Whether you are a first-time renter or an expert on tenancy agreements, you are likely to run into situations that could catch you off-guard. From understanding your rights as a tenant to knowing what to expect when you first move in, there is plenty to prepare for.
With this in mind, at the Best Move Moving Company have created the following checklist for moving into a rented property, to help make this transition go as smoothly as possible.
Note: Take a look at our day-by-day checklist for a comprehensive house moving to make sure you’re fully-prepared or check the 13 killer moving house tips to move quickly.
Documents and Paperwork
There are certain documents that a new landlord is legally required to give you before you even move in. Make sure that you have been provided with:
- Proof that your deposit has been placed into a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme;
- An up to date Gas Safety Certificate (if there is a gas supply at the property);
- A copy of the building’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – this indicates how energy efficient the property is, which can affect the cost of your utility bills! It must be rated from A to E, for it to be legally let, with A being the highest rating;
- A copy of the How to Rent guide – this booklet should be made available as either a digital PDF that can be emailed to you or a printed document. It is there to help you understand your rights as a tenant.
Other paperwork you should gain before moving in include:
- An inventory list, stating exactly what fixtures, fittings and furniture are in the property, along with their condition. We suggest you take photos, as this can make matters easier if there is a dispute about deductions made to your deposit at the end of the tenancy. It should be signed by yourself and your landlord, and you should keep a copy;
- A record of meter readings. It’s worth making a note of them, in case you are accidentally charged for the previous tenant’s usage;
- A record of electrical inspections. The Government recommends that checks should be made on all appliances every five years;
- Proof that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order.
Once all the paperwork is in order, the next step is to move in! Here are our tips, for an organised a successful move:
- Label each box, either by room or general contents (e.g. ‘kitchen’ or ‘books’), check our guide on free boxes;
- Now would also be the perfect time to have a clear out of unwanted items! Consider donating anything you no longer want or need to a charity shop, or sell it on, to help fund the move;
- Keep essentials separate, for easy access. You will want to have items such as a phone charger, a change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a hairbrush close to hand. After a long day of moving in, you will be grateful that you know where these are!
- Do not overfill your boxes – the last thing you want is to make them too heavy, or have one split as you are carrying it;
- Prepare meals in advance, to see you through the day. Having a packed lunch to hand will save you time, and help you to keep to a schedule;
- If possible, arrange for friends and family to help out. If they have a car, this can save you from multiple trips to transport your belongings or from having to hire a van;
- Take bin liners and a container for recycling, so that you can tidy as you go;
- Once you arrive at your new home, place all the boxes in the relevant rooms, to keep a build up of clutter to a minimum.
Remember to also update any important accounts with your new address. This might include:
- Bank accounts;
- Mobile phone contract;
- Internet and landline contract;
- Driving licence;
- Insurance companies;
- HMRC – for tax, national insurance, pension contributions, registering to vote, etc.
You may also want to redirect any postal subscriptions, such as magazines, and register with a new dentist and doctor’s surgery if your current one is no longer convenient.
According to Em Morley from Just Landlords, a provider of Landlord Buildings Insurance, there are a few certain questions you want to ask your landlord about the building, so the move is stress-free, such as:
- Where the fuse box is located?
- Where the water stopcock is located?
- Who to contact about maintenance issues, if they also use a letting agency?
- Whether you are allowed to decorate the property?
If your landlord will not allow you to make any permanent changes to the property, such as painting the walls or adding nails to hang pictures from, there are still ways to make your new home feel cosy:
- Decorate the living room with cushions that follow a set theme for patterns and colours;
- Also, you can add a rug that will complement the cushions;
- An indoor herb garden can make a nice addition to any kitchen, improving the look and smell of the room;
- If you choose to use wooden furniture in the bedrooms, go for matching wood;
- You may not be able to change the light fittings in the property, but take a look at colour-changing smart bulbs, which you can change via an app on your smartphone.
Our final tip for you is to make sure that you have the correct contact information for your landlord and letting agency, and they have yours. This will help to make sure that you are all easily reached in an emergency!
Whether you contact each other via text, phone call or email, it is important that both parties are accessible.
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