Moving to a new house or flat is a really exciting event but while a change can be great, the move is often a complicated process. These complications can become frustrating, particularly if they prove to be costly. So if you’re thinking of moving house but dread the impact it may have on your wallet then check out our guide to making your move that little bit more affordable.
Preparing For Your Big Move
From packing to organising transport and dealing with utility companies, there’s a lot to think about when you’re making a move.
It doesn’t always have to cost you a lot of money, however, so check out our quick guide to negotiating the basics:
Packing Your Belongings:
In terms of time and effort required, this part of moving house is often the part people dread the most. To make your life easier, however, consider a de-cluttering session in which you get rid of any unwanted items. Charities such as the British Heart Foundation will be more than happy to collect any unwanted clothing, toys or electrical equipment, whilst most councils offer free uplifts on bulkier furniture items.
When it comes to moving your possessions it’s important to plan ahead. There are often great deals to be had from van hire companies, saving you the cost of booking a removal service. As a general rule, avoid moving on a weekend, as roads tend to be far busier. And if you do decide to seek help from a removal company, keep in mind that their prices tend to be higher on weekends and bank holidays.
Sorting out your final council tax and utility bills before moving house will save you hassle and money in the long run. Ensure you take the final meter readings on the day you move out and submit them to your energy provider. Registering your change of address with your employer, bank and mobile phone provider will also save you having to chase up post after you complete your move.
Getting Deposits Back
If you’re renting, the issue of getting your old deposit back is an important one. After all, it might be a significant amount of money which could come in handy when you move – not least to cover the cost of your next deposit.
This is why it’s so important to include securing your deposit on your checklist when you move house. To help you out, we’ve come up with some tips to help streamline the process of getting your deposit back.
Do Your Homework
As you approach the date for your move there are a number of important steps you should take to give yourself the best possible chance of getting your deposit back. Here are some of the keys to helping you get your money:
Check The Contract
Get out your lease agreement and carefully check the terms of your rental. If you have to give a month or two months’ notice then abide by these conditions. Your lease is a legally binding contract and if you breach the conditions held within it, you’re giving your landlord the opportunity to take your deposit.
Sometimes features of your home, like expensive white-goods, break down or suffer natural wear and tear. If this happens be open and honest with your landlord – if you can prove that the damage is not your fault then you can minimise the chances of your money being withheld by the landlord.
Check Your Lists
If you get an itinerary when you move into the flat, go through it again when you’re moving out. Consider replacing any missing or damaged items and avoid leaving behind any of your belongings, as you may be charged for their removal.
Make Sure You’re Protected
This is arguably the most important of the steps you can take to ensure you get your deposit back. In 2007 the UK government introduced its Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. The system was introduced to bring in extra safety for tenants in England and Wales and was followed by a similar scheme in Scotland which started in 2012.
Under these schemes deposits are not held by landlords, but rather independent third parties. This means that the power is taken out of the landlords hand and any disputes can be dealt with by an independent third-party, a move designed to put a stop to rogue landlords and their unethical practices. All landlords and letting agents are required to safeguard deposits in this scheme, with the odd exceptions such as when the tenant is a company, or when university or colleges rent to students.
Deposit Protection Scheme
If you’re not covered by a deposit protection scheme, or you find that your landlord is being particularly difficult and you feel that they’re being unfair, get help from the experts. There are many places you can go to get advice and help when dealing with rogue landlords, Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help.
Note: Unless you’re one of the exceptions mentioned above, it is illegal to withhold deposits from tenants. A tenant can therefore take their landlord to court to get an order to be paid their deposit and compensation. You can find more information here.
Dealing With The Financial Fallout
Now you know how best to go about getting your deposit back you are in a great place to ensure you are not left out of pocket moving house. However, despite the efforts by UK governments to protect the deposits of tenants, the situation is still far from perfect. In fact, last year it was reported that complaints over landlords dragging their heels over deposits had risen by 86%.
Even though in the long term the protection schemes mean you’ll get your deposit back, landlords can drag their heels, leaving you out of pocket in the short term.
Taking steps to ensure you get your money back early can really pay off in the long run so know your rights and follow our guide. It might just make that tricky move a little bit smoother.