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Moving home tips

Moving home is among the most stressful things to do, but much of that stress can be mitigated by planning in advance. Use our checklist to make sure you’re fully prepared to move into your new home, and don’t leave any unfinished business at your old one!
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Who to notify when moving house

One of the major tasks when you move to a new home is informing everyone that needs to know, from friends and family, through to your regular service providers and the authorities. Our suggestions should help you to get started:

Government institutions

Unless you're moving out of your parent’s home for the first time, the chances are you’ll need to settle your council tax account for your current property. Either way, you will need to inform the local council tax department for your new home of the date you are due to move in.

Some people don’t realise that registering to pay your council tax does not automatically list you on the electoral roll at your new address. You will need to do this manually with them and each individual over the age of 18 that is to move into your new home will need to register to vote individually.

It is also worth checking your credit file a month or so after the big move to make sure all the information is up to date. Being on the electoral roll alone will boost your score some, so it’s an important step.

If you’re a driver, don’t forget to contact the DVLA to update the address on both your driving licence and vehicle registration.

If you’re in receipt of any benefits or pension income, then you should also get in touch with the DWP to inform them of your change of address asap. This can help to avoid any issues with your future correspondence and payments.

Financial institutions

Informing your bank(s) of your new address is essential to avoid missing vital updates (new card or pin), and to safeguard you against fraud, should someone else get hold of your physical correspondence.

Different financial institutions will have different methods for informing them of an address change, but most will want to see evidence of your new address before they will confirm the change. Bear in mind that you may need to leave time to send this to them in hard copy format. 

Whilst you main bank account will be front and centre of your mind, don’t forget to inform providers where you hold:

  • Secondary and/or savings accounts

  • Credit cards

  • Investment funds

  • Private pensions

  • Store cards and loyalty cards

You will also need to either switch your insurance provisions over, or close the existing accounts and organise new insurance at your new address. This could be a good time to compare costs to see if you couldn’t get a different deal with other insurance providers. 

Don’t forget to consider:

  • Home insurance (both buildings and contents if applicable)

  • Car insurance

  • Life insurance

  • Healthcare insurance 

  • Mobile phone and device cover

  • Pet insurance - if your pet is microchipped you will also need to update the relevant database

Utility and other household service providers

As you’ll need to settle any outstanding balances on your household bills, you can save time by changing your address with each provider as you go through. Utility bills, like gas and electricity that are tied to your old property could be linked to you even after you move out, so make sure you’re not being charged for someone else’s usage by informing the relevant providers before you leave.

Everyone will have their own personal list of providers depending on the services they receive, but here is a list of the most common types to get your started:

Utilities

  • Water supplier 

  • Gas supplier

  • Electricity supplier

Remember to take meter readings for all metered utilities, this may include water for some households. Taking a picture on your phone is a good way to avoid losing slips of paper with this type of information on.

Communications

  • Home phone provider- where applicable

  • Internet provider

  • Any physical TV providers such as Cable or Sky TV - you may need to organise removal/reinstallation of these devices too

  • Mobile phone provider

  • Subscription TV services such as Netflix and Disney+

  • Any physical subscriptions that you may get, such as newspapers or magazines

  • If you still watch terrestrial or live tv you may also need to consider renewing your TV licence

Most of the above can now be done online, which is likely to save time and effort over trying to get through to call centres.

Moving home can be a great time to save money on your household bills. To make sure you are on the best deal run a broadband, TV and internet comparison with Uswitch.

Your local GP and health services

Even those with private health insurance in the UK will typically be registered at a local NHS doctor's surgery. If you’re moving to a new area that is no longer served by your existing GP, it’s important to register in your new areas as soon as possible to avoid delays, should you need a doctor when you move to your new home.  

Also remember to inform:

  • Pharmacies where you have repeat prescriptions

  • Dentists

  • Opticians

  • Physio or other regular therapies/treatments - even if you use NHS services for these, it can take time for address changes to be passed through to different departments, so it’s important to consider this if you have an ongoing treatment plan

Your employer

If you’re employed you will need to update your employer(s) with your new address details, as well as any outside service providers relevant to your employment, such as:

  • Company pensions 

  • Alumni networks and contacts

  • Professional bodies and associations

  • Colleagues

If you’re self-employed you will need to update HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) so that they can keep your tax information up to date. 

Educational institutions

Remember, if you have children, their educators will likely hold your address and contact details as emergency contact information, so keep the following applicable places in the loop with your move:

  • Schools

  • Colleges

  • Universities

  • Nurseries

  • Wrap around care providers

Royal Mail - Redirect your post

Another good way to avoid fraud is to make sure all your mail is redirected. There may be a small cost to use Royal Mail's redirection service, but you will pay far more if you become a victim of fraud. Redirection can last for between six and 12 months after your move, but bear in mind that this will take at least 5 days to set up, so don’t leave it until the last minute. 

Don’t forget to update your address with online retailers like Amazon or your ‘go to’ online supermarket. You don’t want your first food restock to end up with the people who moved into your old place!

Your landlord 

Of course, if you’re renting, then your landlord will typically be the first person you inform of your intention to move home. Don’t forget to keep them up to date with any changes to the moving date, as organising removals to align exactly with the last day of your rental contract won’t always work perfectly.

Moving furniture costs

When it comes to removals, it all depends on what's practical for your budget and the size of your property. Although don’t miss out on the ideal opportunity that moving to a new home presents to declutter your possessions. This can have a big impact on the cost and hassle involved with moving.

If you don’t have too many possessions, it will probably be cheaper to rent a van and ask friends or family to help out. However, that can easily add to the stress of moving day, so make sure it's right for you.

If you would prefer to let a professional removal company do the hard work for you, a good starting point could be the British Association of Removers. This is probably a safe bet if you have a lot of delicate and/or high value items, as they will be moved by trained professionals and should be insured whilst in transit. 

Packing tips

  • Have valuables and personal documents in a safe place and keep them with you on moving days - you never know when you might need your passport, birth certificate etc

  • Decluttering can be a great way to make some money to decorate your new home, try offering your unwanted goods on eBay, Facebook marketplace or similar local selling groups

  • Label boxes with the content and which room they belong to

  • If you use professional movers, have one person stay behind after they have left to check for anything they may have missed

  • Create a box of things you will need when you first move in and keep it aside, for example, chargers, a fresh change of clothes and essential toiletries

Prepare your home for new residents

It can be helpful to prepare a briefing sheet for the new owner or tenant before you leave. Think about what you need to know about your new home and write down the equivalent information for them. This could include:

  • Location of and how to operate the boiler and thermostat

  • Location of fuse box and utility meters

  • Location of the stopcock (valve to turn off the mains water supply)

  • How to set/deactivate any alarms/security features/smart home features

  • Labelling or tagging keys, including any sheds, garages and windows

  • Information about waste collection times and days

  • Gather together any user manuals for home appliances etc

Things to do when you're moved in

Change your locks

There’s no way of knowing how many previous residents have keys to your property, so for added security, it’s a good idea to get a locksmith to change the locks as soon as you move into your new home. 

If your new property is within a communal building, enquire with the management company about the possibility of getting new locks. It may also be worth the additional cost of changing any locks on windows and outbuildings.

Make sure appropriate insurance cover is in place 

If you’re buying your new home, you will likely have taken out buildings insurance when you got your mortgage. However, if you haven’t organised contents insurance, it’s important to arrange this to go live from the day your belongings are delivered.

If you’re renting you won’t need buildings insurance, but contents cover for your personal possessions is still highly recommended. 

Ensure you have the keys to everything 

Hopefully the previous owners or tenants of your new home will have provided you with a handover list similar to the one mentioned above. However, if not, be sure to check all doors and windows in your new home to ensure you have all of the keys necessary and know which one works where. 

Understand what all the switches do

You may also need to ask for information about the boiler, switches, meter boxes, smart home technology, stopcock, and any other control elements of your new home.

Are the utilities working?

It’s important to understand who currently supplies the utility and communication services for your new home, so that you can either inform them of your taking over the account, or know who to contact about switching utility providers.

Bear in mind that if you’re moving into a new build property, or one that has been empty for a long time, this may not have been set up for you, so it’s best to try and find out before you move in.

Take meter readings on your phone as soon as you move in to avoid any confusion over which part of the bills you’re responsible for.

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