We get it. Moving home can be a daunting experience. There’s just so much you need to plan for; the removal company you’ll use, the documents you need to find, and when to inform your current landlord.
And as the average tenancy length is getting longer, it may have been a while since you moved properties, or this may even be your first time — so, it’s normal not to know where to start.
But if you organise it well, moving home doesn’t have to be full of stress and panic. To help you start on the right foot, HomeHero’s Guide to Moving Home will reveal all there is to know about perfecting your move; from the beginning to end.
Notify All The Right People.
When? 2 months before you move.
So, you’ve found and secured your next home to rent. The first step is to inform your current landlord that you will be ending the tenancy, and you’ll want to do this at least two months before.
At this point, it’s a great idea to find your tenancy agreement and any attachments to it — including renewals. Doing this will enable you to determine how to end your tenancy correctly and what procedure to use.
Once this is all settled, your next step is informing all your relevant providers that you’ll be changing address. We’ve compiled a list of providers, so you don’t forget. (It’s happened to the best of us!)
The providers you’ll need to inform are:
- Your letting agent
- Your current local council
- Your new local council
- Your gas, electricity and water supplier
- Your landline, phone and broadband provider
- TV Licensing
- Any subscriptions registered to your current address, such as Netflix
- Post offices
It’s also a great idea to inform:
- Your employer
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Your GP, dentist, opticians or veterinarians
- Bank/Credit Card provider
As every company/organisation will have different terms of conditions on how to cancel or transfer subscriptions to a new address, it’s better to get the ball rolling sooner, rather than later.
Plan, Plan, Plan Ahead.
When? 2 months before you move.
Next, you’ll need to plan. It’s always a good idea to discover how you can facilitate your move, so here are some of HomeHero’s top tips.
Firstly, you’ll want to determine whether your landlord placed your deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme — (if they haven’t informed you already).
Your landlord was legally obliged to provide you with the paperwork that details the scheme within 30-days of your tenancy, so it’s worth checking this. If they haven’t, or if they’ve failed to protect your deposit, then you could receive up to three times the amount in compensation.
You’ll also want to inspect the property. To do this, grab the move-in inventory and make a list of all the damages and deterioration. Find out what’s deductible from your deposit and what’s your landlord’s responsibility, and then record the evidence.
We find that taking photographs is best, as they usually come with a date and time stamp.
Thirdly, you’ll want to gather all the remaining essential documents relating to your tenancy and keep them in a safe place — like a plastic wallet or folder. The documents are as follows:
- Any written agreement you have with your landlord
- A copy of the Gas Safety Certificate
- A copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- All receipts for rental payments and utilities you’ve paid for
- Receipts for repairs, maintenance and other property services that you’ve paid for
- All forms of written communication with your landlord, such as texts, emails and letters
In the two months before you move, it’s worth ordering any packing materials, such as storage boxes. This will be useful for when you…
Clear Out Your Belongings.
When? 1-2 months before you move.
Now it’s time to start clearing out your belongings. We find it’s best to tackle this on a room-by-room basis, preferably beginning with the room you don’t use the most.
All your junk, broken items, old clothes or damaged shoes can go first — but be sure to recycle where possible. Find out if your local council collects recycling and donate any clothes, shoes or games to local charities and books to local libraries. It’s nice to move out with a clear conscience, eh?
You can also consider throwing out anything you haven’t used in the past year. That old armchair? Donate. The blender you thought you’d use, but didn’t? Give to a friend. Doing this will help make the moving day smooth and straightforward.
Organise The Big Day.
When? 1 month before you move.
At this point, it’s useful to check back in with your new and current landlord to confirm the moving dates. You’ll want to schedule a final inspection with your current landlord well in advance, as it will give you time to:
- Start looking for reliable tradespeople to fix any minor damages that your landlord will most likely deduct from your deposit. (This may be cheaper!)
- Liaise with removal companies. It’s a great idea to ask friends for any referrals or better yet — see if they have a large car or van you can use.
- Search for end of tenancy cleaning companies, if you’d like to use one.
(Remember that after the Tenant Fees Act 2019, it’s now illegal for landlords to charge tenants with professional cleaning services)
Pack Up and Clean Up.
When? 2 weeks before you move.
Now for the hard bit; cleaning. If you’re planning to clean the property yourself, you’ll need at least one day — especially as your deposit depends on it.
Stock up on all the supplies you’ll need, and then start deep-cleaning your property; one room at a time. Don’t forget to clean appliances such as ovens, showerheads and washing machines, as your landlord will scrutinise these during check out.
Then, start packing everything you’ll be able to survive without for 3-4 days. This may be:
- Your cooking utensils, cutlery and dishware
- Most of your clothes, shoes and accessories
- Electrical appliances, such as lights and toasters
- An overnight bag with all your essentials
(Ppsst! We advise to pack up on a room-by-room basis, instead of by item type, as this will make unpacking in your new property just that little bit easier)
So, it’s finally moving day. If you’ve followed all our steps up until this point, then this part should be relatively straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Eat a hearty breakfast. You’re going to need it!
- Pack up the final bits and pile all your boxes in the hallway or street, ready for collection.
- Take the final meter readings for the gas, electricity and water.
- Do a quick, final clean of the property, unplug all the appliances and shut the windows.
- Photograph all the questionable areas of the property that may end up in a dispute.
Once you’ve arrived at your new property, you can also take your own photographs to document its pre-moving condition — as this will come in handy for later on. Oh, and test the fire alarms!
After Your Move
Before you settle into your new home, there are a few things you’ll want to get out the way first.
Firstly, make sure you attend the final inspection you scheduled with your old landlord. Here, you can also return the keys and be on hand to explain any damages or deterioration.
You’ll then want to send a written notice, preferably by email, to your old landlord requesting the return of your deposit. In the same breath, you can remind your new landlord about protecting your deposit and providing you with the relevant safety certificates.
And there you have it — HomeHero’s Guide to Moving Home. There’s a lot to remember, but we hope this helps. Are we missing anything? Oh yeah, congratulations on moving home!
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