-Dade? This means that if you're moving from Miami-Dade County to another part of Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach counties, or if you're coming from Broward or Palm Beach counties to Miami-Dade, your move is covered by the Miami-Dade County Moving Ordinance.

However, if you're leaving South Florida, or coming from out of state, then your move is not regulated by Miami-Dade's Moving Ordinance. If you’re planning a household move, the following tips may help eliminate some of the uncertainties associated with hiring a mover. This way, you can have time to concentrate on more important things, like packing.

Choosing a Mover

It is important to note that moving vehicles must display the moving company’s name, physical address, telephone number and moving registration number on both sides of the truck. In addition, the moving registration number must also be displayed in all advertising, including the yellow page listings, and on all estimate and contract forms. Furthermore, each moving truck must display a BACP decal indicating the business license expiration date. Before you hire a mover make sure that the business is registered with Miami-Dade County by calling 305-375-3677.

Get a Written Estimate

Movers are required to provide you with a written estimate and a copy of the disclosure statement. Make sure the estimate contains an itemized list of what you plan to have delivered and ask if the estimate is guaranteed. Let the mover know ahead of time if they will be doing the packing. Although movers will charge you for the labor of packing and unpacking, they cannot charge for pads, blankets, strapping, and dollies. Make sure the mover is perfectly aware of everything that has to be moved. And here's why: The cost will increase if anything is added to the shipment that was not included in the estimate. Also, make sure the mover is aware of any special circumstances that might make the move challenging. For example, is there a possibility that the moving truck will have a hard time parking at your new place? Will the mover have to climb stairs or use an elevator to get your things to your new place? If you fail to provide this information at the time of your estimate, it may end up costing you more.

Get a Written Contract

Before the move begins, the mover must present you with a written contract and a Tri-County Consumer Bill of Rights and Disclosure Statement for your signature. Both documents must contain the final cost of your move, including inventory preparation, labor, transportation, packing materials costs, storage, and any additional valuation coverage you’ve purchased. Be sure to read it carefully and that you understand the agreement before you sign it. Then, be sure to ask for a copy and keep it in a safe place. If something goes wrong, you'll want to have it handy to state your case. If something in the contract looks fishy, trust your instincts and ask questions. You don't want your moving company to hold your things hostage and force you to pay extra costs.

Ask for a Written Inventory

Before loading your property into the truck, the mover is required to prepare an inventory listing each piece of property you are moving, including the number of sizes of boxes. The mover may charge you for the preparation of the inventory only if that charge was disclosed to you in writing beforehand.

Verify Insurance Coverage

Per the Miami-Dade County Moving Ordinance, movers are required to insure your property at a minimum of 60 cents per pound per article at no additional cost. However, the free minimum coverage does not change with the value of your property, which means that you may end up receiving less than what your property is worth. Movers are also mandated to offer you the opportunity to purchase additional insurance coverage.

Forms of Payment

Every moving company must accept at least two of the following payment methods.

• Cash (cashier’s check, money order, or a traveler’s check).

• Personal Check (must show imprinted name and address).

• Credit Card (must include but not limited to VISA and MasterCard).

Filing a Claim

You have up to 60 days after the final delivery of your goods to notify the moving company in writing of any claim for loss, damage, or delay. No claim for damage may be denied solely because the damage was not noted at the time of delivery. Filed claims must be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the mover or its insurance company. You must be notified of the status of your claim within 90 days of receipt of the claim.

Filing a Complaint

If you cannot resolve a dispute directly with the mover or the moving business, call 305-375-3677 or file a complaint online. Experienced Consumer Protection Enforcement Officers will investigate your complaint and contact you with the results. If the mover cannot satisfy the complaint within ten (10) days of receipt, the mover must provide BACP a response stating the status of the complaint and the reasons for delay. The company has 90 days to provide BACP with the final disposition of the complaint. If violations of the Ordinance are detected, the business will be subject to enforcement action.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31:23 PM

 

Website page for moving tips reference:

 

http://www.miamidade.gov/business/consumer-protection-tips-mover.asp

 

 

 

Review the moving ordinances as defined by the State of Florida. These are guidelines that every moving company must follow and are designed to help protect the consumer.

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