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
Moving house can be exciting but it can sometimes be rushed and involve multiple people. Try to do a thorough check in of the property at the start and then again when you leave. This could save you TIME and MONEY and prevent disputes later on. It could be the difference between you getting your tenancy deposit back or not or preventing a landlord claiming you have damaged property, fixture and fittings when you haven’t.
Consider when the tenancy starts but also when you are actually moving in. Many agreements have clauses that require the inventory to be submitted within very short time frame from the start of the tenancy, not from when you move in. If you are moving in later than the commencement date find out if your landlord/agent will accept the inventory later and get this in writing.
If you are going to be living in a shared house consider the different arrival times or when you will take possession of the property and keys. It might be you have to delegate someone to undertake the full inventory and check in for everyone else.
Consider having a house pack with all the relevant tenancy related documents in: Copy of the contract, Energy performance certificate, Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical safety Certificate, How to Rent checklist, copy your complete inventory, details of any bill suppliers, details of emergency and out of hours numbers
Sharing accommodation can be challenging. Try hard to sort out differences and disagreements rather than letting them fester or being posted on social media.
If you are taking over a room from someone else you need to be careful that this is undertaken in a legally recognised way. A former tenants name should not merely be crossed out and replaced by you. Equally if you are releasing your room to someone the same applies. A new contract needs to be drawn up with the consent of anyone else you are sharing with and the Landlord.
After 1st June 2019 the tenant fees ban comes into force and only certain ‘permitted’ fees can be charged. See our Fees page for more information.