10 point checklist for renting a home
3rd October 2018
Prior to moving into your new home there is certain documentation that your new landlord is required to provide:
- A Gas Safety Certificate.
- Deposit Protection Scheme paperwork.
- A fire safety label on any furniture that has been provided.
- An Energy Performance Certificate.
- A copy of the Government’s How to Rent guide.
Now that you’ve successfully passed the reference checks, make sure you’re prepared to move into your new home by having a look at our helpful 10 point tenant check-list:
1. Have you insured your belongings?
Your landlord is responsible for your buildings insurance, but you are responsible for your Contents Cover. Don’t lose your deposit if an accident happens in your home and the carpet gets damaged, etc.
- Protect your deposit and your belongings.
- House sharing? Did you know that not having locks for each room may affect insurance claims in shared accommodation…?
2. Is your deposit protected?
If your landlord has taken a deposit, they are required to protect it within 30 days of receiving it, along with the Deposit Protection Certificate, prescribed information and a copy of the relevant scheme leaflet. (There are 3 government approved deposit schemes; DepositGuard / The Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS), The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and My Deposits (Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd)
Your deposit is considered received from the moment your landlord has the money (whether it’s a cheque, a bank transfer or cash), and not when the funds have cleared.
You can check that your deposit is protected with the (free) MyDeposits online checking tool: https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/deposit-checker/
Custodial and insurance backed deposit schemes; what’s the difference?
Custodial: All 3 schemes offer custodial schemes, which are free to use. An amount equivalent to the deposit is transferred to the scheme who will hold it for the duration of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy it is released according to agreement by the parties or if you and your landlord are unable to agree, it’s released after a decision of a court or free dispute resolution which the scheme can offer.
Insurance: All 3 schemes offer insurance schemes, which allows the landlord or letting agent to hold the deposit in their own bank account for the duration of the tenancy. But if there is a dispute at the end the disputed amount must be transferred to the scheme (so in that sense it becomes a custodial scheme). Once in dispute, just like the custodial, the deposit may only be returned by agreement of the parties, court order or a decision by an adjudicator under the schemes dispute resolution which the schemes must offer for free.
3. Have you thought about switching energy supplier to save £££?
Did you know that when you move into a new home you are often put on the default price plan with your energy supplier, meaning you could be paying too much?
You can usually change gas or electricity supplier if you rent your home (including prepayment meters), although the exception would be if your landlord pays your supplier for the energy that you use. If you’re not sure whether you’re responsible for paying for your energy please check your tenancy agreement for further clarification.
It’s also advisable to check your tenancy agreement to see if your landlord has a ‘preferred supplier’ – it won’t stop you from switching but you should inform your landlord or agent to keep the lines of communication open.
You can potentially save £100’s by switching energy provider so it’s definitely worth comparing energy prices to get the best deal. Our colleagues at Energy Helpline can help with this, so please click the image below to compare now and potentially save up to £533!
4. Furnished or part-furnished?
If you’ve gone for unfurnished or part-furnished now’s the time to get kitted out, at the best price possible. If your budget is tight, you can find free stuff through the likes of;
- Localised ‘Buy, Sell or Swap’ Facebook pages – simply type ‘Buy Sell [town name]’ into the Facebook search feature to see if your area has one.
- Please visit letdirectory.com for trusted furniture suppliers.
5. Get a move on!
Moving day is fast approaching and you realise you can’t put off the packing any longer! But have you considered:
- Having a clear out? You could make up a box for charity or, if you have time, you could hold a car boot sale or sell items online (e.g. facebook or ebay) and then put the proceeds towards redecorating costs or items you need for your new home…
- A priority packing list? You won’t be able to unpack everything in the first day, so be sure to pack an ‘essentials’ box for your first night, e.g. tea, coffee, snacks, mugs, a kettle, plates, utensils, cloths, toiletries, torch, first aid kit, small tool kit, etc.
- Enough boxes? Calculate how many boxes you’ll need in a variety of sizes. Strong tape, bubble wrap, self-seal bags and old newspapers for lining boxes is a great start.
- Does your contents insurance cover damage and breakages during the move?
- A removal/packing company? CompareMyMove.com works with local and national house removal companies to save up to 70% on removals quotes.
Planning on sprucing up the property you’re leaving and/or redecorating your new home? Check your tenancy agreement and get permission first!
Please visit letdirectory.com for trusted suppliers.
7. Phone/TV/Broadband Providers
Looking to set up your broadband, are you moving your existing or are you out of contract and have the opportunity to move? With TR Broadband Comparison we can show you the best prices on the market for Phones, Broadband, TV or both. Take a look today in preparation.
8. Your new address…
Have you thought about redirecting your mail and updating all account addresses? Here’s your ultimate checklist:
- Personal checklist: Family, Friends & Employer.
- Government checklist: HMRC/Inland Revenue, Electoral register, Local Council & Child Benefit.
- Financial checklist: Current account, Credit cards, Savings accounts, Pension, Home insurance, Car insurance, Life insurance, Travel insurance, Other insurances, Hire purchase providers, Student Loans, Company Loyalty cards, Share register & Premium bonds.
- Utilities checklist: Water, Gas, Electricity, Landline, TV Licence, Digital T,V Broadband & Mobile phone.
- Motoring checklist: DVLA, Vehicle registration, Breakdown cover & Car finance (if applicable).
- Health checklist: Doctor, Dentist, Optician & Vet.
- Entertainment checklist: Film/TV rental, Gym/Sports clubs, Newsagent & Magazine subscriptions.
- Miscellaneous: Library, Solicitor, Trade unions/Professional bodies, Schools, College/Universities, Pet micro-chipping services, Milkman, Cleaner, Window cleaner, Gardener & Charities you support.
- Avoid important letters & bills being sent to your old address by setting up a redirect via the Royal Mail website.
9. Electoral Roll…
Don’t forget to register to vote at your new address, as not only will you be unable to get a say on who represents you it can also help to boost your credit score; as those who aren’t on the electoral roll are unlikely to be accepted for credit. This is because credit reference agencies use the register to confirm where you live in order to counteract fraud. Each individual must register themselves, here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
10. Moving day questions to ask your landlord:
- Where is the mains water stopcock?
- Where is the fuse box?
- Where are the gas and electricity meters?
- Which days are rubbish and recycling collected?
- Are there instruction manuals for any electrical items?
- Who supplies the gas and electricity?
- Where is the thermostat?
- What is the landlord or letting agent’s contact number?
- Where are the TV aerial and phone line sockets situated?
- Which provider currently supplies the home phone and broadband?