What forms do you need to remember when you move house?
Moving house can be a complicated business. There’s so much to think about – from packing away and moving all your things, to finding new schools, to who will look after the dog… and then there’s remembering who you need to tell about the move, and all that form-filling to do…
As experienced removers, we know how daunting that can seem, so we’ve put together a handy bureaucracy-busting checklist to help make sure you don’t forget anything or anyone important!
Buying and selling
First off, there is all the paperwork associated with buying and selling a property. If you are using an estate agent to sell your home, you must sign a legally binding contract with them.
Your solicitor should help you with all the legal forms and questionnaires, covering such things as information on property boundaries, any proposed developments in the vicinity, and which fixtures and fittings are included as part of the sale. They will draw up a contract for you to sign and may also arrange the payment of any Stamp Duty Land Tax due on your new home as part of their service. You can calculate how much stamp duty you’ll need to pay here.
You must also arrange for the production of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which contains information about your property’s energy usage. You can find an accredited assessor here.
The move itself
You should have a written agreement with your removals company. This should include confirmation of your moving date, together with any special instructions or considerations and an inventory list of your possessions. A good removals company, such as a Master Remover, should be able to provide a detailed plan of action for your moving day.
Changing address: who you need to tell
But the paperwork doesn’t end with the legal forms. There’s a whole host of organisations you will need to tell about your move:
It’s advisable to arrange for your mail to be redirected – not only to avoid missing out on important post, but also as a security measure to help prevent identity fraud. You can choose to redirect your mail to your new address for up to 12 months, for a fee.
Take a trip to your local post office for a change of address pack, or alternatively visit the Royal Mail website. You should ideally do this at least four weeks in advance of the move.
Banks and other financial providers
Update your bank and credit card companies with your new address details, not forgetting any store and loyalty cards too. If you use internet banking you can normally update your details online. Otherwise you can fill in a form and either post it on, or take it to your local branch. For credit and store cards, you can usually find a change of address form included as part of your regular statement.
You should also inform any investment or pension companies of your change of address. If you have deposited any important personal documents with local firms, such as solicitors, make sure you reclaim them and take them with you.
Before you move, register with the relevant medical practices in your area, such as doctors, dentists, opticians and vets, and arrange to have your records transferred. It’s also worth stocking up on any important prescriptions ahead of the move.
Contact your utility providers ahead of time and arrange for services to cease at your old address and begin at the new address. This includes electricity, gas and water services, as well as internet, mobile and landline phones, and cable/satellite TV providers.
You should schedule the shut-off at your old address for the end of your moving day, to ensure that you have access to power and other utilities throughout the move.
It’s important to update your insurance providers with your new address, including household or rental insurance, car and pet insurance, card protection insurance, life insurance and health insurance. Be prepared to pay an adjustment fee or an additional premium for some policies.
Don’t forget to make sure you understand whether your household insurance policy covers your possessions during the move. An established removals firm should be able to offer insurance to cover loss, damage and valuable items.
You must inform DVLA of your change of address, so they can update your driving licence, vehicle log book (V5C) and car tax records. If it’s only your address details that are changing, this is a free service.
You can apply to update your driving licence online or by post. To update your log book, you need to fill in the relevant section of the V5C and send it to DVLA. If you pay your car tax by direct debit, you must also contact DVLA to update your billing address.
Remember to notify HMRC and the local tax office of your change of address. You can find these details on your P60 or a recent payslip. You should also notify any other relevant government departments, such as benefits agencies, as appropriate. You
Local council authority
You should also inform your local council about the move, for the purposes of council tax. Registering with your new council will also preserve your right to vote.
Magazines and clubs
If you subscribe to any magazines or belong to any clubs or societies, don’t forget to let them have your new address so you can continue to receive communications from them.
And not forgetting…
Last, but certainly not least, remember to send out moving cards with your new contact details to friends and family!
Keeping on top form
To help you keep on top of all those forms, try these tips:
- Get filing: keep copies of all your important paperwork safely together, in a dedicated folder
- Give notice: some service providers, such as phone companies, require a minimum of one month’s notice for cancellations or amendments, so make sure you do this in good time. If you’re living in rented accommodation you must also give the specified period of notice
- Go online: some address updates can be made online, while others will need to be done on paper – though you may still be able to download the forms. If taking the online route, always make sure you’re using the official website for that particular organisation.
Filling in forms and notifying officials may not be the most exciting part of moving house – but remember it’s all in a good cause! As qualified Master Removers, we will help to make your move as smooth and trouble-free as possible. Contact us for a quote.