Agree in advance who is having which room - try to do this fairly and by agreement
CHECK YOUR TENANCY DEPOSIT IS PROTECTED
Make sure you have personal possessions insurance. Don't assume your landlord is responsible if your items are stolen or damaged.
Make sure you complete an Inventory with Schedule of Condition and Cleanliness. This is usually one document and often just called an Inventory but rather than just a list of items it requires commentary on the condition and cleanliness of those items and the property over all. This documents is used by the deposit protection schemes to work out if the landlord can deduct from your deposit.
Annotate your Inventory and schedule of condition with all your findings/pictures – create your own Inventory if not provided one, attach photos of meter readings, sign and date and give to your landlord/agent within the specified time frame and KEEP A COPY
Take dated photographs of everything in the property including outside, including carpets, inside the microwave/oven. Photograph your meter readings.
If responsible for bills arrange for the supply to be placed in your names and meter readings provided to the supplier
Test all alarms – burglar/smoke/carbon monoxide
Test all blinds and curtains are secure and open and close properly
Check everything is working, bulb, washing machine, microwave, kettle etc.
Check hot water and heating are working
Check how many keys have been issued and that they fit and operate locks properly
Check what bins you have been given and what days these are collected
Ensure you give your council tax exemption certificates to your local council
Make sure you know what to do about rubbish, waste and recycling collections so you are not at risk of a fine. The council has a useful FAQ section. Check out NUSU Living In Newcastle page too for more information
Obtain a TV licence if required
Try to introduce yourselves to your neighbours