Things to Do Before You Move
Whether you’re moving for the first time or moving between properties there’s a whole raft of people to contact, including utilities and service providers. Doing this in advance can save money and hassle, because it costs more to reconnect services than to simply transfer an account. Also some services require a few days’ notice to activate (e.g. telephone landline), so it’s better to let them know your requirements before you move in.
Use our Moving Checklist to ensure you don’t overlook anyone.
Change of Address Notification
Certain organisations require a specific procedure, but it’s useful to prepare a standard letter or email to inform the others.
You may prefer to use a free online change of address service, where you can compile a database of your providers, and set up or switch utilities for your new home.
Landlord or Letting Agent
Make sure you have the necessary documents and information by the time you move in:
Contact details of the landlord/agency who is managing the property, including a 24/7 number for emergencies.
Keep records of all correspondence, including phone calls.
Check which service providers/utilities have been notified about the new tenancy and request that services are transferred not disconnected.
Find out the location of the fuse box,and meters. Better to know now, than try to find them in an emergency!
Ask to be shown how to work the boiler, heating, hot water systems and alarm.
Instructions for appliances should be left in the property – check.
Transfer or take out a contents insurance policy, to protect your belongings against risks such as flood, fire, damage and theft. Make sure you are covered from the day you move in. Tenants should arrange individual contents insurance policies.
Your landlord should cover buildings insurance, but do check. (Buildings insurance covers the structure of the home itself and its permanent fixtures and fittings, but not the contents).
If you are using a removals firm, check that your belongings are covered by their insurance, whilst in their possession.
If you are moving from a different property and starting a new tenancy agreement, don’t forget to get your previous deposit back. You should usually receive your deposit back within 10 days of your tenancy ending (if there is no damage to the property).
Payment of Bills
For regular bills like rent, council tax, utilities and services, it is a good idea to set up payments by Direct Debit (for variable amounts) or Standing Order (for fixed amounts), to ensure bills are automatically paid on time and you avoid late payment charges.
In a joint tenancy, set up shared bills in joint names of all tenants, and arrange a system amongst yourselves to ensure you all put aside sufficient funds to cover the payments.
Set up a Standing Order so your landlord/agent is automatically paid on time, and you avoid falling into rent arrears and incurring extra charges. It is best for tenants to do this on an individual basis.
Before you move, visit your local authority website and complete the online form to notify them of your new circumstances. This should ensure you are not charged after you move from your old home, and you pay the correct rate for your new property. You can also set up a Direct Debit to pay monthly installments.
Working out Your Council Tax – GOV.UK
Check the tax band & amount.
Find out whether you qualify for a discount (e.g. if any of the tenants is a full-time student)
or a reduction (if you are on a low income or claiming benefits)
Utilities – Electricity, Gas, Water
It is normal practice for the landlord/agent to transfer utilities to the new tenants’ names, but do check.
It is generally the tenants’ responsibility to get meter readings and notify the companies when they are moving out.
On the day of your move, check all meters have been read and the suppliers have been notified – you don’t want to be paying for the previous tenant’s bills! Keep a record of meter readings, just in case of a dispute.
As a tenant, can you change your energy providers?
Electricity & Gas
🙂 Yes – if you are responsible for paying your energy bills directly. But you should definitely notify your landlord/agent as a matter of courtesy; your tenancy agreement may actually require you to let them know if you switch energy supplier.
🙁 No – If the bills are paid through your landlord/agency, you don’t have the right to switch; but you could still make a request if you find a better deal.
Should You Switch Energy Suppliers? – Money Advice Service
Ways to save on energy bills, how to check if you’re getting a good deal, how to switch, and whether to fix your energy tariff
🙁 No – unlike other utilities, you can’t choose your water provider. You just need to find out who is your supplier, in order to set up payments.
Moving home links:
Comparison websites – utilities:
Telephone & Broadband
If there is a working landline at your new address (usually BT), request that it is stopped, not cut when existing tenants move out, to avoid a reconnection fee.
If you need a new line installed, order in good time as it can take a couple of weeks.
Set up new contracts in advance with phone/broadband/internet providers, so you have uninterrupted service from the day you move in. Check out the best deals in your area. If you are a heavy Internet user, it might be worth enquiring about the speed and download limit, as well as charges.
If you would prefer to stay with your current provider, call to advise them of your new details; you might be able to negotiate a better deal and transfer your service, including your old landline number (if your tenancy agreement allows), or set up a redirection service to your new number.
Phone & Broadband – Money Advice Service
How to find the best package, how to switch, & ways to reduce your landline & broadband bills
Moving home links:
Comparison websites – broadband:
You can buy or transfer your TV Licence online; you usually need only one licence per household.
Notify your cable/satellite TV provider if you want to transfer your existing service.
You may also want to check options for digital TV at your new property.
Moving home links:
Comparison websites – TV:
If you need to apply for a parking permit, you will have to register for Council Tax first.
Contact the DVLA to change the address on your driving licence.
Register with a local doctor, dentist and any other healthcare services you require.
Remember to notify your bank or building society, credit card company, , Student Loan Company and any other financial services.
Locks & Keys
Landlords do not legally have to change the locks following each tenancy (even if they haven’t managed to get all the keys back from previous tenants).
If you want to change the locks or have extra keys cut, first check your tenancy agreement, which may specify responsibilities in respect of locks and keys; even if you do not need permission from your landlord, it would be advisable to ask.
Make sure you provide them with a new key to the property.
Redirect your mail well in advance, to ensure you don’t miss any important post and to protect yourself against identity fraud (to prevent personal information falling into the wrong hands).
Tell any regular suppliers, subscriptions, retail accounts, gym memberships etc.
And friends and family of course!
If you need a removal firm, use a reputable company. Get personal recommendations, or look at the British Association of Removers, who operate under a strict code of conduct.
Check that your belongings are covered by their insurance, whilst in their possession.
Save costs by packing as much as possible yourself.
We have collated the most important things to consider before moving into this checklist for you…