When you move into a new home there’s a lot to think about and a lot to plan – and whether you’re renting a city apartment or buying your own house in the country, many of the fundamentals of getting set up remain the same.
For this list, we’re not looking at the costs associated with the selling/buying/renting processes, but rather the things that you need to think about once you’ve got the keys and crossed the threshold.
Maybe the most important, since if you don’t start paying your council tax you could be liable for prosecution. It’s easy enough to do this online: councils should have their own online portal which will let you register for an account, find out what your bill is and decide how you’re going to pay.
You’ll also need to take over paying for the electricity, gas and water supplies. For gas and electricity, make sure you speak to the previous owner (or previous tenant) to find out who their supplier was.
Simply get in touch with the supplier – it’s usually possible to do this online or over the phone – and let them know that you’ve moved into the property.
If you can, provide them with the meter readings from when you moved in. They’ll be able to set up your account and continue supplying you without any disruptions. Once you’re set up, you are welcome to switch to a different provider if you wish to.
You can find you water supplier by using the ‘find your supplier’ tool on water.org.uk. Then, the process is very similar: contact your supplier and let them know you’re taking over the bill. They will set you up with a payment account.
Don’t underestimate the importance of sorting out a TV licence. Watching TV without one can leave you vulnerable to fines of up to £1,000 plus potential legal costs.
If you don’t watch live TV or use the BBC iPlayer then you should still head to www.tvlicensing.co.uk – look for a link that says ‘declare no licence needed’. Otherwise, enforcement officers will visit to ensure that you’re not watching TV illegally.
Contents insurance is an optional extra that can help you to insure your belongings. Make sure you shop around to get a great deal – we’ve heard of people getting a lot of sales calls from insurance companies when they’re moving home, but you could do better by using a comparison site to get your own quotes.
Don’t forget to update your banking addresses! If you have an issue with your account or lose a debit card then having the wrong details is going to be a problem. That’s why getting your banking details updated should be a real priority when you move.
Why not take this opportunity to go through your financial paperwork and get up to date? You can clear out old and outdated statements – just be sure to use a shredder to dispose of these securely – make sure that addresses are current and organise documents properly.
This step isn’t essential, but it’s a great chance to get things in order to make living in your new home even less of a hassle!