Things to consider when moving homes
You may be in a situation in your life when you need to move home. Maybe your landlords have served you notice because they’ve decided to sell the property or maybe it’s your first time moving from a family home. Nonetheless you must move! More than likely you have a month or two to prepare for this event. We understand this process could be daunting and you may be out of line with processes and costs associated with this because it’s your first time moving, or you haven’t moved in a long time. We’ve compiled top tips for tenants moving home to make the move as smooth and informed as possible.
First month rent
Generally, in the UK you probably see properties advertised on a weekly basis but most of the time your rent will need to be paid monthly. It is worth noting that rents should not be calculated as the weekly rent advertised multiplied by 4. Monthly rents are worked out per calendar month, so you would need to multiply the weekly rent by 52 weeks and then divide this by 12 months. For example, £350 per week x 52 / 12 is £1516.66 opposed to £350 x 4 which gives you £1400. You may be thinking you are paying more rent, but this is not the case. Over the course of a year you pay exactly what is due.
Damage deposit or security deposit
In addition to first month rent, landlords will usually ask you for a damage deposit. Typically, this is equivalent to one month rent or 6 weeks. This must be registered with a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme by your landlord, so you can ask your landlord in advance who they will be registering this with. Landlords must provide tenants with a document called ‘Prescribed Information’ which gives tenants information on where the deposit will be held and how and when it will be returned.
Other costs to consider are administrative costs which some agents or landlords may charge. These costs can vary substantially and are usually to cover any administrative costs which may be incurred by the agent or landlord.
Most landlords and agents would like to know that they are renting to someone that will be reliable and can afford the rent. They would usually want to reference tenants and therefore may charge tenants to cover any associated costs.
Inventory and Check-in
An Inventory is a document which catalogues all the content in the property as well as the condition of both the content and property in question. Sometimes landlords or agents may use a third party professional clerk to carry out this process and may decide to put this cost onto tenants or split it between the landlord and tenant. Read the blog on the importance of inventories.
Removals or vehicle hire
Now that you’ve found the perfect home to move into and have loads of personal belongings or maybe even furniture to get to your new home. Do you have someone that can help? If not, you would need to hire a removals company that can do the job for you or may need to hire a van.
Most tenants will expect to move into a clean home. Cleaning is an area that is subjective. How clean is clean? It would be wise to ask your landlord or agent whether the property will be professionally cleaned prior to you moving. If not, you may need to hire professional cleaners to get the property ready. It is worth also noting that if you move into a property that is professionally cleaned, your landlord or agent most likely will expect you to hand back the property professionally cleaned at the end if the tenancy.
When you have moved into your new home you would usually be responsible for paying the main utility costs of gas, electric and water. It may be worth finding out in advance how these are operated i.e. card/key/meter or billing system as the costs of these can vary. You could also be responsible for paying council tax, so it may be worth finding out the cost of this in advance as it could the largest monthly outgoing. You may also want broadband, phone line and TV packages. Remember you may be responsible for paying the TV licence.
Landlords will have insurance that will cover the cost of the building and possibly their contents. Usually tenant possessions are not covered under these insurance policies. You may seek to take out your own content insurance for that extra peace of mind for the duration of the tenancy although this is not mandatory.
If you own a car and have decided to bring the car along to your new home, first and foremost it is important to ask your landlord or agent whether you have access to parking. A lot of developments these days are of park free schemes which means there isn’t parking available. The last thing you’d want is to have moved in and not be able to park your car. If there is parking available, you may need to obtain a permit from the local authority or from the management company of the development.
You may have your own furniture and are struggling to come across an unfurnished property that you like so you’ve decided to take a furnished property. You need to decide whether you will sell your existing furniture or put yours in storage. If it is the storage option, how much will this cost you for the duration of the tenancy?
In contrary to the point above you may not like any furnished properties in your preferred area and have decided to move into an unfurnished property. You’ll need to make a list of what furniture is needed and start shopping around to see how much this will cost you.
You will need to make sure that your mail is coming to you. Whilst getting settled in you may have to pay for a postal redirection service to get your important mail on time.
Finally, after all the above it is always a good idea to make sure you have some reserves in case the uninvited cost pops up.
If you are looking for a new home, visit our Property Search page to see if we have any properties suitable for you.