Welcome back to my Moving Series! Not sure what this is? Read this post to find out more.
Part 2: Where to Begin
Well we have just given notice to our letting agent and the papers for the new house will be signed imminently. We will officially be leaving the flat on the 2nd of October and I couldn’t be happier! Our notice period is very long (2 months) and unfortunately the only way that we can reduce it is if a new tenant comes along before the end of the notice period 😦 This has really irked me as everyone else that I’ve ever spoken to has only had to give 1 month notice to leave a rented property. GOD. Also, because of this rubbish set up we are moving into the new house 2 weeks before the lease is up on the flat. Obviously this could have been planned better but I have realised that this means we don’t have to rush to clean the flat before we hand back the keys! It’s a small victory.
Here comes the first tip of the series… THOROUGHLY read through your contract for your current property and every piece of paper associated with your agent before handing in your notice. This seems very obvious but you never know what they might throw at you when you decide to leave. Make sure you know your ground and exactly where you stand. It will be a tedious process but get into the right frame of mind and sit down for an hour or two and go through EVERYTHING with a fine tooth comb.
Unfortunately, the main point of contention will probably be your deposit. I am so glad that I kept the original receipt for our deposit along with our contracts – if anything it just kept me right. By law, your Landlord or Letting Agent must put your deposit into a Government approved tenancy protection scheme. You can find out more about this if you live in Scotland here and the rest of the UK here. This scheme is really a way to stop landlords and letting agents keeping hold of your deposit without just cause. If they believe that your deposit should be docked then they will have to lodge a dispute with the independent scheme who will then hold the money until the issue is resolved. Always know your rights when it comes to deposits.
The main culprit for deposit docking is cleaning charges and these can be easily avoided. In short, you should leave the property exactly as you found it. Do this, and you should avoid any charges! I have a post planned for later in this series about cleaning checks and making your flat look good as new! Also, you should have been given an inventory report when you moved into your let so go over this and mark down anything that might have broken or needs replaced – this will really help you in the long run! Even if you aren’t moving right now, it might be a good idea to take a look at your tenancy agreement to refresh your mind. It’s always good to know where you stand.
Finally, now is the time to get your moving supplies in order! This means stockpiling boxes, tape, markers, post its – everything you might need for moving day. I have all of my supplies stored in a box which is clearly marked so things don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Remember, there is no need to buy cardboard boxes! Ask friends and family to keep any cardboard aside or even ask local businesses or supermarkets if you can take some of their spares. Also, people often sell or give away their used cardboard boxes on Gumtree and Freecycle. Those are some good folks!
To sum up here’s a quick check-list of things to know at the start of a move:
- What is your notice period?
- Who is your deposit held with and how much of a deposit did you pay?
- Are there any obvious things which might affect your deposit that you could fix now?
- Do you have access to moving supplies i.e. boxes, tape, suitcases and even people?
I will be back next week with another instalment of this series! In the meantime, I would love any comments you have about this little venture. Are you finding the posts useful? let me know in the comments section or give us a tweet (@BoldlyGold)