Preparing to move in

Finding the right place to live is just the start.  There’s still a lot to do to turn a house into your home.

Budgeting

Before you sign your Tenancy Agreement you need to be sure you can afford to live in the house. It’s a good idea to do a budget as there’s more to pay for than just the rent including:

  • Council Tax
  • Utility Bills
  • TV licence
  • Telephone and internet
  • Contents Insurances

Council Tax

Council Tax is based on the value of the property and is paid to the Council. Unless your Tenancy Agreement says otherwise Council Tax is usually paid by the tenant. You will be responsible for the Council Tax from the day you move in and you must tell the Council about your change of address.

Full time students do not have to pay Council Tax. If everyone who lives in the house is a full-time student the property will be exempt from Council Tax. If you are a full-time student but others living in the house aren’t you won’t have to pay Council Tax but they will unless another exemption applies.

If you are the only person who lives in the property you will be able to claim a 25% discount. If you are on a low income you could qualify for Council Tax Relief.

If you are moving into an HMO your landlord might be responsible for paying the Council Tax. You ask your landlord about who is responsible before signing a Tenancy Agreement.

Utility Bills

The utility bills you will need to pay will include gas, electricity and water. It can be difficult to say exactly how much your bills will be but there are websites that can help you estimate the amount you will need to pay.

Check if the property has a water meter or not as this will help you estimate how you’re your water bill might be.

You must let the current utility providers know when you move into the house and provide them with a meter reading. You should make a note of the readings on either your Tenancy Agreement or inventory and ask your landlord to sign it. This will help you to make sure you aren’t charged for the utilities that were used before you moved in.

Moving day

Once you have agreed the date you will move in you should arrange to meet your landlord at the property to:

  • Carry out an inspection of the property and agree an inventory.
  • Check the meter readings and ask about the current utility suppliers;
  • Ask how the heating and other appliances work;
  • Find out about rubbish and recycling collections

The landlord should give you:

  • A copy of the inventory that gives you seven days to raise any snagging points;
  • Copies of handbooks for the heating and other appliances;
  • Emergency contact details;
  • Gas, electric and other safety certificates
  • A set of keys for all the locks

Remember this is your final opportunity to discuss any last minute issues you have before moving in.