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A Renters’ Ultimate Checklist: First Things to Do When Moving into a New Rental Property


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Will Southall

Will Southall

a year ago - 5 minute read

Moving rental can be a stressful time. Before you move (and on your first day in your new home), there’s a lot to do and countless people to inform.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, this article provides a checklist for renters on the first things you need to do when moving into a new rental property.

Plus, we’ll share our tips on how to save money when you’re moving.

5 Things to Do Before You Move

Notify Bill Companies You’re Moving

In the final weeks and days leading up to your move, make sure you notify all companies you pay bills to that you’re moving – including:

  • Your local council – to stop council tax payments
  • Energy providers – so they can cease payments after moving day
  • Water supplier – so you don’t get charged after moving day
  • Internet/TV – to cancel them or move the service to your new address

Take Meter Readings

During your final few hours of living in the property, make sure you take your final meter readings – including gas, electricity, and water.

Take pictures, too. It acts as photo evidence if you get charged more than you should.

Clean Up

Cleaning your rental is one of the most important things to do before you leave. Leaving a rental in an untidy state can cost you some of your deposit – especially if your lease is strict about cleaning rules.

For more on how to clean a rental when you leave, check out our ultimate end of tenancy cleaning guide for renters.

Take Pictures of Everything

This is a super important thing to do before you move. While it’s unlikely your landlord will try to charge you for things you didn’t do (like breaking or not cleaning something), it can still happen.

Just before you walk out the door for good, take a few quick snaps of every corner in the property. If you rented a furnished place, take pictures of everything that’s included, too (even the cutlery draw).

Having photo evidence of how the property looked when you last saw it is one of the best ways to ensure you get your deposit back if there’s a dispute.

Lock Up

And we don’t just mean the front door! There’s a lot to do on the day you move out, so small things like making sure you lock up can easily slip your mind.

Before you leave, double-check everything that needs to be locked is locked – including all doors, windows, sheds, outhouses, and side gates.

Things to Do on Day 1 in Your New Rental

Take Meter Readings

Just like you need to take meter readings in your old rental before you leave, you need to do the same in your new home.

Take pictures (most companies will ask for this) and give them to the current supplier as soon as possible to avoid being overcharged.

Inspect the Property

Before you move your stuff in, do a sweep to check for damages, missing items, or any issues you need to raise with the landlord.

Most landlords provide an inventory (with pictures) as part of your lease. Check this over in detail and if you spot any inaccuracies, raise them with your letting agent as soon as possible.

Take Pictures

During your inspection, make sure you snap photos of the property at the same time. This step is particularly important if you plan on decorating your rental.

When you leave, you can check to see what needs to be changed back. Plus, you’ll have great before and after photos to show your friends!

Test Smoke Alarms

Your landlord should have done this already (and most smoke alarms should be hard-wired), but a quick press to test it out on day one won’t hurt!

Things to Do In Your First Few Weeks After Moving

Update Electoral Register

Being on the electoral roll and having correct details is important for your credit score and voting season, so make sure it’s done in your first few weeks of moving.

Use the GOV.UK website to update your electoral roll details.

Sort Driving License & Car Insurance

If you drive or use a driving license for ID, make sure you tell your insurance company and DVLA about your change in address.

In a few weeks, DVLA will send you a new license in the post.

Depending on where you’ve moved to, you’ll either have to pay your car insurance provider slightly more, or they’ll give you a refund if the premium is cheaper in your new area.

Change Address or Redirect Mail

Make sure you still get your mail at your new property and start redirecting everything to your new address.

You can do this by manually updating companies that have your address, or you can use a paid service like Royal Mail or Sloth Move (some services can be accessed for free).

Make sure you update your address with places like:

  • Employer
  • School or university
  • Bank, credit card, or loan companies
  • HMRC
  • TV license – to get it moved to your new address

Also, don’t forget to give your old letting agent a forwarding address in case any post gets missed.

Arrange Home Contents Insurance

If you don’t already have it, consider getting contents insurance. It’s a type of home insurance that covers your possessions in the event of things like robbery.

Remember – you won’t need building & contents insurance if you’re renting, as your landlord is responsible for insuring the building.

Register With a Dentist & Doctor

If you’ve moved out of the catchment area of your old dentist and doctor, register with a new one.

You can register with a GP surgery and find a new dentist on the NHS website.

Register With Your Local Council

Your local council will contact you eventually (usually via letter) to arrange council tax – but you can contact them to arrange it sooner.

Also, it’s a good idea to check your council website for things like bin collection dates and recycling initiatives you need to be aware of.

Some councils have a ‘just moved in’ page on their website, so check this for full details of everything you need to know.

Tips on How to Save Money When Moving Rental

Ask Family/Friends for Help

You never know who may have access to a van that you could use for free/cheap instead of hiring a removal company!

Use a Lifetime Deposit

A lifetime deposit moves with you and can help you avoid the ‘double deposit’ problem.

Learn more about how a lifetime works and what the benefits are for renters.

Change Energy Supplier Quickly

If these bills are your responsibility (and not your landlords), you’ll be placed on a standard (usually very expensive) tariff when you first move in.

Change it as quickly as possible to avoid paying more than you should.

Manually Update Addresses

Skip paying for a redirection service and contact every company that sends you letters to update your address instead. Most will have an online form you can use.

It’ll be tedious, but cheaper!

How Fronted Can Help When You’re Moving

Over 60% of UK renters pay a new deposit before getting their old one back. This can leave renters £2,500 out of pocket. That ain’t right.

Don’t live through the double deposit problem. With a Fronted lifetime deposit, your new landlord gets the money when they want it, and your old landlord holds onto the money until you move out. You sit there feeling smug.

Learn more about how a lifetime deposit works or get in touch.

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Will Southall

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Will Southall

If you're a renter, we've got your back. This corner of the Fronted site is loaded with everything from moving tips, Lifetime Deposits, and anything you need to make renting, or moving, a breeze.

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