Comprehensive 15 point checklist before moving into a rental property
Moving into a new rental property can be very exciting; a time to set up a new home and create new memories. And whilst this is the case for most people, it’s also true that moving into a new property can be extremely stressful, especially if your move is prompted by unfortunate circumstances such as an eviction, a property in disrepair or financial issues.
The Advice 4 Renters team has been helping tenants for over 30 years with their rental rights, advocating for justice and fair treatment for those in private rental properties. Over the years, we’ve acquired a wealth of experience and knowledge on how to make the lives of tenants easier.
We’ve seen that one of the ways to move to a new property with a minimum stress is to be thoroughly organised. Following a specific checklist is a useful way to keep on track of all that needs to be done before moving into your new rental property.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive step-by-step checklist to make your move as hassle-free as possible.
1. Make a list… Creating lists are a useful tool to have a clear understanding of all the areas that need to be put in motion.
2. Get your finances in order. Do you need to sort out your deposit? Do you need to pay any rent in advance? You will need some money for the actual move, so budget these in – moving van, packaging materials, deep clean of your current property, deep clean of the new property and a few other miscellaneous items depending on your circumstances.
3. Insurance… You will need to talk to your contents insurance provider and arrange contents insurance for your new home.
4. Inform your employer you are moving… They will need this information for processing your payslips and compensation.
5. Schools – If your children are staying at the same school, make sure you inform the school of your change of address.
6. Also, if you need childcare on the day of your move, ask a friend or relative in advance if they can look after your children for the day. A move is much easier if the children are looked after.
7. Pets – Ask a friend or relative to look after your pet(if you have one) on the day of your move.
8. Start clearing out your current property. This includes getting rid of unwanted stuff by disposing of them or selling or giving away items no longer of use to you. Make sure you check spaces like garages, sheds and lofts so that you don’t miss anything.
9. Start packing… You will need boxes and packing material for that. Often your local supermarkets will have boxes and bubble wrap that they are getting rid of so before you purchase any, make sure you check with them first.
10. Mail redirection… Royal Mail does a cost-effective redirection service and it can be done either at a post office or online. Make sure you get this in place from the date of your move so that your post comes to your new address.
11. Changing your address on utility bills and for any services that are delivered to you. If you are paying for your own utilities, you will need to call each utility company and give them your new address – bank, gas, electric, water, council tax, DVLA, HMRC, mobile phone, phone and broadband, TV license and/or TV subscriptions like Sky or Netflix for example, milk deliveries, Amazon deliveries and any others you may have. If your rent includes the basic utilities like gas, electricity and water, you obviously don’t need to call them.
12. Take meter readings at both the old and new properties.
13. Don’t forget to inform your GP of your move. If you are moving to a new area, you will need to register with a new GP.
14. Check the inventory of your current property– what items were provided to you by your current landlord and what is their condition? Make sure you replace or fix things that you or your family may have damaged.
15. If you need a removal van, book it well in advance. You don’t want to be left high and dry at the last minute without a roof over your head. If you are getting a friend or a relative to help you move, make sure they know exactly what date and time to be there.
16. Scout out your new neighbourhood if you are moving to a new area. Find out where the supermarkets, banks, post office and library are. And don’t forget to register with your new council as soon as possible.
17. Before you move into your new property make sure you get a list of the inventories – check in inventory. This is important so you are aware of what there was when you moved in and their condition. This will protect you from the landlord claiming that items purchased by you were already in the property.
18. If you notice defects in the new property at the time you move in, or shortly after, take pictures and tell the landlord/agent. Having a record of issues, you found when you moved in, could help you when it comes to getting your deposit back at the end of the tenancy.
This is a lot to take in… we get it. But if you are organised well in advance, these logistics will be much easier to manage. Don’t leave for the last minute unless you have to move in a hurry. We suggest that you create an excel spreadsheet with specific timelines so that you are able to keep track of all the ‘to do’s.’
If you are feeling overwhelmed with this… please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can help. It’s our job to help tenants through what can be a difficult and anxious time. Give us a call on 0207 624 4327 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Our phone lines are open Mon-Fri 9:30am-4:30pm.