Moving home is exciting for many but a nightmare that comes with stress and anxiety for others.
Most of us look forward to moving home because the change reflects good things happening in other parts of our lives, like finding a partner, a promotion at work or upsizing to find more room for a growing family.
This checklist aims to defuse some of that stress to make moving into a new rental home as easy as possible.
Don’t forget the countdown begins as soon as you know the date you can move in, so start reducing the stress straight away by getting organised and using the time sensibly.
Here is our timetable of things to do along with some tips about pitfalls you might overlook in the rush to move:
28 Days Before Moving In
- Start sorting through your belongings and make three piles – rubbish, charity shop and what you are taking with you.
- Order boxes and packing materials. You need a selection of boxes with plenty of smaller ones for heavier items
- If you are carrying out the move, book a van. If not, book a removal firm. Moving midweek is a good idea as van hire and removals are often cheaper than at the weekends.
- Start packing the belongings you don’t need to use before the move. Write what’s inside on the box and which room the contents should go in.
14 Days Before Moving In
- Decide what to do about your post and utilities. Redirect your mail and take out contracts for broadband, satellite/cable TV, telephone, electricity, water and gas. You can continue with the providers already listed at your new home or change them to your choices.
- Let family and friends know about your change of address and phone number
- Don’t forget to transfer or take out contents insurance to cover your personal belongings. Your landlord will have buildings insurance already.
7 Days Before Moving In
- Notify the local authority you are moving out or changing address to update their Council Tax records
- Let official organisations know about your change of address:
- Your doctor, dentist
- The DVLA for your driving licence and vehicle logbook
- TV Licensing
- Banks and credit card providers
- Pension providers and insurance companies
Moving in Day
The big day is finally here. You have arranged babysitters for the kids and pets and are ready to say goodbye to your old home for good.
Last-minute jobs include packing an overnight bag with a few clothes and toiletries and the final box with mugs, a kettle and some tea, coffee, milk and some nibbles.
Keep a toolbox handy with a drill, range of screwdrivers, Allen keys, spanners, a hammer and pliers so you can put furniture together and put up shelves.
Put a phone charger in as well in case the telephone line is not working.
Don’t pack these essentials in the removals van but take them in your car so they are immediately available.
Property Checks, Safety And Inventory
Before diving into the unpacking, there are some important jobs you need to attend to:
- Read your tenancy agreement so you are clear about your obligations and responsibilities as a tenant and which ones fall to your landlord.
- Find out how to report repairs and maintenance issues.
- Read the meters. To avoid disputes, take a photo of the readings with your phone.
- Check the property is clean and that everything works. That means turning on the taps and shower, flushing the cisterns and testing the cooker, plugs, lights and extractor fans. You also need to make sure you have a key for every lock.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are provided and that they are in working order.
- Ask the landlord to provide manuals for the cooker, boiler and washing machine.
- If you have a burglar alarm, update the access code.
- Carefully inspect the home inside and out to ensure the inventory accurately reflects the current state of the property. Take photos of any damage or wear-and-tear.
It’s a good idea to have a tape measure with you for the inventory to give an idea of the scale of any defects you photograph.
Keep an agreed signed copy of the inventory – you may need the paperwork and images to resolve any dispute over damage or wear-and-tear when you move out.
Fees on Moving In
Besides rent, the only fees a tenant should pay on moving in to a new rental home are:
- A refundable security deposit that is no more than five week’s rent when the annual rent is less than £50,000 a year. If the rent is more than £50,000, the deposit is up to six week’s rent.
For example, if the monthly rent is £1,500 a month, the security deposit can be a maximum of £1,730.
The calculation takes the monthly rent and multiplies it by 12 and then divides it by 52 to find the weekly rent. This figure is then multiplied by five:
£1,500 x 12 = £18,000
£18,000 divided by 52 = £346
£346 x 5 = £1,730
- A refundable holding deposit, sometimes called a reservation fee, capped at no more than a week’s rent.
The Oasis Living Zero Security Deposit is an alternative to a traditional deposit. Tenants pay a one-time, non-refundable fee equal to one week’s rent. The scheme offers the same protections as a regular deposit, but is cheaper, more flexible and passes the savings onto the tenant. The Oasis Living Zero Security Deposit is available at the discretion of the landlord.
Proof of deposit protection
Your landlord must lodge any security deposit with a government-approved scheme and give you the details of the scheme within 30 days of the start of the tenancy.
How to Rent guide
Landlords must give tenants a copy of the current edition of the government’s How to Rent guide when they move into a rental home.
The guide can be given as a hard copy, electronic file or link in an email or text.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
The landlord must give you a copy of the property’s EPC at the start of the tenancy.
Your new home must have an energy rating no lower than Band E.
Alarms and safety certificates
Your safety on moving in to your new rental home is paramount. To show the property is safe, the landlord must provide:
- Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at the outset of the tenancy. This means the landlord must make sure they are fully operational when you move in, but you have the responsibility of making sure they keep working by regularly testing the installations.
- A valid gas safety certificate (renewable every 12 months).
- A valid electrical inspection certificate (renewable every five years).
After Moving In To Your New Rental Home
Within a few days of moving in to your new rental home, there’s a little more admin to sort out:
- Don’t forget to tell your boss that you have changed your address
- Tell HM Revenue & Customs that you have moved so they can keep in touch
- Update the Electoral Roll
- Let your car insurer know about the move – the change could impact the cost of your insurance