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The Essential Rental Moving In Checklist

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

Starting a tenancy can be an exciting and overwhelming time.

With so much to consider, it can be easy to overlook vital checks you’ll need to carry out to ensure you get your deposit back when you reach the end of your tenancy.

To help you on your way to rental bliss, and to be certain nothing will be forgotten, here’s our essential rental moving in checklist. Here you’ll find everything you need to do as a tenant when you first move in.

Be certain about your deposit

Check your deposit is in one of the tenancy deposit schemes. It’s also worth asking your landlord for a receipt of where they have stored your deposit. 

Double check your inventory

Try to be there when the landlord is carrying out inventory checks. Double check what they’re including and in what condition or state they’re recording everything.

If you just receive the inventory on arrival, be sure to go through each item on it and, should you not be happy with anything, flag it up. Note down everything and take photos if you can.

This is your deposit at stake, so make sure you know the state of the property that you have to hand back. This is very important and is often not given the attention it deserves.

Test smoke alarms

You’ll need to make sure these work before you start living in your property. It’s your responsibility to test these and ensure they’re all correctly functioning.

Turn on your taps

Run all of the taps around the house and flush the loo. It’s important to know that everything operates as it should do!

Check all fixtures and fittings

Ensure that all of your light switches and light bulbs work, check each cupboard door and shelves for any faults or weak areas, and record the state of your carpets and walls.

Take meter readings

It’s always a good idea to record and file your meter readings. You don’t want to pay for the previous tenant’s energy usage!

Browse energy supplier options

If it’s necessary, change your energy supplier. There’s no requirement or obligation to stick with the current supplier, and if you can find a cheaper alternative it’s definitely worth the switch.

Locate the essentials

Make sure you locate your stop clock, fuse box and thermostat when you first move into your property. You’ll need to know their whereabouts in the future so it’s a good idea to be familiar with them from the start!

Rubbish and recycling

Find out which days of the week both rubbish and recycling are collected, and keep a note of what times they’re likely to be emptied.

Get the necessary certificates

Be certain that you’re in possession of an up to date gas safety certificate. It’s a legal requirement of your landlord to give you one at the start of your tenancy.

You’ll also need an energy performance certificate from your landlord.

Know your landlord

It may seem obvious, but make sure you know who your landlord is, their name and how to contact them. It’s very likely you’ll need to speak to them at some point during your tenancy, and you’ll save yourself a headache trying to chase up numbers later on.

Hold on to phone numbers

It’s not just your landlord you’ll need the contact number for. Make sure to have a document or file with important numbers, whether it’s an agent, service provider or insurance company.

Insurance plans and procedures

Take out contents insurance from the day you move in. You’ll want the peace of mind and the legal backing for all of your possessions.

Inform your friends and family

Let everyone know your change of address. Should anyone need to get a hold of you, they don’t want to be heading to the wrong house!

Know your rights

Being familiar with your rights as a tenant, and what you can expect from others, is always useful. 

Know what your landlord’s obligations are as well as your own, and be certain that they’re upholding them adequately and appropriately.

Buy a TV licence

If you want to watch any nationally broadcasted television you’ll need to get yourself a TV licence. If you already have one, you can transfer this one to your new rental property.

Register to vote

You will most likely be liable to pay council tax, so when you register with your local council, be sure to register to vote too. Every adult in the household will need to register themselves.

Check your council tax band

With over 400,000 homes in the UK in the wrong council tax band, it’s essential that you check yours and ensure that everything is correct.

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