Organise your move
* Check the Letting Agent or Landlord will be around on completion date (when your rental contract starts). Do you have their phone numbers and mobile numbers stored in your mobile phone?
* Arrange a time to meet to collect keys
* Ensure whomever will conduct the inventory walk-around (to make a note of damage) will meet you at a time convenient to you (before you move your belongings in)
* Check when the property will be cleaned – go and inspect after it is cleaned, this should not be the day of moving in
* Send kids elsewhere if they are not old enough to help
* Pets should be kept away for the move if possible
* Reserve residents parking in advance for the removals van and obtain a permit
Your completion and moving date are important to you and you only. As much as the Landlord and the Letting Agent may act friendly, you need to make sure they will give you keys on time, have someone to go through an inventory of the property and show you key features including:
* where meters (gas, electric, water) are situated and how to access them
* which keys open which doors or windows
* controls for heating and hot water
* where the main stopcock (control for switching off water in an emergency) is located
* operating instructions for cookers, fridges, microwaves, dishwashers and any other appliances
Time to get rid of Kids and Pets!
Peace of mind on ‘moving day’ means being able to focus. If you can, send babies and children off to family or friends for the day and first night if possible (getting a home into ‘sleeping condition’ for kids is a challenge on day 1). Only children that are old enough to help and not complain (teenagers) should stick around. Pets should also be housed elsewhere, from the night before the move until a day after the move, if possible.
Help with the Move
Ensure you check availability of removal companies when you are moving towards agreeing the tenancy contract. If you leave it until the contract is signed you may find everyone is booked for a few weeks (especially in Spring/ Summer). You can always reserve a removal slot and tell them you will confirm nearer the time (check there are no penalties for pulling out).
Parking. Should you be moving to a flat or a central London location without off street parking, it’s likely that to park right outside the property the removal truck will need a permit. First find out how big the vehicle will be, then contact the Boroough Council (e.g. Westminster). Tell them you are moving and request a permit for the delivery truck or van and ask if you can ‘suspend parking’ in the bays outside the property. This will allow easier access when all that furniture needs to be moved. If it saves the movers time, it may reduce your removal bill. If not, it at least gets you in quicker, avoids overtime charges and reduces the risk of your furniture being damaged – especially if it’s raining.
Contents insurance is your responsibility – will you have a higher value of belongings in your new place? Get a higher limit up front otherwise you will have to keep paying administration charges to increase your cover (my company charges £20 a time). Tell your insurers if you are increasing coverage in anticipation of buying extra furniture, televisions and pictures. Ask if this is the right way to go about it as different companies have varying rules on ‘over insuring’ yourself.
If you haven’t had contents cover before make sure it is in place by move-in day. Everyone should check if their insurer has any requirements such as certain type of locks. Usually minimum standards apply – such as five-lever mortice locks on the main doors that meet British Standards. It is very important you check this or just get new locks if in doubt, otherwise your insurance will be voided. Double check if you will be storing bikes in a different place than your old home – this also makes a difference that can stop a claim being paid.
Make a Contents Inventory – we rarely have a true inventory of our belongings. Use your move as a perfect time to list everything and it’s value. As insurance companies generally pay replacement value you can just search the internet for prices of items you are not sure of, or if you think the price of something may have risen. Take pictures of all your expensive items – they are great evidence.
Digital contents. These days we have such high value stored in digital format – huge song collections from iTunes, downloaded movies, programs and lots of expensive software uploaded onto PC’s, laptops and Apple everything. Have you included the value of these on your contents insurance?
Backup Everything Digital
Special Tip: backup computers, laptops, even iPads and tablets if you can before you move. Moving subjects everything to the possibility of being damaged or lost. If the hard drive on your computer was damaged on the move from being jostled around, would all those pictures, songs, worksheets, notes and spreadsheets be backed up elsewhere? Do it in advance, close to your move so everything is upto date. Then store the backups at work or somewhere safe (away from the home). If you can backup to a Cloud system, this should be even safer.
You must inform the car insurance company of your address change before you move, and if you will be parking in a different way (e.g. on the street instead of in a driveway). Should moving mean you will now be commuting by car, make sure you add this to your policy. using the car just once to travel to work will leave you uninsured on that journey if you haven’t asked your insurance to cover you for commuting.
Naturally, if you will no longer be commuting using your car (that includes not driving to the station car park to catch a train); if you now have a driveway or garage for your car or if you’ve moved to a ‘safer’ area, then try and get some money off your insurance, even if it’s only at your next renewal time.
Now it’s time to find some help for your move. Click here for our Guide to Removal Companies