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Moving in checklist for tenants

Renting a property can be an exciting yet stressful time. From being aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant to carrying out standard move-in checks, there’s much to consider. Use the checklist whenever you move into a rental property.

This information only applies in England.
Last reviewed 10 October 2022.

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View the property. Before paying any fee or signing any document, you should view the property you are considering renting. If you can’t go to the viewing in person, consider asking for a virtual viewing or sending someone you trust to the viewing.

 

Check that you are being charged the correct holding deposit amount. Landlords or agents may ask you to pay a holding deposit to take the property 'off the market'. Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, tenants can only be asked to pay one week’s rent, which is refundable in certain circumstances if the tenancy doesn’t go ahead.

 

Carefully read your tenancy agreement. Make sure to read the tenancy agreement your future landlord provides you with, and ensure that you understand and agree with all of the agreement’s terms. 

This reminder letter details all the necessary information including when the Flag any terms that you do not agree with (and/or do not understand) to your landlord and discuss them before signing. 

Ask a lawyer if you require advice on your tenancy agreement.

 

Check that your deposit amount is correct. The maximum level of tenancy deposit you can be asked to pay depends on the total annual rent for the property:

  • if your yearly rent is less than £50,000, your deposit can be up to 5 weeks’ rent

  • if your yearly rent is more than £50,000, your deposit can be up to 6 weeks’ rent

 

Ensure that your deposit is handled properly and that you’ve received all necessary prescribed information about your deposit. Within 30 days of receipt, your deposit must be paid into a Government-approved deposit protection scheme and you need to be provided with certain prescribed information.

 

Check that you have received other relevant documentation.  At the start of your tenancy, you should be provided with:

 

Check that you have contact details. Make sure that you have either your landlord’s or their agent’s correct contact details (eg telephone number and email address). 

Even if an agent is managing your tenancy, you are entitled to know your landlord’s name and address.

 

Agree on an inventory. Before you move in (or on your move-in date) check the condition of the property (including any furniture, fixtures and fittings) and agree on an Inventory with your landlord or agent. This is a document recording the state of the property (and any items in the property, eg furniture) at the start of the tenancy.

Consider taking photos of the property (and any items) and attaching them to the inventory. This can help avoid disputes about the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

 

Check that the property is fit for human habitation. Make sure that the property is safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm. This includes the property being free from pests and vermin. If there are any problems with the property, speak to your landlord (or agent) as soon as possible.

 

Test alarms. Test all relevant alarms (eg smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms) when you first start living at the property. If any alarms don’t work, flag this to your landlord (or their agent) as soon as possible.

 

Take meter readings. When you move in, you should take all relevant meter readings. To avoid paying for the previous tenant’s bills, consider taking photos showing the meter reading and the date and time.

 

Inform all relevant parties that you have moved. Use a Change of address letter to notify your contacts that you have moved.

 

 

For more information, read What to consider when renting residential property, Tenant's rights and Tenant's and owner's obligationsAsk a lawyer  if you have any questions or concerns.

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