Moving in and furnishing your new home

Moving home is a hectic and expensive time as there is so much to do especially if this is your first home. To try to help you with this process we have put together a few pointers and guidelines on what you may need to do.

It is important that on viewing your new home to take note of all the information your housing officer will give you, particularly the location of the stop tap, in case you have a water leak, where your fuses are and your meters.

It is also important that you take any meter readings for electricity, gas and water supplies (not all properties will have water and gas meters). It is up to you to tell the suppliers that you are taking over the tenancy of the property and what the meter is reading at the time when your responsibilities start. Your housing officer will hopefully be able to tell you who the current supplier is.

If not, you will be able to find out by contacting:

When you initially take over your new home, you will need to arrange access for our gas engineers to call to turn on your gas. Without this you will not be able to use your heating and hot water. This appointment will normally take place on the Monday when your tenancy officially starts, but this will depend on there being a gas supply to your home. When you are signing your tenancy agreement, please arrange with your housing officer for when this can happen. The engineer will also demonstrate how your heating system will work.

All our properties are unfurnished so if you are setting up home for the first time or moving to a larger home you may need to acquire more furniture. Furnishing even a one bedroom property can be very expensive even if you are just buying the basics. As it can be such an expensive time it is important that you prioritise the essential items that you really need and can realistically afford.

Check local shops as well as Argos and IKEA

The internet also offers several websites where you can find free or low cost furniture.Check out the following websites www.freebay.co.uk and www.gumtree.co.uk

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to get some money to help you move in and furnish your new home. However if you are applying for a loan you must take into account that it will have to be paid back and assess if you can really afford to take it on at this moment in time – if you are unsure please contact us and we will be able to assist you.

Budgeting Loans help you to spread the cost of things you need to buy. You can use a Budgeting Loan to pay for things like:

  • Rent up front
  • Furniture or household equipment
  • Clothing or footwear
  • Removal expenses when you move home
  • Repaying hire purchase or other debts you took out to pay for any of the above

To qualify for a Budgeting Loan you or your partner must have been getting one of these benefits for at least 26 weeks:

  • Income Support
  • Income Based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit

You will need to get a claim form (SF500) from Job Centre Plus or you can get one from www.gov.uk.

When you move into your new home there are a few things that you can do which could help you settle in quickly and it is important that you remember to do them. To help with this we have put a short list together.

  • Pay your rent. Rent is due every Monday or on the first day of the month depending on your tenancy agreement. Paying your rent by Direct Debit is cheaper.
  • Forward a copy of your signed tenancy agreement to Housing Benefit in order for them to process your already submitted claim.
  • Arrange with the Post Office to redirect your post from your last address (there is usually a charge for this service).
  • Make sure you tell the gas, electric and water companies of the meter readings you were given when you signed your tenancy and confirmed your tenancy start date with them.
  • Notify you council’s tax section that you are now the tenant of your property and from what date your tenancy started.

By undertaking the above you will be starting your tenancy off with a clean slate which will help you going forward. However in addition to the above you will also need to advise lots of other organisations of your move. Below is a list, again you may find that some do not apply but will hopefully act as a reminder.

  • Register your children at their new schools.
  • Register with your local doctor’s surgery or change your address if surgery remains the same
  • Register with your local dentist or change your address if the surgery remains the same
  • Notify the benefit agencies of your new address
  • Notify the child support agency
  • Your bank / building society / Post Office account
  • Any credit, loan or finance companies
  • Your insurance company.
  • The National Insurance office
  • The Inland Revenue
  • Your employer
  • Your pension companies
  • Your mobile phone company
  • Your satellite / cable / internet provider
  • Any catalogue / mail order companies
  • TV Licensing
  • The DVLA for any vehicle registration and driving licenses
  • Your breakdown service
  • Your optician
  • Any store or club cards
  • Any subscription to things like magazines and book clubs
  • Any sports or social clubs

Whilst this list may appear sparse you will be able to add to your new home each time you are able to afford it.

Kitchen

  • Cooker or microwave
  • Tea towels
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Cleaning products
  • Fridge
  • Cutlery
  • Pots and pans
  • Plates and cups
  • Tin opener
  • Toaster (if you only have a microwave)

Living Room

  • Sofa or chairs

Bathroom

  • Towels

Bedroom 

  • Bed
  • Duvet
  • Duvet covers
  • Pillows
  • Sheets and pillow cases
  • Clothes rail (if you can’t afford a wardrobe)

General Items

  • Iron and ironing board
  • Curtains for essential rooms (bedroom)
  • Light bulbs

If you have a television in your home, you must have a TV Licence. If you do not have a licence, you could be hit with a large fine.

In some circumstances, you may qualify for a reduction on the cost of your TV Licence. You can get a 50% reduction on the TV Licence fee if you’re blind/severely sight impaired.

When you reach the age of 75, you may apply fora free over 75 TV Licence.

From the 1st September the law has changed and you will need a TV licence to watch on demand or download programmes from the BBC. So even if you don’t have a TV but watch programmes on a mobile device or computer you will still need a licence.

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