What to consider when moving from renting to buying
When counting down the days until you become a homeowner, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of owning your own home. You may even forget that there are people and companies you must tell of your move. You will also want ensure that your landlord returns your deposit in full. This guide will help you when moving from renting to buying.
Inform your landlord in the right way
Telling your landlord that you’re leaving needs to be a priority. Fail to tell them in time that you are ending your tenancy and you could find yourself having to pay rent after you’ve moved out. You are legally required to give an agreed notice period which will be stated in your tenancy agreement.
It’s imperative that you give notice by letter rather than over the phone or face to face. You may be able to send it by email – consult your tenancy agreement to check if it is acceptable. On the letter, you should state the date you want your tenancy to end and that you would like the landlord to check the property on that date and return your deposit.
The amount of notice you must give depends on whether you have a fixed term tenancy or a periodic tenancy (also known as a rolling tenancy). If you want to move out before your fixed term tenancy is due to expire, you may be able to ‘surrender your tenancy'. This means that both you and your landlord have voluntarily agreed to end your tenancy. Check your contract to see if there is a break clause, before talking to your landlord. If there is, you should be able to end your tenancy as long as you make sure certain conditions are met. With a periodic tenancy you will normally need to give one month’s notice if you pay monthly, but again, check your contract. If you pay weekly, it will typically be four weeks’ notice.
Settle your accounts
You must make sure that you pay any bills once you move out of the property you rent, so contact your utility company, TV and broadband companies, local council (for council tax) and any other suppliers. You don’t want to risk missing a payment as this could leave a mark on your credit file.
Consider using the Royal Mail redirection service
By the time you’re ready to leave, you’ll have informed everyone you can think of that you’re moving. But there’s still a chance you’ll have missed someone, whether it’s your optician, dentist or a friend. To make sure no post arrives at your old address, you can sign up for the Royal Mail’s redirection service for a small fee.
If you’re unsure, then you may want to check out our who should you tell about your move guide. If you’re a car owner, you’ll need to notify your car insurer and the DVLA of your new address. Any home contents or pet insurance policies will need transferring too.
Make sure the property is spick and span
If you want to receive your full deposit back, you should leave the property in the condition you found it. You can clean and tidy it yourself or call in the professionals. Having a cleaning company do the job for you could save you time and energy. It should hopefully mean that it’s done to a high standard too. In some instances, your landlord may request the property is professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy, and this will be stated in the tenancy agreement. They may also ask for a receipt as proof of the service.
Verify your inventory
You should leave your property in the same way that you found it. Find your move-in inventory report and ensure that everything is accounted for. This is especially important if your accommodation was partly or fully-furnished. Note if the condition of any items have changed significantly. Your contract should indicate that items are allowed a reasonable amount of wear and tear, this may include scuffs and scratches. More significant rips, stains or damages should be taken note of.
Get photographic evidence
Before you leave, take several photos of each room and any furnishings if you can. If needed, these could later be used as evidence. Photos should have been taken at the start of your tenancy and included in the inventory report. By taking new photos, you’ll be able to confirm that you’re leaving the property in the same condition it was back then.
Perform final checks
On the day you move out, you should take meter readings for your utility company so that your final bill is accurate. Make sure you don’t leave anything in the property or in the garden that belongs to you.
Your TV and broadband companies will probably have instructed you to take your equipment with you and arranged for your services to be resumed at your new home. However, the equipment shouldn’t be packed if they belong to your landlord. You mustn’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you, or you might have some of your deposit held back or receive a bill to replace.
Get your deposit back
If possible, you should also ask your landlord to sign a check-out inventory report when you hand over your keys. Hopefully, they’ll give you your full deposit but if they try to withhold some, make sure it’s for valid reasons.
They legally can’t penalise you for wear and tear. Double check that you're not being charged more than it would usually cost if a room needs redcorating.
Your deposit should have been placed in a tenancy scheme. If there is a dispute, you can contact your scheme's alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service. They deal with complaints and should be able to resolve any issues fairly.
After completing all checks, sorting out payments and settling accounts, it's time to collect the keys to your new home. This is an exciting time so be proud of your achievements and enjoy the start of new beginnings.
If you're looking for your dream home, find it today with David Wilson Homes.