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How to Move From One Rental to Another


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Will Southall

Will Southall

a year ago - 7 minute read

Moving from one rental to another sounds easy, right? Well, that is and isn’t true. While the process of moving rental is pretty straightforward, you need to do a ton of stuff and plan to get your timings right.

Handing in your notice, finding a property, and paying your new deposit are all time-sensitive tasks.

Getting things done quickly and efficiently is the key to moving from one rental to another stress-free – but how do you make sure that happens?

In this article, we’ll explain the process of how to move from one rental to another. That includes answering your questions about when you can move rental, when you should serve notice to your landlord, and when you can expect to get your rent deposit back.

When Can I Move Rental?

You can only move rental when your tenancy allows it. For example, if it’s coming to an end or you have a break clause approaching.

If you want to leave your tenancy early, particularly before a break clause, you’ll need to ask your landlord for permission.

Before you move rental, you’ll need to give notice to your landlord. Most tenancy agreements require you to provide a 30–60-day notice period before you leave. The day you leave should be the day your tenancy ends or the date of your break clause.

So, if your tenancy expires on 1st May, you’ll need to notify your landlord by 3rd March if you have a 60-day notice period.

When Should I Give Notice to My Old Landlord? Before or After I’ve Found Somewhere New?

It doesn’t really matter when you give notice to your landlord to say you’re moving out, as long as you’re giving notice in accordance with what’s in your tenancy agreement.

Usually, this means serving notice when you have a break clause coming up, or your tenancy is expiring.

It depends on your situation as to whether you should give notice to your landlord before or after you’ve found somewhere new to live.

Giving notice before you’ve found somewhere new is a good idea if:

  • You know you’re definitely moving out at the end of your tenancy
  • You don’t have much time to find a new place to live

Whereas serving notice after you’ve found somewhere new is a good idea if:

  • You’re looking for something very specific or difficult to find, like a rental that allows pets.
  • You have a very short notice period, like 14-30 days, and you’re unsure if you’re going to be able to find somewhere new in that timeframe.
  • You’re worried about not being able to find somewhere new to live in a time.

In these instances, it may be best to serve notice after you’ve found somewhere new, so you can stay in your rental as a backup plan.

Related article: Everything you need to know about renting with pets

Remember, you can always give more notice to your landlord than what’s stated on your tenancy agreement.

For example, if you only need to give 1 month, you can tell your landlord 2 or 3 months in advance, if you prefer to be super organised.

You just need to ensure it’s made clear to your landlord or letting agent that you intend to move out at the end of your tenancy – not 1 month from the date of the notice.

Related article: How to extend or renew your tenancy agreement

When Do I Get My Old Rent Deposit Back?

Landlords have to return your deposit within 10 days of you both agreeing on how much should be returned. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll get your money back 10 days after moving out.

Usually, your landlord will need time to inspect the property after you’ve moved. They’ll also need time to assess how much any deductions should cost and notify you about them.

You can ask them what dates they plan on carrying out these tasks before or shortly after you move out.

Once this happens, you can either agree to any deductions and have your money returned within 10 days. Or you can file a dispute with your tenancy deposit protection scheme if you think you’ve been mischarged.

Related article: 6 Ways to ensure you get your rent deposit back

Getting your deposit back can take time, especially if you dispute some deductions. It can range from weeks to months.

If you’re getting a loan to pay for your new deposit (in the hopes you get your old deposit back quickly), be careful. You could end up paying more interest than planned if your old deposit takes a while to be returned.

Related article: How to find out how much you paid towards your rent deposit

Lifetime Deposits are designed to help renters not be out of pocket when you move since your deposit moves with you.

Learn more about what it means to have a Lifetime Deposit.

What Happens When I Move to a New Rental?

Here’s what usually happens when you move from one rental property to another.

  1. Find a New Property

It depends on when your tenancy agreement ends, but you’ll usually want to start looking for a new rental at least a couple of months before your tenancy ends.

If you plan to move somewhere “difficult” (like to a pet-friendly rental or an area where rentals are in high demand), it’s best to start looking for a new property sooner rather than later – especially if you have a very short one notice period.

Before you start looking, check when your tenancy is due to end. This will help you plan ahead and get your timings right.

If you need help finding a new rental or planning your notice periods, speak to your letting agent or a letting agent in the area you want to move to for advice.

Related article: 10 Questions you MUST ask when viewing a new rental

  1. Sign a Lease On Your New Rental

Once you’re happy with your new rental and have passed your tenant referencing checks, your new landlord or letting agent will ask you to sign the lease.

When you’re signing the lease, you’ll usually need to agree on a move-in date. It’s a good idea to negotiate a start date on the day your old lease ends or up to 1 week before if you prefer to move in gradually.

Related article: How to make your rental application stand out

  1. Pay Your New Deposit

Unless you use a Lifetime Deposit that moves with you, you’ll need to pay your new landlord their deposit before you get your old one back.

It sucks, but it’s how the system works. You only get your old money back after you move.

Make sure you check when paying your new deposit that your landlord or letting agent is protecting your deposit using one of the registered schemes.

Related article: What to do if your deposit wasn’t protected

  1. Give Notice to Your Old Landlord

You’ll usually have to serve a notice period on the property, which could be 1-2 months.

If your tenancy is expiring soon, your landlord or letting agent may simply ask if you plan to stay or leave.

If they don’t ask, you’ll need to tell them you don’t intend to renew your tenancy and give the correct amount of notice specified in your agreement.

Otherwise, they may assume you plan on staying and moving to a rolling tenancy.

When giving notice, make sure you give it correctly. For example, in writing, if that’s what it states in your tenancy.

  1. Move In & Out

Ideally, you want to negotiate a start date for the day your old tenancy ends with your new landlord, so you can move in and out in one day.

However, if you prefer, you can agree to a crossover period, so you don’t have to move out all at once.

Sometimes this is preferable, as you can move all your belongings and then do your end of tenancy cleaning in your old rental over a couple of days.

For example, you can agree that your new tenancy starts on 1st April and your old tenancy ends on 8th April, giving you a week to move your stuff.

Just remember that you’ll be paying double for the short time you have access to both properties when you agree to a crossover period.

What Do I Need To Do Before I Move Out? A Renters’ Checklist

To summarise our advice in a handy checklist, here’s a list of the things you’ll need to do before you move from one rental to another:

  • Check your notice periods and tenancy end dates
  • Serve notice to your old landlord
  • Find a new place to live
  • Sign a new tenancy agreement
  • Pay your new deposit (using your very own Lifetime Deposit)
  • Complete end of tenancy cleaning
  • Take photos of your old place (it’ll help if there’s a discrepancy with your landlord about how you left the property)

If you used to pay bills yourself, not via your landlord, you’ll also need to ensure you notify all bill companies that you’re moving, including:

  • Council tax
  • Energy suppliers (gas and electricity)
  • Water supplier
  • Internet, phone line and/or TV

Related article: What bills do I have to pay while renting?

What Do I Need to Do After I Move? A Renters’ Checklist

Once you’ve moved out, you shouldn’t need to do too much with your old property other than:

  • Hand the keys back to your old landlord
  • Attend a final inspection, if required
  • Ask when your deposit will be returned

When you get to your new rental, you’ll need to do a few things before you get settled, including:

  • Do an inventory
  • Take pictures
  • Take meter readings
  • Update your addresses – including mail, electoral register, driving license, car insurance, employer, bank, HMRC, etc.
  • Register with a dentist and doctor
  • Arrange contents insurance

Read our complete guide on the first things you need to do when moving to a new rental property.

About to Rent a New Home?

If you’re preparing to move to a new rental, have you already started saving for your tenancy deposit?

At Fronted, we know making an upfront cash payment can be tricky – especially if you have to pay your new deposit before getting any of your old one back.

Lifetime Deposits are a perfect solution for renters like you where your deposit moves home with you.

Explore the details about Lifetime Deposits now, or get started with a Lifetime Deposit today.

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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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