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The Essential Moving House Checklist

By Matthew Telfer

Published: 8th January 2019 Last updated: 13th February 2019
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The process of buying can be tiring, time-consuming and stressful, often triggering more anxiety than starting new jobs or going through a divorce.

But it’s also a time full of exciting new opportunities. It’s no surprise with these mix of emotions throughout the journey that important details are often overlooked.

At Online Mortgage Advisor we have created a step-by-step guide to moving home.

Our comprehensive checklist is jam packed with everything you need to think about (and do!) both before, during and after you move into your new property.

Manage your energy providers

There’s a lot to think about when moving home and managing your energy provider – both for your existing property and new one – is one of them.

Firstly, notify your current energy supplier (ideally at least 48 hours before moving home) and share your new address, moving date and a final meter reading so they can send a final statement (taking note of it yourself) to get your account settled.

Following this guidance will help ensure you avoid being stung by any unnecessary overcharges from your provider.

Once you have moved into your home take a meter reading (ideally on the first day) and share details with the existing suppliers the new property.

Providers will also need to know your move-in date and personal details to create an account for you and ensure you are only charged for the days you have lived there.

This is especially helpful if the house was vacant for some time before you moved in as energy may still have been used but no previous occupier will have shared a reading.

At this point it’s recommended that you enquire about your tariff too.

As a new owner, most providers will revert the tariff to a standard one and it’s likely you’ll be paying more than you need to – and if it’s not right then shop around.

This is a good time to weigh up whether a smart meter installation suits you. These are a good way to monitor your energy consumption but beware that these do not work in areas of poor signal.

If your new property is installed with a prepayment meter then be sure to organise a new top up key or arrange for card to be delivered in time with your move in date.

Redirecting mail

You don’t want to miss important letters or phone calls when you move home and you certainly don’t want any post falling into the wrong hands and becoming a victim of fraud.

Yes, it’s a drastic outcome – but it does happen!

Whether you’re moving down the road or emigrating to warmer climates, redirecting mail doesn’t have to be hard work and can be done in advance of moving to take the stress off in those final days – and one less thing to worry about is always welcomed.

How to redirect mail when you move home:

All you need to do is contact Royal Mail with the full name and date of birth with everyone in the household that needs mail redirecting. There is a choice of 3, 6, or 12-month redirects available and you are charged per different surname.

Redirecting your broadband and phone line

Keeping the same landline when you move home can be tricky. Unless the dialing code falls within the same telephone exchange area you will have to change this.

Thankfully, in the digital age, we’re not short of other ways to communicate without a landline and certainly don’t lack the means to distribute a new number when it does change.

If you are not redirecting a landline contract to your new property you then you’ll need to make sure you cancel this before vacating your existing home.

Often phone lines are connected to a wider broadband bundle and if that’s the case then call up your Internet supplier and let them know you are moving.

They will need your new address to install broadband and it’s possible they may be required to send out an engineer depending on the type of connection available at the new property.

Check your new area’s broadband deals here.

Choosing a removal company

Packing your possessions into boxes and moving them from one house to another… how hard can it be?

Don’t underestimate the time, energy and effort involved in this process.

That’s why so many professional removal companies operate. If you’re living in a small flat then it’s probably not worthwhile calling in a removal service, but for anyone with a large family, lots of stuff and some valuable or fragile items it’s worth considering.

Ask around for recommendations from friends and family or do some research online to find a reputable removals company – there’s lots out there and review platforms like TrustPilot are a helpful way to determine legitimacy of companies.

Once you’ve made a decision provide your contact with a clear brief of your expectations for removal day.

Things to think about and discuss could range from whether you plan to take your carpets and blinds, or if white goods are coming with you.

If you require the removal company to dismantle and reassemble large items then make sure this is clear, and tell them what you plan to remove yourself so there’s no confusion.

It may also be helpful to provide a floor plan of the new property and clearly mark the boxes for each room so they can follow this and ensure all boxes end up in the right places – this kind of organisation will save a lot of time in the long run.

Apps such as ‘magicplan’ will let you do this quickly and easily on your phone.

You may also want to enquire about insurance, especially if you have any high-value possessions.

Establish what time limit there is on making a claim – you might leave some boxes unopened for a couple of weeks. Some policies have a max limit per item so check this too.

To save on cost you may choose to pack items beforehand yourself.

This is a common approach and whilst it’s a good cost-saving idea, the removal company’s insurance won’t cover items that they haven’t packed so consider leaving fragile and valuable items for them to manage.

Don’t forget your car is moving house too

If you move home and don’t inform your car insurer about a change of address, then proceed to make a claim on your vehicle they may refuse to payout.

Insurers work out the cost of your car insurance using a number of factors – including your address.

In fact, this is one of the most crucial parts of quoting accurately. There’s no harm in informing the insurer before you move so it’s one thing less to worry about after you’ve settled into your new property, but make sure it’s not forgotten.

Be aware that insurers usually charge a standard admin fee when you change details on your policy.

Costs vary according to insurer but usually start at around £25. They will always be set out in terms and conditions of your contract so read the small print.

Update your driving license

Once you move house you need to update your driving license and vehicle log book (V5C) through the DVLA.

There is no fee to change your address on a driving license, but if you don’t do this and you are asked to produce your license by police and it contains incorrect personal details, it could cost you up to £1000.

If you pay car tax by direct debit you’ll also need to inform DVLA when you change address for this too.

Visit www.gov.uk for more information.

Find ways to offload your junk

Now that you’ve done a massive clear out for the move, it’s time to cash in.

The likes of websites like eBay, Craigslist and Gumtree are designed to get rid of unwanted items with very little hassle.

There are ‘collection only’ options available so you don’t need to faff around with deliveries and Post Office runs, and your discarded belongings are going to new homes rather than landfill. That can only be a good thing.

Here’s some key tips to selling unwanted items when you move home, and getting them off your hand fast:

  • Focus on items that are popular. That might be seasonal popularity or just items that are in high demand.
  • Set a fair price. People want bargains and you want to offload your rubbish so try not to be greedy with your prices
  • And negotiate.
  • Be honest about your product. If there’s some wear, a scratch or a dent then make that clear in your words and pictures.
  • Like selling a home, good photography is key so if you really want to get rid of your stuff make sure you get some good images and make it look more appealing to the buyer.

Register to vote

Getting set up on the electoral register at your new home is easy one to overlook and yet it’s important for various reasons.

Firstly – it means you can vote in all elections and referendums, but it also helps with your credit rating. Without registering lenders struggle to verify your identity and getting credit can be harder.

To change your address on the electoral roll you need to re-register your new address. You will then be removed from the register at your old address.

All the necessary form filling can be completed here - www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Embrace technology

The digital age is a blessing when it comes to moving home. We can learn about the best-kept secrets in your new neighborhood – from restaurants to bars – at our fingertips.

Technology can also help us keep organized and on track of moving.

There’s nothing worse than avoiding your doorbell because you can't be bothered to chat with your new neighbour only to find out you’ve actually missed an important parcel delivery.

You can monitor your doorstep from your phone with a video doorbell – that means checking who’s there without having to scuffle to the peephole in the hope you haven’t been spotted.

What’s more, it’s an extra layer of home security too. There’s an increasing number of video doorbell devices on the market so it’s worth doing research to find one that suits you and your budget.

The best apps for homeowners:

‘Around Me’: Besides showing where your nearest takeaway is, this free app provides the location of your nearest hospital, ATM and petrol station – basically all the essentials. Plus it highlights the best bars, restaurants and where the get good coffee in town.

‘Pro Moving Planner’: The clue is in the name. It’s a moving house checklist tool that organises almost everything to do with relocation – and all in great detail. It has listing capabilities and helps track all professional providers and contacts you to hire and gives the option of storing all information on emails for back up. Combine our step-by-step guide to house moving with this house moving checklist app and nothing will get forgotten.

‘Packing Pro’: This app provides everything you need to organise your packing. It includes from distribution lists and filters to import and export and even lets you take pictures and has functionality to link directly with a printer.

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