Moving in- the most important points
Moving in day may be different to the day your tenancy starts, as students often wait until September to move in, yet pay rent on an empty house.
We strongly advise you to make sure at least one of your housemates is able to collect the keys on the day the tenancy starts. This is to make sure the house is clean, safe and that an inventory has been carried out.
We cannot stress how important it is to get the inventory correct at the start of the tenancy as this will form the basis fo your evidence for any disputes there may be at the end of the tenancy.
In a recent tenancy deposit dispute the adjudicator wrote:
'It is also implied into every tenancy agreement that the Tenant is only obliged to ‘return the property and contents at the end of the tenancy in the same clean state or condition as they were at the beginning of the tenancy (fair wear and tear excepted)’.
Before the contract start date...
- Decide with the other housemates who will be in Loughborough in the day the contract starts (see your tenancy agreeement) and arrange with the agent/landlord to pick up the keys.
- Make sure you have a copy of the tenancy agreement for your reference and take this with you
- Make sure you have contact details for your landlord/agent and arrange a collection time for your keys.
- Consider the bank account that you will be using to pay your rent as it is important that rent payments are made on time. You may be charged if the payment doesn’t go through.
- Get some contents insurance- you need this not only for your possessions but if you let the bath run over and ruin the ceiling, or cause a fire (for example), you would be responsible.
An inventory is basically a check list for both you and the landlord to detail what is in the property that has been provided by the landlord. e.g. furniture, fittings, carpets etc. The inventory MUST detail the condition of those items and the condition of the property, e.g. paint work, garden etc.
If you are not given an inventory, create your own. Some agents use video inventories- this is not enough you need an itemised written one as well.
Check the inventory carefully:
- Record all the furniture and log its condition
- Is the house clean? If not, write it down and take dated photos.
- Are all the listed items present?
- List any damaged items - give a full description and take photos
- Do any repairs need doing?
- Check the heating and hot water are working and there are no leaks.
- Take photos of every room including photos of any items which are damaged or marked, as well as those that are in good condition.
Ensure that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy. It forms the basis for any deductions from your deposit for breakages, loss, and damage, so make sure you check it thoroughly. It is time consuming and boring it is worth getting it done as it will save you money in the future. You could end up being charged for something you did not do, or for a ‘missing item’ that was never there.
The inventory should be agreed with the landlord/ agent and signed by both of you. The inventory must be returned to the landlord/ agent with details of any amendments. Keep a copy.
If the landlord does not agree the inventory, email a copy to him and put it in writing that this is what you consider to be correct. In this way you have a record should you need to prove this to get your deposit back.
Below are some sample inventories. Sample one was a real one completed by a group of students. The landlord had created the list (which was not always accurate) they added the comments, this shows the level of detail you need to write on an inventory.
Sample two is from Shelter and is for you to print off and use for yourself if you landlord does not give you one. Please remember, a video inventory can never replace a written and signed (by all parties) document. Photos help considerably, but you do need to put the photo in context and make sure you can track the date of the photo too.
|Sample 1||Sample 2|
Click on the image to access pages from our Big Guide to Living Off Campus:
You have your keys and can finally move into your house. You are probably excited but it is important to remain organised and take some basic precautions to ensure that your stay remains stress free as possible.
The first thing to do is carry out an inventory. This is the most important thing you have to do when renting. If you are not moving in when your tenancy starts, make sure at least one of the housemates will be in Loughbrough on the day or very soon after so the inventory can be completed.
If none of you are pickingup the keys on the day the contract start, let the agent/landlord know when you will be taking the property over. You will still have to pay rent and utilites even if you are not living in the house.
As soon as you move in, and preferably on the date the contract starts, you need to take a meter reading for the gas, electricity and water (if it is on a meter- find out!. This reading must then be give to the current supplied- ask the landlord who this is. If you don't take the reading you are likely to end up paying for utilities that other people used.
Another important decision is how you pay the bills between yourselves.