Home covers two types of insurance, contents insurance which covers your belongings, from theft and damage, and buildings insurance which insurance the structure of your house from damage.
If you find that anything is damaged, from the front door to the carpet, take photos of it. Make sure prior damage is recorded in the inventory checklist and that the landlord is aware of it as early as possible, so it can be dealt with and doesn’t affect your bond.
When you move your own belongings into the property, if they’re of value to you, consider protecting them with contents insurance since they might not be protected under the landlords insurance.
Find out where important things are located in advance. Locate the stopcock and fuse box. Does your front door have a deadbolt or deadlock? This is a locking mechanism that can only be unlocked from the inside with a key - make sure you know how to use it if you have one.
If your tenancy started after 6th April 2007, then your landlord must put your deposit into a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP) to be kept safe for when you get it back. This will ensure that the funds are held legally and properly, meaning they’ll be protected until your tenancy ends.
You want to do your best to get your full deposit back at the end of your tenancy so take proper and respectful care of the property, its utilities and any contents. Be sure to clean it regularly and report any issues or damages quickly.
Sorting out your new bills, or moving the old, can take a bit of time so get them out of the way earlier rather than later. Inform your council tax provider of your new address, choose energy suppliers to suit your needs and don’t forget to take meter readings. Sorting your telephone lines, broadband and contents insurance should be on your ‘to do list’ as well. It’s a good idea to have a chat with your landlord in case they’d rather you stayed with existing utility suppliers.