Moving In

 

Top 10 tips for moving in day 

 

 

It is really important that a thorough inventory check is carried out when you move into your new property to avoid later disputes over any possible damage in the property. It is standard practice for the landlord of the property to already have made up an inventory list but you should never just accept what has been stated and should check, preferably with the landlord, that what is stated is correct.

The inventory should itemise all of the fixtures, fittings and furnishings in the property and their current condition. Therefore any red wine stains etc already on carpets should be listed as otherwise you may find the landlord trying to take money from your deposit to pay for damage that was there before you moved in.

The inventory can also prove helpful towards the end of the tenancy as it will give you a check list which you can use to ensure that everything in the property has been left in the same general state, apart for signs of fair wear and tear, thus reducing the likelihood that any money will be taken from your deposit.

If your landlord is present on move in day, carry out the inventory check with them present. This will mean that they can sign off on any changes you make to the inventory list, this will then act as an accurate record of the state of the property and help you to combat any later claims that pre-existing damage was caused by yourself or your housemates. You may also want to take pictures at the time to give a better idea later on of the general state of the property. Always email these to the landlord afterwards so that it can be shown that you did take them on the day that you moved in.

If the landlord is not present you and your housemates can carry out the checks on your own. Note down any possible issues with items in the property and take pictures of their general state. Once this has been done email your amendments to the landlords inventory, or your own inventory list, to your landlord with the pictures included stating that this was the state of the property when moving in and that you hope that they agree to the changes that have been made.

From the date upon which you move into the property yourself, and any housemates, become liable for all utility charges. It is worth checking with your landlord when you first move in:

 

i. How the property is heated (i.e. is it gas central heating or electric storage heaters) – it may be that your property does not use gas at all and therefore this stage may be unnecessary for you

ii. How the gas is paid – some properties have a prepayment meter and others may require that you pay a bill either upon issue or via direct debit beforehand. If there is a prepayment meter installed you need to contact your gas provider and inform that you have just begun a new tenancy so that they can check that your card is not also charging you for any arrears owed to them by a previous tenant prior to your topping up the card

 

iii. Where the gas meter is located – it is likely that left to your own devices you would be able to find this but it is just as easy to ask and then take a reading with your landlord present so that the reading can be verified by the landlord then and there. If the landlord is not present you should take a photo of the meter as you take the reading and email this to your landlord straight away as proof that this was done on moving in day

 

iv. Who the current gas supplier is – it is this company that you will need to contact to set up a payment plan or to check that the payment card that you will be using is not in arrears. It may be that the landlord gives you permission to change the gas supplier during your tenancy. If this is the case it may be worth taking some time to research which company has the best package for you as utility bills can quickly add up


How to Read your Meter
This differs upon the type of meter that you have:

v.Digital Gas Meter:
Digital gas meters can be either imperial or metric. 1.Imperial

If you have an IMPERIAL meter there should be 4 main numbers before the red number including any 0’s at the beginning. It is these four numbers which constitute your meter reading. DO NOT read any red numbers or any numbers after the red numbers.

2.Metric

If you have a METRIC meter there should be 5 main numbers before the space or decimal point. It is these five numbers which constitute your meter reading including any 0’s at the beginning. DO NOT read any numbers after the space or decimal point.

vi.Dial Gas Meter

There will be a number of dials. Read the dials from left to right. If the dial is between two numbers use the lower number and if the number is between 9 and 0, use 9, even if this is not the number which the pointer is closest to. If the pointer is exactly on a number underline it. If any of the underlined numbers are followed by a 9 you need to subtract 1 from the number that you underlined. DO NOT read any larger or red dials as these do not constitute part of your reading.

 

From the date upon which you move into the property yourself, and any housemates, become liable for all utility charges. It is worth checking with your landlord when you first move in:

 

i. How the property is heated (i.e. is it gas central heating or electric storage heaters) – whilst all properties will use electricity this will give you some idea of how expensive your electricity charges will be as a house solely heated by electricity will incur higher electricity charges than one where the tenants also need to pay for gas to heat their property

ii. How the electricity is paid – some properties have a prepayment meter and others may require that you pay a bill either upon issue or via direct debit beforehand. If there is a prepayment meter installed you need to contact your electricity provider and inform that you have just begun a new tenancy so that they can check that your card is not also charging you for any arrears owed to them by a previous tenant prior to your topping up the card

iii. Where the electricity meter is located – it is likely that left to your own devices you would be able to find this but it is just as easy to ask and then take a reading with your landlord present so that the reading can be verified by the landlord then and there. If the landlord is not present you should take a photo of the meter as you take the reading and email this to your landlord straight away as proof that this was done on moving in day

 

iv. Who the current electricity supplier is – it is this company that you will need to contact to set up a payment plan or to check that the payment card that you will be using is not in arrears. It may be that the landlord gives you permission to change the electricity supplier during your tenancy. If this is the case it may be worth taking some time to research which company has the best package for you as utility bills can quickly add up


How to Read your Meter
This differs depends upon the type of meter that you have.
v. Digital Electricity Meter
1.Standard Meter - With One Row of Figures

Read the numbers on the dial from left to right, including any 0’s at the beginning. DO NOT include any red numbers in your reading.

2.Economy 7 or Domestic Economy Meter - With 2 Rows of Figures

The two rows will be marked as either Low or Normal. Take readings for both rows stating which is the Low reading and which is the Normal Reading. The readings are taken in the same way as above by reading the numbers from left to right, including any 0’s at the beginning. Again, DO NOT include any red numbers in your reading.

vi.Electronic Meter

You will have an electronic meter if you are on a Superdeal or Flexiheat price plan, check with your gas provider or landlord. You may also have one if you are on an Economy 7 price plan. Here you will need to take 2 readings: one for normal and one for low. It is important that you are aware of which rate is your Normal (N) rate and which is your Low (L) reading. This can be done by checking your readings an hour apart. So long as you are aware of which rate you are currently on, generally Normal during the day and Low overnight, then whichever rate has changed will be the one which is correct for that time of day. You can then record the numbers on screen as being the two separate rates.

vii.Dial Gas Meter

There will be a number of dials. Read the dials from left to right starting with the dial marked 10,000. If the dial is between two numbers use the lower number and if the number is between 9 and 0, use 9, even if this is not the number which the pointer is closest to. If the pointer is exactly on a number underline it. If any of the underlined numbers are followed by a 9 you need to subtract 1 from the number that you underlined. DO NOT read the dial marked 1/10.

 

When you move into your new property you need to let the council know that you have moved address for council tax purposes, even if your household will be exempt due to you all being students (for more information on this please look at our handy guide on Council Tax.)


i.Those Living in University Accommodation

The University automatically registers all those living within University Accommodation therefore you do not need to worry about alerting the Council to your new address.

ii.Those Living within Colchester Borough Council – Within Colchester

You can inform the council of your move via the following online form: https://iconnect.colchester.gov.uk/build/fillform.php?F.Name=fZXPtSdvxJC
Alternatively you can contact the council directly via telephone on 1206 282300.

iii. Those Living within Tendring District Council – Within Wivenhoe

You can inform the council of your move via the following online form: http://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/council-tax/changes-you-need-tell-us-about

Please note that in order to complete this form you will need to create an online account on the Tendring District Council website. Alternatively you can contact the council directly via email: council.tax@tendringdc.gov.uk or by telephone on 01255 686822.

 

All landlords of tenants which are signing up to new Assured Shorthold Tenancies (to check whether this includes you check our Tenancy Agreement Guide need to ensure that their tenants deposits are held within a Government Accredited Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

It is therefore important when you move into your property to ensure that your landlord lets you know within 30 days where your deposit is being held. If they do not do this they are in breach of their obligations under UK Housing Law and can face serious penalties. For more information on Deposit Schemes please take a look at our handy guide or pop into the Advice Centre to speak to one of our trained advisers.

 

If you are going to be watching or recoding live television, via any medium i.e. a games console, laptop, mobile phone, tablet or set-top box, you will need to purchase a TV Licence. A household requires only on TV licence which will cover all of the devices within the household.

 

TV Licences for colour television cost £145.50 or for black and white TV is £49, and this can be paid for either upfront or in instalments. For more information on various payment methods or to pay for your licence go to the following website: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/pay-for-your-tv-licence/index.app.

You can also purchase a licence at any PayPoint outlet or online. Payments can be made by cash or debit card. There are 20,000 PayPoint outlets across the UK, usually located in newsagents, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations.

If you are not going to be watching live television it is advisable that you contact TV Licensing and inform them of this via their online form: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/no-licence-needed/about.app.


a.Water

Your water may be supplied by either Anglian Water or Affinity Water depending whereabouts you live. It is always worth checking with your landlord but if they are unsure just call each of the companies and enquire as to whether they are your supplier as they will be able to let you know.

Your water supplier is not something that you can change so whoever is currently supplying your water will remain your supplier throughout your tenancy.

i.Contact details
1.Anglian Water
Website: www.anglianwater.co.uk
Phone: 01480 323 000
2. Affinity Water
Website: www.affinitywater.co.uk
Telephone –
General & Billing Enquiries: 0845 1489288
Payment Helpline: 0845 1482911
Emergency: 0845 1489299
b. Electricity & Gas

It is always advisable to check with your landlord who your current supplier is and whether they agree to the possibility of you changing supplier. If the landlord states that it is ok for you to change supplier then it is worth using online comparison sites to check whether or not another provider can offer you a cheaper tariff as this will help to save you money over the course of the year.

If your landlord is unsure of who supplies either your gas or electricity you can contact the distribution centres who will usually be able to provide you with an answer. To do this contact:

i. Electricity:
UK Power Networks – 0845 601 5467 ii. Gas
Meter Number Helpline – 0870 608 1524

If you are remaining with the same provider contact them with your meter reading and let them know that you have moved into the property. You and your housemates will then need to decide how to pay. This can be done either by direct debit or when your bills are issued. It is worth discussing the various options available with the service provider and then using this information to make an informed decision with your housemates.

If you are changing supplier contact the new company with whom you wish to supply your energy and let them know that you wish to switch. They should then be able to guide you through the process of switching and alert your previous supplier for you. Then you need to set up payment as before.

For a general guide on energy suppliers Which? has a complete guide on energy suppliers which can be accessed here: http://switch.which.co.uk/energy-suppliers

 

a. As with the utility bills, it is always worth checking with your landlord who the current Internet supplier for your property is and whether he minds you changing to a new supplier. If you are able to change supplier then shop around to see which company is offering the package most suitable to the needs of yourself and your housemates.You then need to contact the supplier and set up your account. This will usually involve setting up a monthly payment scheme from a bank account. It is worth discussing with your housemates prior to doing this how the bill will be split etc and out of whose account the bill will be paid.


a. It is important that you alert people to your change of address. The most important people to alert are:
i. The University
1. This can be done on your MyEssex Portal
ii. Your doctor
iii. Your bank, if you want bank statements to be sent to you
iv. Your parents, so that they don’t worry about where you are
v. Any companies that you have a subscription with so that your items are sent to you

It is also advisable that whenever you order something from a company who you have used in the past you check carefully that your previous saved address is not being used as your default address else you may be sending your items to somebody else

 

a. Part of the tenants obligations is to ensure that the house and garden are kept in a reasonably tidy manner. If you know that you are unlikely to be able to keep up with cleaning the property or keep the grass cut you may want to discuss the idea of hiring either a cleaner or gardener with your housemates.This can help prevent arguments between you all over whose turn it is to do certain tasks and reduce the likelihood that money will be taken from your deposit at the end of the tenancy to pay for a cleaner or gardener to come in and do an in-depth clean etc. to put the property back to its original state.