Moving into your new home is a time to ramp the excitement levels up to 10. You've gone through the process of renting, agreeing on a rental figure and signing the contracts. Now it's time to get the keys and settle down in your new pad. And to help ensure that everything goes off without a hitch, we've put together this moving-in checklist for renters so you can enjoy the smoothest of moves.
Read the AST
The rental agreement, which will probably come in the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), is the most important document you need before moving into a new home. Make sure that you thoroughly understand everything it entails, as it states your rights while renting the property and any specific conditions related to the home.
Decide on a method of moving
Are you going to do all the moving yourself, or will you hire a removal van to help with your items? This is the first task you'll need to complete. Hiring a removal van will make things a little bit easier, but doing it yourself is free – though is it worth the added stress? That's up to you to decide, but if you do use a professional removal company, expect to pay at least a couple of hundred pounds.
Create a list
Creating a list – whether writing it down on paper or jotting some stuff down on your phone – will make a world of difference to your organisation. You'll have a point of reference to cross-check against, ensuring you don't forget any of the smaller details like bringing your magnet collection from all those countries you visited with you.
Contents insurance is one of the easiest things to forget, but not having it can prove costly. If you're moving with your own furniture and items into the pad, you'll want to cover them against scenarios like theft and accidental damage. You should aim to set up contents insurance so that it kicks in on your move-in date.
An increasing number of rental properties now allow pets, especially since new legislation is about to come in. That means it's easier than ever to move with little Rex or Rover, but you might want to bring them to their new home the day after you've moved in. Moving can be quite chaotic, and it's probably best to leave them with a friend or family for the night to ensure a smooth move.
Clear the clutter
Look, every single one of us accumulates all the things in our homes, but that doesn't mean you need to bring it with you to your new place. Be bold, and clear out anything that you don't need. It might be hard letting go at first, but you'll feel better for it when you move into a shiny new home that isn't filled to the brim with that magazine collection you never read or five wardrobes worth of clothes.
Here we go… it's all getting real now. Packing is the most time-consuming aspect of renting, so the more organised you are with packing, the better the experience. Label boxes, don't mix rooms up and use lots and lots of bubble wrap – especially for your fragile items. No one wants to arrive at their new home only to find all the cutlery broken.
Redirect your mail
Much like contents insurance, mail redirection is another task most people forget to do when moving home. However, it's a vital aspect of moving, as you don't want to miss important letters because you haven't updated your address yet. Try and set up a mail direction at least a week before you move in.
Sort out your broadband
If you've already got a broadband connection set up at your old place, make sure you contact them to arrange installation in your new home. Broadband companies often have a bit of a waitlist for stuff like this, so the earlier you get in touch, the better.
Do the meter readings
You'll need to take meter readings at both your old and new properties, so you aren't charged for energy and gas you didn't consume. Take the meter readings just before you leave your old place and then as soon as you move into your new one.
Get your rental documents
Before moving into a property, the landlord or letting agent needs to provide you with certain documents under law. These include a copy of the How to Rent guide, gas and electric safety certificates for the property and a valid EPC stating its energy efficiency.
Note any defects in the property
A check-in clerk should walk you around the property when you move in, pointing out any defects while showing you how everything works. All of this will be noted down on the inventory, which states the contents and condition of the home. Be extra vigilant during the walk around, looking out for anything that might not already be on the inventory. The clerk is unlikely to miss anything, but if they do and you don't point it out, you could be blamed for it when moving out.
Enjoy your new home
Amid all the moving chaos, make sure that you enjoy the moment and look forward to moving into your new place. Because all that really matters is that you've got a home you love and enjoy living in