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Checklist Before You Move House

Moving home can be a stressful process, from finding a new place that suits you to arranging the fine details of the moving day. One of the most commonly experienced anxieties is whether you have remembered everything you need to do before leaving your old home. It’s not an unreasonable anxiety; after all, there is so much to do.

As an experienced agent, we have first-hand knowledge of what needs to be done and how often such things get forgotten. So, to help make your move as stress-free as possible, we’ve put together a checklist of the things that you really should do, whether you are a tenant or a landlord, not only before your moving date but on the last day too!

To Do (In the Weeks Leading Up to the Move)

  • If you are a tenant, check that you can move out – you may have missed your notice period, so check this in your tenancy agreement.
  • Book the removal/storage of your possessions only when a new draft tenancy agreement for your new home has arrived in your Inbox and confirms a moving-in date.
  • If you are purchasing a new home, check you have not only exchanged but received the keys to your new place.
  • Inform the following of your upcoming change of address: utility providers, council tax authority, broadband provider, TV licensing authority, mobile phone provider, bank, DVLA, doctor and dentist, private pension provider/s, any magazine subscriptions and your current employer’s HR department, in fact, anyone who will need to know your new address.
  • Notify utility providers and council tax authority of the date of the last day in your old home so you get your final bill on time.
  • Declare you don’t require a TV licence anymore at https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/no-licence-needed/about.app.
  • Set up a Royal Mail Forwarding Service for the first few weeks in your new home. You’d be surprised how much post still goes to your old address, even if you have told everyone about your new one. This is also worth doing for security reasons; for example, if your bank statement went to your old address and the new occupants didn’t bother or didn’t know where to send it on to, it could end up in the bin where any unscrupulous person could find it and use it to steal your identity, or worse!
  • If you paid for a professional cleaner to clean your old home, keep the invoice as a proof. If there is a problem with the service they delivered, then request a re-clean. Disputes are generally about cleanliness. Be sure to use a reputable cleaner and provide them with a list of what needs to be done. NB. Most cleaners DO NOT include cleaning the exterior of windows in their service but most tenancy agreements state this is required upon vacating.
  • Book storage space for your possessions if needed. There are now more innovative solutions than the most well-known Big Yellow. e.g. LoveSpace and Spaceways.
  • Pack separately anything you are likely to need when you arrive at your new home. The most common essentials include teabags (if you’re a true Brit), instant coffee (if you’re a bit more cosmopolitan), mugs (save the good china for later), a corkscrew (you’re going to celebrate your new home, aren’t you?), washing-up liquid and other cleaning items (because you can never be too clean), and of course, toilet paper (because you don’t want to find out there isn’t any when it’s too late).
  • If you are a tenant, be physically present for the check-out inventory so you can make sure everything is accounted for.
  • Agree in writing the approximate deposit return amount and timeframe of the return. This will depend on the final check-out inventory report but it will save you lots of time if you have a rough idea of any expected deduction.
  • Start using up the food in your freezer and fridge and don’t buy more than absolutely necessary. When as empty as possible, defrost the freezer correctly and clean out the fridge.
  • Return the keys of your old home and inform the agent of how you are leaving the keys. Remember to surrender all copies of the keys, including postal box keys and any fobs for gates, communal bin areas, etc.
  • Get unwanted bulky items legally collected and binned. Check with your local council website on this.

To Do (Moving Day)

  • Take time-stamped photos of all meter readings as proof.
  • Turn off the boiler, switch off electricity from the consumer unit and close/turn down all blinds and curtains.
  • Lock the main entry door and all other windows and doors.
  • Leave all keys behind and take a time-stamped photo of where you’ve left them as proof.
  • Take a time-stamped video of the condition in which you left the property and add your commentary. Be sure to show the inside of the oven to prove it is clean and the washing machine seal to prove it is mould-free.
  • Open the fridge/freezer and washing machine doors to ventilate the units.

So, there you have it, a list of just some of the things that you need to do both before and on the day of your move. It’s not an exhaustive list, by any means, but hopefully, following these tips will ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible.