Once you've found a rental property and signed the tenancy agreement, you'll be able to start thinking about moving in. After officially moving in, it's not time to relax just yet as there's still a few things you need to do to ensure a smooth tenancy.
Here's our summary of a tenant's post-moving tasks - from who you'll need to inform of your new address, to what your landlord should provide when you move in.
What do you need to do?
When you move in to a rental property, there are a number of documents which, by law, your landlord's required to provide you with.
It's important that you make sure you have all these documents from the beginning of your tenancy and it's advisable to remind your landlord to provide them if they haven't already.
- How to Rent booklet
Since October 2015, landlords have been legally required to present tenants with this eight-page booklet at the start of a tenancy. The checklist-style document carries lots of useful information, including sections on tenancy lengths, inventories and deposits.
- Signed copy of your tenancy agreement
Once you've signed the tenancy agreement, it's good practice for both you and the landlord to retain a copy. This ensures all the terms of the agreement are in writing and means you can easily find information such as the tenancy end date, the rent due date and the landlord's contact information.
- Proof of deposit protection
Once you've paid your deposit, your landlord's legally required to place it with one of three tenancy deposit protection schemes (mydeposits, The Deposit Protection Service or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme) within 30 days. It's important that the landlord provides you with proof of this, and you can subsequently use the paperwork to find out how you can get your deposit back at the end of the tenancy.
- Gas safety Certificate
Landlords must also provide tenants with a gas safety certificate at the start of every tenancy and each year that a new gas producing appliance is installed.
- Energy Performance Certificate
This, known commonly as an EPC, shows you how energy efficient your rental property is, something which could affect your energy bills. If you're living in a shared property, however, known as a House in Multiple Occupation, the landlord's not obliged to provide you with an EPC.
Inventory and inspection
The majority of landlords or agents will carry out an inventory either before you move in, or on the day you move in. An inventory details the property's contents and condition at the beginning of the tenancy, providing an impartial means of checking for damage at the end of a tenancy. It's important that you sign the document once you're happy with it.
The inventory could have a significant effect on how much of your deposit you receive back at the end of the term so it's crucial that the process is carried out properly. If the landlord or agent requires you to carry out the inventory yourself, make sure you take photographs to accompany the document.
Changing your address
Whether you're moving home as a property buyer or as a tenant, there are a number of people and organisations you'll need to inform of your new address.
Some of these you'll need to inform as soon as possible, while you can let others know over time. Checking your bank statements for regular Direct Debits and standing orders is a good starting point.
- Telephone/internet providers
- Inland Revenue
- TV Licensing
- Local council (for Council Tax)
- Companies/organisations you have regular subscriptions with
Utilities and bills
Another aspect of the moving in process is sorting out contracts and bills for utilities and services you'll be using throughout the duration of your tenancy.
If you're in a shared property, it can be wise for each tenant to take responsibility for a certain contract, rather than leaving it all up to one person.
Money saving tip: Your tenancy agreement should detail if you or your landlord are responsible for paying for the gas or electricity. You don't necessarily have stick with your landlord's choice of energy supplier, as a tenant can shop around to get yourself the best deals on your. Using a comparison tool that looks at the whole of the market could help you save money.
Here are some of the services you may need to set up or manage:
- Water, gas and electricity
You'll need to work out who's going to pay the bills and on what dates. It's also vital to find out if your utilities are metered, and, if they are, which type of meter they're on.
- Broadband internet/Wi-Fi
Most of us can't go ten minutes without using the internet these days, so it's key that you get on to an internet service provider quickly if there isn't already Wi-Fi or broadband at the property.
Our Tenants Contents Insurance provides £50,000 of cover for your contents and £10,000 liability cover, as well as being transferable between properties and covering mobile phones. You can find out more about it here.
- TV Licence
Everyone who watches TV needs a TV Licence. The law has changed recently, too, to reflect that you now need a licence for watching programmes post-broadcast, such as on the BBC iPlayer, ITV hub, My5 or Demand 4.
The beginning of the tenancy's also naturally the best time to work out any ground rules with your landlord. Most of it should be covered in your tenancy agreement, but it's important to know where your landlord stands on things like smoking, pets and decorating Our 12 Questions to ask when viewing a rental property blog is a good place to start. This is also the best time to find out about refuse collections and arrangements in your local area.
As well as ground rules with your landlord, if you're in a shared property it can also be beneficial to work out some basic agreements with your fellow tenants. For example, who's going to be responsible for what and are you going to pay bills and rent from one account?
We hope this guide has provided some useful tips to make sure moving in goes smoothly, and most importantly make sure you have everything in place to enjoy your new home.