Advice Centre Blog – 03/07/2024

Adam – Advice Centre Co-ordinator

Moving in Top Tips


Hopefully you will soon be moving into your new home for the next year and if you are, there are a few things you might need to do. Here are 5 things you need to do to make sure you are set up for the year ahead! 

1. Create An Inventory – The most important of all is to make sure you make your own inventory at the start and end of your tenancy. An inventory is a sort of check list of any issues with the property when you move in. Take photos of everything, recording what you see and have. This includes inside the oven and fridge, the gardens, under mattresses, behind sofa’s etc. When it comes to moving out, this will be your evidence should your landlord or agency try to blame and charge you for damage.

2. Set Up Utility Bills – If bills are not included in your contract, you will need to get this set up under you and your housemates names. Find out who the utility company is and give them a call to get this changed over, try to avoid having one name on the bill and ask if everyone’s name can be on it. That way one person is not solely responsible if things go unpaid. If you wish to change provider, you will need written permission from your landlord. An email is fine for this.

3. Test Everything – Make sure to test your smoke alarms, lightbulbs, taps, locks and anything else that you may need. If anything isn’t working as it should, contact your landlord or agency immediately to get this resolved. If you have phoned, make sure to send a follow up email or text so you have this in writing and the conversation is recorded. During your tenancy, you will be responsible for checking and replacing faulty bulbs and batteries so it can be worth setting a monthly reminder to test alarms.

4. Check For Damp & Disrepair – As you are going around the property completing your inventory and testing everything, if you notice any damp, mould or other kinds of disrepair make sure to record this and contact the landlord/agency (email is best). You do not want to be blamed for pre-existing damage. Similarly, should you notice damage during your tenancy such as damp appearing or a dripping tap, make sure you alert your landlord or agency immediately. You are responsible for any damage caused up until the point you alerted your landlord.

5. Cleaning Rotas – Sit down and talk to your housemates and plan who will clean the bathroom and take the bins out etc. It is a contractual responsibility to keep the house in good shape and free from pests and getting an idea of everyone’s responsibilities early will mitigate any issues that might arise later.

You can find more information about housing support here.

If you have any questions, are unsure about anything in your contract or just want some general housing advice, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Advice Centre for further support: advice@soton.ac.uk

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