10 things to do before moving out of your apartment in the UK
If you're moving out of your apartment in the UK there are a number of things you should do, from informing your bank to forwarding your mail to your new address.
1. Give notice to your landlord
If you are renting a house, flat or apartment, the first thing you should do is inform your landlord or rental agency. Your rental agreement will include the details of the notice period you have to provide. This can be anywhere from one week to three months, but will most likely be either one or two month’s notice. Most rental agreements also include an initial period of residence of at least six months before a break clause, whence notice can be given.
2. Inform the council
Council tax is paid by all households, including tenants, with the amount calculated according to the size of the property and the number of residents. This is paid by direct debit in advance to your local council. Call, write or pay a visit to the council offices in your town or city to inform them of the date you will be moving home. If you are lucky you may be entitled to a refund on the council tax you have already paid.
3. Give notice to utility companies
After you have decided to move out of your existing property, you will need to notify all utility companies of your moving date and possibly your change of address, if you want your account transferred to your new home. For most, you will be able to cancel just by a simple phone call but for others, you may need to write or visit a store. You will also need to make the final payments to your utility providers (including gas, electricity and water). If you are renting and the landlord pays for the utility bills, you may not need to inform these suppliers.
4. Cancel your telephone and television subscriptions
If you have a landline telephone, you potentially need to inform two separate companies of your impending move. All lines belong to British Telecom (BT), some of which are rented out to other telephone providers. You will need to cancel your contract with your provider who may in turn inform BT to disconnect the line. In certain circumstances, however, the onus may fall on you to cancel the line with BT. Don’t forget, you may also need to inform your mobile phone company of your change of address, if you have a contract rather than a pay as you go. If you have a contract for your television supply – Sky and Virgin are two of the most popular – you will also need to give a notice period as outlined in your terms and conditions.
5. Update your driving licence and vehicle registration
By law, you are required to notify the Drivers Vehicle and Licensing Agency (DVLA) of a change of address. This will be used to update both your driver’s licence and your vehicle registration. The relevant forms (D1 and V5C forms) that notify the DVLA of changes to the licence and registration, are available online or at Post Offices. New registration and licence documents will then be sent to your new address.
6. Arrange for post forwarding
If you want to take away the stress of worrying about missing post from your old address, you can arrange for it to be forwarded for up to two years. The service is offered by Royal Mail, the national mail service provider. They will forward your mail to one address, including overseas, with the service charged per surname and not per person. The service will cost £47 for 12 months to a UK address and £186 to an address within the EU.
7. Update the electoral roll
As a British resident, you may be enrolled on the electoral roll, which permits you to vote in British parliamentary and local elections. You will need to update your details when moving property. This can be done by contacting your local council offices or by completing your new address details online at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
8. Leave the property in good order
Within the lease agreement with your landlord, there is likely to be a clause regarding the condition of the property. You will be expected to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in and this may mean making minor repairs prior to leaving in order to ensure you get your deposit back.
9. Get your rental deposit back
If you have been renting your home, you will need to get your deposit back from the landlord or rental agency. You are likely to have paid one month’s rent as the deposit and, as long as the house is in the condition it was found, you should get your deposit back without any problems. If you do have disputes with your landlord, The Property Ombudsman will be able to assist you.
10. Ensure all of your belongings are with you
It might sound more appropriate to a flight or train journey, but you should ensure that all of your belongings have been collected before handing the keys back to the landlord or agent. Once you have exited the property and handed over the keys, you may find it difficult to get anything back that you have left behind.
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