When the time comes to move from one rented property to the next, the to-do list can be a little overwhelming.
From getting your deposit back to notifying numerous companies about your new address, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
With a little bit of forward thinking and an organised moving out checklist, the whole process can be made much easier.
Just follow our timeline of tips and you’ll be on track for a smooth move.
Once you’ve decided you want to move, starting to set the wheels in motion as early as possible will give you an organisational head-start.
Kick off by getting all the documentation related to your rental property in order. Make sure you have all the following paperwork to hand:
Your tenancy agreement including any additions or renewals
Information about your deposit protection scheme
The original inventory
Copies of the EPC, Electrical Safety Certificate and Gas Safety Certificate
Receipts for all rent payments, utility bills, and repairs and maintenance paid by you
A log of all communication between you and your landlord or letting agent
Details of providers including contents insurance, phone, TV, internet and utilities. You can also start to shop around to see if you can get better deals on any of these.
Armed with this info, you can confirm how and when you need to end your tenancy agreement, whether you need to do anything to ensure you get your deposit back and check how much notice you have to give to cancel or transfer services.
And if checking the inventory and inspecting the property reveals any missing or damaged items, you can cross reference which ones are deductible from your deposit and which ones are the landlord’s responsibility.
Paperwork organised, you can shift your attention to searching for your new place to live.
You’ll be faced with thousands of options from online and high street letting agents, contacts and maybe even your existing landlord if they have a large portfolio. So start by defining your must-have list:
Costing no more than £XX pcm
Minimum and maximum number of bedrooms
Location: how big an area are you willing to search in?
Non-negotiables, e.g. garden, walking distance to a train or tube station, quiet street, close to schools etc
With some careful sleuthing and a little bit of luck, you’ll find yourself the perfect pad for your next chapter.
Two Months Before Moving
As soon as you’ve signed your new tenancy agreement, inform your current landlord that you’re moving out. Remember to make sure you give them sufficient notice as per your existing agreement.
You can now get a head start on notifying the long list of companies and organisations who need to know your address is changing. Everyone’s list will be different but this covers the basics:
Gas and electricity supplier
Bank/building society/credit card company/loan company
Insurance and pensions providers
Get in touch and check what the procedure is. Spreading this chore out over several weeks will make it less of a headache later when you’re surrounded by moving boxes. You can also use an online service to manage some of the address updating process on your behalf.
Now is also a good time to have a good clear-out. Whether your next home is going to be bigger or more bijou, a condensed collection of belongings will not only make moving easier but will also give you that unbeatable new chapter feeling.
One Month Before Moving
Moving day is getting closer so it’s time to start finalising plans:
Confirm the move in date with your new landlord
Confirm the move out date with your current landlord
If you can, see if these can overlap by a day or two to remove any time pressure to move your things and clean your former property
Or if you’d prefer to use someone else’s elbow grease, arrange a professional end-of tenancy clean
Schedule the final inspection with your existing landlord
If you’ve got the right skills, make any repairs needed to guarantee a full return of your deposit. Or source a handyman to carry these out for you
Source a reputable removals company or trustworthy man and van to help move all your stuff
If you’re moving from a furnished property with few bulky items to move, consider simply hiring a van and doing the job yourself
Double check any parking restrictions outside your new home and if you need a parking permit on the day or beyond, arrange this
Keep hold of any large boxes: you’re going to need them!
Pack any non-essential items to get a helpful head start
Book any days off from work you may need
Two Weeks Before Moving
The excitement is mounting and your checklist should have plenty of ticks on it by now. As you enter the home straight, you’ll need to do the following:
Arrange for your mail to be redirected
Arrange contents insurance for your new home
Arrange childcare and pet care on moving day
Let friends and family know your new address
Start to use up food in the freezer
One Week Before Moving
The countdown is into single figures now so it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty:
If you’re tackling the end-of-tenancy clean, stock up on essentials and ensure you leave enough time to do a thorough job. Disputes over cleanliness are one of the main reasons deposits are contested
Make sure the garden looks tidy and all rubbish is cleared away
Take detailed photos of each room showing any wear or tear
Defrost the freezer
Confirm your moving date with your gas, electricity and water company at least 48 hours in advance
Arrange a time for the removal van to arrive, if you’re using one
Arrange a time to collect the keys for your new property
Start packing, remembering to label boxes and, if you’re super-organised, listing an inventory for each one
Pack an overnight bag with everything you need for the first 24 hours such as clean clothes, toiletries, tools, cutlery, phone charger, first aid kit, towels and, of course, the kettle
The wait is over and you can finally head for pastures new. You’ve got a busy day ahead:
Set your alarm early, dress in comfortable clothes and have a decent breakfast
Pack the final few items before doing a sweep of every room to check nothing’s been left behind and that it’s as clean as it needs to be to pass the inspection
Take a note of your final meter readings and photograph them
Make sure all windows and doors are securely locked
Collect the keys to your new property
Inspect your new home carefully, taking pictures to record its condition on the day you moved in
Take meter readings, again taking photos to document the figures
Check the gas, electricity and water are running
Find the kettle, make yourself a hot drink and give yourself ten minutes before starting to unpack
After You’ve Moved
You’re in! New home sweet home. There are just a few more items on your moving checklist to put a final, satisfying tick next to:
Return the keys to your former landlord or agent and attend the final inspection with them
Contact them to request your deposit is returned
Attend the move-in inventory if this didn’t take place on moving day and ensure it’s accurate
Remind the landlord about protecting your deposit via a verified deposit protection scheme
Request copies of the Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates and EPC to be reassured your new landlord has met their legal obligations
Keep unpacking those boxes!
Moving from one rented property needn’t be stressful. With some careful planning and a healthy dose of organisation, you’ll soon be happily settled in your new home.
Fancy a change of scene? Find your ideal rental property at MakeUrMove.