This month is about what to do when you first move into a new house:
Do an inventory
Some landlords or letting agents will give you an inventory before you move in; do your own inventory against it to make sure all the items are there and in the right condition as it is stated on the inventory list. If something is missing or does not match the description on the inventory list, please report to the landlord or letting agents immediately to avoid any issues that may occur later.
If you haven’t been given one, you can always carry out your own inventory list with the simple form here and perhaps take some photos as proof of evidence. Once the inventory is done, you might want to send a copy to your landlord or letting agents for approval, so they won’t charge you unnecessarily later on!
This is the amount held against any damages to the house during the tenancy. This deposit is refundable less any deductions for any damages through your tenancy. It is advisable to point out any existing damages and ensure that there is an accurate inventory to the landlord as soon as you move in. Government legislation indicates that from April 2007 all Deposits are held in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. It has to be returned to you within 10 working days after your tenancy ends.
Some of you might need to pay your own energy bill if the rent is not included, there are few things you might find useful as you move in to a new house:
- Find out how the bill is paid. If you are on a pre-payment meter, you will need to top up credits for your meter before you can access electricity or gas supply; or to receive bills from energy suppliers. Either way it would be the best to establish a method of payment at the beginning of the contract. It is recommended that you put all your names on the bills so one person isn’t individually responsible for the bills
- If you are not on a pre-payment meter you should take your meter reading immediately after you move in and contact your current energy supplier in order to make sure you will be billed correctly and only from the time you moved in. Should there be any unpaid bills from previous tenants, please also notify the landlords or letting agency and also the energy supplier, so you will not be charged for the unpaid bill.
- If you are not happy with your current energy tariff, you can always switch (even with a pre-payment meter). Remember, you have the legal right to switch suppliers if you wish. (It is recommended that you should switch even if your tenancy agreement says you can’t. The energy regulator Office for Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) clearly stated bill payers have the legal right to switch energy suppliers at any time). To compare energy providers try these websites: moneysupermarket.com or comparethemarket.com are recommended. Please remember the earlier you switch your energy tariff the more money you could have saved over the course of your tenure.
There is no charge for Council Tax if students solely occupy the property but you will need to provide your landlord with a Council tax exemption certificate, which is available from your SOLE page.
Gas and Electrical Safety Certificates
Your landlord must keep the property you live in safe and free from health hazards. Make sure gas and electrical appliances are safely installed and maintained by a registered engineer. An ‘electrical safety certificate’ or a ‘domestic gas and electrical installation condition report’ provides a periodic inspection as all electrical installations deteriorate with time and should be inspected and tested every 3 to 5 years for continued service. A ‘gas safety certificate’ is a report which inspects the gas appliance, whether it is a central heating boiler, gas hob or even a gas fire are working correctly and safely. Please do check with your landlord or letting agency if you wish to find out more.
Update your contact information
Here is a list of places you might want to notify of your latest information/address as soon as possible after moving in to your new house :
- Your bank
- Your doctor or dentist
- The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
- Any agencies that process any benefits you may receive and –
- Anyone else that you have accounts or agreements with.
- If you are eligible to vote you should update your information on the local authority electoral.
- If you already had a TV license in your old place you can change it to your new address.
If the TV/phone/Internet is not included in the rent you should do some research for cheap combination deals. Price comparison website such as: Uswitch would be a good place to start.
When you buy electronic products we recommend you search for the appliances that have the ENERGY STAR label. Any appliances with this label will more likely use less energy and save you money!
Register with Energize Worcester! Our friendly Student Energy Advocates will help you throughout the year. We’ve also got lots of prizes to give away each month!