Whether you own or rent, moving house is a big step and can be daunting. There are so many things to think about all at once, from paperwork to packing and removals to redirecting mail. Based on our many years of experience in helping people sell, buy and rent homes, here are our top tips for what to include on your moving out checklist.
1 – Start early. Agree the date of your move. If you rent, make sure you give sufficient notice to your landlord. Ideally you will want to be out on the day your lease ends so you don’t have to pay for a property you no longer occupy.
2 – Make sure you book your removal company in plenty of time. It’s a good idea to shop around and agree the price and service you require.
3 – To help avoid or alleviate the stress of moving day, start clearing out clutter and unwanted items well before.
4 – If you are packing possessions you want to take with you, label each box with what is inside so you can find what you need easily and quickly when you finally come to unpack.
5 – Speak to Royal Mail and have your post re-directed to your new address from the date of the move. That way you won’t miss any important correspondence and you help protect your personal information from identity theft. You can set up mail re-direct from the Royal Mail website and, if it suits you, you can make it go live before moving day. You could also leave a note of your new address with the new occupier or managing agent so they can forward any post.
6 – There are lots of people you will need to tell about your move. Advise any companies that make regular deliveries to you as well as your doctor, dentist, bank, building society, mortgage company, home insurer, utility providers, TV licence company, broadband and digital TV suppliers, pension provider and car insurer. You will need to update your driving licence for DVLA purposes and, for electoral roll and council tax, you’ll need to tell the relevant local authority. Depending on your personal circumstances you may also have to advise HMRC or the Department for Work and Pensions.
7 – Just before you move, make sure to take and send in final meter readings to your water, gas and electricity suppliers. If you take a photo of your reading, this can be timestamped evidence so you don’t end up paying for the new occupier’s usage after you leave.
8 – Organise a box of essentials for moving day. You will want a safe place in which to keep important documents such as passports, bank records, mortgage paperwork, birth and marriage certificates and utilities information. The same goes for items such as credit and debit cards, phones, laptops and chargers.
9 – Make sure you leave your old home clean and tidy for the new owners or tenants. This will not only be courteous but it also ensures you get your full deposit back if you are renting.
10 – When you arrive at your new home, do a thorough check to ensure everything is in good condition. Check for any damage or issues, such as leaks or broken appliances. Make sure you take photos of any damage and report it to your landlord or estate agent as soon as possible.
The last thing you want to experience, especially if you are moving from a family or much cherished home, is to still be packing when the new occupier, key in hand, opens the front door and walks into what is now legally their property. If you follow our checklist and act well in advance of moving day, you will be in or on your way to your new home before that happens.
If you are looking to sell your home, buy a new one, or find a home to rent, we can help.
For more information, visit our buy, sell or rent pages or, if you are a landlord, our let pages.
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