Moving into your new rented home is exciting, especially if you’re moving out for the first time – finally a place you can make your own! You’ll probably want to start unpacking and making it homely as soon as you’re in. But there are some things you should do first.
Take meter readings
The first thing to do is take meter readings – unless it’s included in your rent/contract, you’ll need to (or you might have already) set up gas, electricity and water in your new home. To do this you’ll need to know the readings when you move in, so be sure to locate the meters and either note down the figures or just take a photo on your phone to refer back to later.
EDF have a good article on how to read your gas and electricity meters.
This one is particularly important if you notice any damage or other issues in the property, as you might need it to show it was already there when you moved in when it comes to getting your deposit back.
Go from room to room and take photos from all angles. Whether the walls are covered in blue-tac marks or the carpet is damaged, be sure it shows up in the pictures. It’s also a good idea to try opening and closing all doors and windows as well as checking that all taps, switches and lights work. Again, this is not only useful for flagging up necessary repairs to the estate agent but also might come in useful if your landlord tries to charge you for damage that was already there when you move out. Photograph everything – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
And we mean everything! The previous tenants or your estate agent may have cleaned the property before you moved in, but they might well not have done. It’s a good idea to get this out the way before you unpack, when the furniture is easier to move and you don’t risk damaging any of your stuff.
If you’ve already moved all your boxes and bags into the property, stack it all up as safely and as compactly as you can – try to keep it in one room if possible. You’re then free to deep clean each room, and then you can tackle the place your stuff was once you’re unpacked.
Check keys work
This is very important, especially as the first night in your new home can feel daunting – particularly if you’re living on your own. Check that all keys work and that all doors and windows are secure to put your mind at rest.
Read more about feeling safe on your first night in your new home.
Check the inventory
An inventory is a comprehensive report of the property. It usually includes a list of all furniture, fixtures and fittings as well as a brief description of their condition. This may well be given to you, in which case you should check it thoroughly, making sure everything is in that flat that should be and ensuring that the condition is as it says.
If you’re not given one, request one, and if you’re don’t receive it, make your own! Detail everything in the property when you move in – your photos of the property will be a good accompaniment to this.
Once this is all done, it’s time to start unpacking! Depending on how much stuff you have and whether you’ve got other things to do like assemble furniture, this could be a mammoth task or you could get it done in an afternoon. Don’t feel you have to do it all at once – start out by making your bed, and that way you’re good to stop for the day whenever you want.
For more moving advice read tips on how to make a home of your rental property, or view our Moving House Checklist to see a more comprehensive list of what to do in the weeks running up to moving day, right up to your first night in your new home.