Top tips for moving into a rental home


Checking the inventory 

An accurate inventory can help you to avoid disputes with your landlord over your deposit when you move out, so it’s essential that you check this document carefully as soon as you move in. If you spot anything that’s incorrect, make sure you record this. For example, add the details of items that are missing and make a note of and photograph any damage that hasn’t been detailed. As a general rule, it’s wise to take plenty of pictures to support the information you give. Only sign the inventory when you’re completely happy with it. 


Reading your water and energy meters 

On the day you move in, take gas, electricity and water meter readings and give these to the existing utility suppliers. You may want to take photos of your meters showing these readings too. Doing so will help ensure you get accurate first bills.  

To save money, it’s worth shopping around for a better deal on your utilities. Bear in mind though, it usually takes around three weeks to switch to another supplier, so it's likely that you’ll have to pay at least one bill with the energy current provider for the property. Money saving expert have set up a great Cheap Energy Club that will let you compare deals and see how much you can save. 


Setting up your direct debits and standing orders

To ensure that you don’t accidentally forget to pay your rent or any of your other bills, it’s a good idea to set up direct debits or standing orders for the appropriate amounts. The sooner you do this, the better.  


Update your driving licence, bank and others 

Don’t forget to change the address detailed on your driving licence. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to inform the DVLA of your move.  It’s also a wise idea to update your bank or building society and any other financial providers such as credit cards and loan providers as soon as possible to minimise your risk of fraud. 


How to Register for council tax 

Unless it’s included in your rent, you’re in full-time education or you’re covered by another exemption, you’ll need to pay council tax. To register to do this, contact your local council. Register here


Get Your TV licence 

If you plan to watch TV live or through the BBC iPlayer, even if you’re only going to do this on your tablet or laptop, you’ll require a TV licence. You can register to pay online, by phone or by post. If you’re paying by direct debit, you can choose whether to pay for a full year up front or make smaller payments each month or quarter. Get a TV licence here


Familiarise yourself with the security arrangements 

Make sure you know how to lock all the doors and windows in your new home, including in any outbuildings. If there’s an alarm, spend time ensuring you can use it properly.  


Get to know the local rules and routines 

To ensure you’re up and running as soon as possible, find out everything from when the bins are collected in your street to what the local parking regulations are. 


Sticking to your tenancy agreement 

Unless you’re prepared to part with your deposit and potentially be evicted, you’ll need to follow the rules set out in your tenancy agreement. This includes everything from paying your rent on time (even if you’re in a dispute with your landlord) to not subletting your property unless you have permission. 


Keep your property managers details handy 

During your tenancy, it is good to have your property managers details on hand so should any issues arise, you can contact them straight away and have the issue resolved. You don’t want to be scrambling round for some time looking for their details when you have an issue that needs sorting. 


Tips When Moving Out 


Cleaning costs and unpaid rent are the top reasons why deposit money is withheld when a tenant moves out of a rented property. 

So before you move out, make sure you have paid any remaining rent that is due. Keep in mind that if you are paying by cheque it will take a few days for the payment to clear, so pay in plenty of time so that by move out day all monies have cleared and no rent is owed. 

Give the property a thorough clean before you leave so it is in ‘move in’ condition for the next tenant. 

If you have rented a property that is full or part furnished, inspect the furniture and check for any damage. 

If you have caused any accidental damage then do get it repaired professionally. 


Tips to help avoid problems: 

  • Check the property against the condition report from when you moved in. 

  • Compare the property now to any photos taken at the start of the tenancy. 

  • Take photos when you leave. 

Don’t forget to give your energy suppliers plenty of notice that you are moving out so they can organise a final bill. It is also a good idea to take meter readings on your final move out day for your records. 

Inform any other suppliers that you are moving out such as Phone, Internet or TV. 

Consider redirecting your mail and leaving a forwarding address with the landlord or agent. 

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