Find out what you need to do and who you need to tell when you're moving house with our definitive checklist.
From hiring a solicitor to planning the housewarming party, buying and moving calls form quite the to-do list. We advise you get the legalities sorted as early as possible to ensure a smooth transaction. Providing it’s complication-free, the whole process can take around eight weeks to complete. Next comes the actual move itself which, if you’re not organised, can be a bit of a headache. So while you start to think about packing boxes and booking moving vans, we’ve compiled a definitive list that will hopefully make the whole process easier. Use it to keep track of all the important steps along the way, including what you need to do and who you need to notify before the big day.
Redirect your post
If you’ve lived in a property for a long time, updating your details on countless databases is an unthinkable task. Luckily, you can make the whole process easier by using the Post Office’s change-of-address service, which takes up to 10 days to come into effect and redirects all post to your new address. You can keep this service for three, six or 12 months after moving into your new home to avoid post going astray. A small charge applies but it’s definitely worth it for the convenience while you sort out all those changes of addresses.
Notify your bank and necessary financial providers
This prevents strangers getting hold of personal information such as pin numbers, bank accounts and credit cards. Current account and credit card providers may also use your current address as a security check or to verify your identity.
Once you know the details of your new home, you can get insurance up to 30 days in advance and schedule it to start the day you pick up the keys. If you already have insurance, check that your possessions are covered during the move and let your insurer know your change of address. You’ll likely have multiple policies such as pet insurance health insurance or car insurance. Compile a list in the weeks before you move so that you don’t miss one.
Notify utility, subscription and shopping services
You may need to wait out the call queues or spend some time doing the admin online but it helps to be proactive when it comes to dealing with your utility, subscription and shopping services. It will be easier to sort everything out in advance, rather than trying to locate a missing bill when it urgently needs to be paid, or having your shopping delivered to the wrong place.
Take final meter readings
Let your utilities providers know the exact date you'll be moving. You should take meter readings and photographs of them (ideally date-stamped ones) of the meters in both your old and new home. This will ensure you don't get billed for someone else's use. When you're settling in to your new property, it helps to shop around for the best deals for gas and electricity.
Register to vote
Though it’s not necessarily a priority, you’ll need to re-register to vote from your new address at some point. It isn’t difficult to do, and you can amend your registered voting address online on the Government's website.
TV licence and broadband
Depending on how busy the provider, it may take a few days or even a week before someone can get out to install your internet or satellite dish. So that you’re not left without, it’s worth organising an appointment as soon as you’ve secured your new address. It’s also worth noting that your TV Licence does not automatically change when you move house, so you need to notify them of your change of address or risk having to pay a fine of up to £1,000.
Your new home may require a permit, in which case you’ll need to apply before hand. On the subject of driving, you may need to update the address on your driving licence and car ownership certificate, too.
You’ll need to notify your doctor, dentist and optician of your move and re-register at practices in your new area.
Getting your child into a new school is not easy, so make this a priority before you move. Confirm the last day of the old school, and the first day of the new school so that they’re education is not too disrupted by the move.
You may want to book a few days off work before and after the move so that you can give it your full attention. You’ll also need to organise a time to pick up your new keys. Don’t forget to research removal companies to get the best quote and pre-order packing boxes - it’s likely you’ll need more than you think. You’ll also want to stock up on tape and marker pens to secure and label boxes.
Lastly, ensure your old home is prepared for the new owners. You might want to organise a cleaner or spend time giving it a good once over yourself. Make sure utilities are off and windows and doors locked with keys in place. It would be extremely helpful if you made a fact sheet for the new owners, detailing all of the essential information about the property, such as where the gas and electric meters are and when the bins are collected. Karma would have it that the previous owners of your new house will do the same for you.