You’ve found a new place; your guide to moving in.
Moving in to a new home is a really exciting time, however there are some key things you may want to consider in order to ensure a stress free move so you can focus on the fun times ahead. Before you get swept away with your new surroundings - take the time to read this guide and get your house in order, literally!
For more information, useful tips and a handy moving in checklist, please download our Moving In Guide
Inventory and photos
You should be provided with an inventory/check-in report by the landlord/agent when you first move into the property. You should check this carefully, making any amendments as necessary – keep a copy. You may need to return the inventory within a certain time period (usually 7 days) as stated on your contract
Pay particular attention to marks on walls (from blu-tac usage), mould stains and any obvious damage to the property/fixtures and fittings. Also, note the condition of the garden/outside space.
Take dated photos and contact the landlord/agent (via email) to notify them of any urgent repairs.
The property should be presented in a good, clean condition – if this is not the case you should make arrangements with the landlord/agent for the house to be cleaned. If you clean it yourselves without reporting the matter, then there will be little you can do – but this may be the quickest/easiest way of resolving the problem.
Is your deposit protected?
Information about the three tenancy deposit protection schemes can be found here.
Utility bills and meter readings
Gas and electric
When you move in you should contact your gas and electricity supplier(s) to let them know the date your tenancy starts. Make sure you put everyone’s names on the bills, and set up an agreed payment method.
It’s always best to take regular meter readings (at least every three months) so that your bills are accurate.
That way, you avoid the nasty shockof an estimated bill. You can always take photos of the meters too, so you have a record.
If you're unsure who your supplier is, ask your landlord or agent. Alternatively, contact Meter Point Administration Service on 0870 608 1524 for your gas supplier, and Western Power Distribution on 0800 096 3080 for your electricity supplier.
It’s a good idea to regularly record your meter readings, even if your bills are included in the rent, as you’re likely to have a usage cap. That way, you can keep track of how much gas and electric you’re using.
You might have a water meter (where you’re charged for the amount you use), or you may have a fixed charge
for the year. Either way, Severn Trent Water is the only water supplier in the area, so make sure you contact them when you move in to set up an account and provide meter readings (if you need to).
Thinking of switching suppliers?
Make sure you check your tenancy agreement before you do as you might need permission from your landlord or agent, and you may need to revert back to the original supplier at the end of the contract.
Here are a few things to think about if you’re looking to save money on your utilities:
• Dual fuel accounts
• Paperless billing
• Monthly Direct Debits
• Tariff types
Don’t forget to check comparison websites as they often have the best deals!
And one more thing: companies offering ‘packages’ that allow you to pay all your bills in one monthly payment are often not cost effective. It’s likely they’ll charge an additional admin or service fee, which makes it a more expensive option than dealing directly with a supplier.
First, find out from the landlord or agent if broadband is already set up in the house. Then contact the supplier (or a new supplier) before your tenancy starts to make sure your account is ready to go when you move in. Finally, make sure you commit to a contract that suits the length of your tenancy.
Planning on watching TV? Then you’ll need a licence. If you don’t get one, you could be hit with a hefty fine.
If you have a joint tenancy, you’ll only need one TV licence for the whole property. But make sure you get one.
Most students are exempt from council tax, but you’ll need to let the council know who’s living in your property and whether they’re students or not. The council may send you a form asking for these details, so make sure you complete it and send it back. If you do receive a bill, please get in touch with SU Advice.
Insurance is rarely included in your rent, so you’ll need to purchase some cover for your personal belongings. You may be covered by your parents’ insurance, so bear this in mind when getting quotes or setting up a policy. Before you accept a quote, check whether the policy requires you to have a lock on your bedroom door. If it’s a key part of the policy and your room doesn’t have one, your insurance could be invalid.
Remember to put your bins out regularly and try to recycle where you can. Check with your council what goes in your recycling bin, as contamination is common but can be easily avoided. Don’t let your kitchen bins overflow – empty them as soon as they get full or they may attract pests.
Make sure you check your bin collection day too. If you need a gentle nudge to remind you when to put your bins out and bring them in again, you can sign up for email alerts - check with your local council. Just don’t leave your bin out on the pavement for too long or you could be issued with a fine!
Housemates, neighbours and local community
Have a chat with your housemates about visitors and acceptable noise levels. It’s good to talk this through early on to make sure you all agree on house rules.
Look out for the University’s ‘Hello Neighbour’ campaign, and if possible, pop round and introduce yourself to your new neighbours – or even just say hi across the garden fence. For more information, go to www.nottingham.ac.uk/yourcommunity
Remember: you’re living in a residential area, so be considerate of your neighbours if you’re thinking of having any gatherings at your house. The last thing you want is a warning notice from Community Protection Officers.
TV licensing - information for students
Shelter - check if your tenancy deposit is protected.
Nottingham City Council - Bin and Rubbish Collections
Nottingham City Council - Sign up for bin collection email reminder