Moving In: The Essential Guide

Moving into your new home is an exciting time, but things can quickly turn sour if you’ve not done your homework.

The last thing you want is to have issues during your tenancy, or to risk losing your deposit, so we’ve prepared some advice to make sure that you’re clued up ahead of your big move. It may not be the most thrilling read, but it’s all super important stuff, so make sure you take a few minutes to read over it. You’ll thank us later, we promise!


To Do:

  • Ensure a check-in inventory and schedule of condition is completed on or before your arrival. See ‘inventory’ section below for details.
  • Take meter readings and set up your utilities and broadband accounts as soon as you move in.
  • Locate important things such as the mains water supply stop, and the mains switches to turn off gas and electricity.
  • Contact Runnymede Council Tax Department with your Student Status Certificate and tell them what date you moved in (if it is a joint tenancy, each individual should do this).
  • Update your address with your GP and any other health services you use.
  • Check once a month that smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working.

You Should Have:

  • A physical copy of the tenancy agreement signed by all.
  • Contact details (including emergency out of hours number) for the person managing the property i.e. landlord or estate agent, in case of problems.
  • Gas Safety Certificate
  • Deposit Protection Certificate (within 30 days of you paying it).

Key Legal Information:

  • The landlord’s address (not the one you’re renting) should be in the contract.
  • You have the right to decide who comes into your home. Your landlord/agent does not have the right to enter your home without your permission, but you must allow access for necessary repairs and inspections following 24 hours’ notice for non-emergencies.
  • In a joint tenancy, if one tenant owes money, then the other tenants and their guarantors are also liable.


When you move into a property a full check-in inventory or schedule of condition should be provided by the landlord or agent, noting everything in the property. Some landlords and agents insist on using the services of an inventory company and share the cost with their tenants. If this is the case, check that the report is accurate. 

If the landlord does not organise a check-in inventory, you can use this template and complete it yourself. Take plenty of photographs and videos of the inside and outside of the property as evidence to back up the inventory at the beginning and end of the tenancy. These would prove invaluable if there should be any dispute about deductions from your deposit.

Invite the landlord to be present when you complete the inventory, but if they are unable to, ask an independent witness to attend and sign the form instead. Then send a copy of the completed form and pictures to your landlord.

Final Word From Our Advice Centre

We hope that your moving in experience is smooth and positive. However, if the property is not delivered to you in the condition you expected, or you are confused or overwhelmed by anything, please contact our Housing Advisor who is here to guide and support you.