This topic contains 19 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  larry 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #3341


    I finally have got the office job of my dreams, and totally embracing the Mon-Fri 9-5 lifestyle. I am so much happier now than I was. My next challenge is renting, I am currently lodging with a friend but that is situation that couldn’t go on long. So at the weekend I saw a few houses and found one I liked. Miraculously I passed the reference check, which I was worried about as after 10 years in tied accommodation paying no utilities does affect you a lot. Anyway that is all done, so next week I will be signing my contract for my shiny new rental house. What I came on here to ask is at the mighty age of 35 I literally have no idea where to start, I mean I have a few bits and piece of my own that I have collected, but I have no idea where to start with Electric/Gas companies etc, do you just find out who is supplying the house and give them a ring to say you now live there etc? Any hints and tips for cheap living 🙂

  • #3342


    You start off with the supplier that the previous occupant had, on their ‘deemed rates’ which are more expensive than normal. You can then chose who you go with. Most of them are the same so pick one that someone else uses and gets on with, I’m with Octopus Energy following a recommendation off of here.

    You can often get cash back or a referral bonus depending who you go with, worth looking at as it’ll save you a few pounds. Don’t bother with TV subscription, Freeview is great! Internet can wait until your settled as that’s 1-2 year contract.

    Get household insurance..

  • #3343


    @troll Thanks for the info. I get unlimited internet on my phone/tablet so wasn’t going to bother with a phone line/internet to begin with. I have been looking into insurance, the letting agent tried to sell me theirs but I had already looked and realised it was double what was on Compare the Market.

    I shall investigate energy companies.

  • #3344


    First thing to do when you move in is take photos of the gas and leccy meter. You only pay from the number onwards, dont get stung for previous readings.

  • #3345


    Can you get a keypad electricity meter, I love mine.
    I wouldn’t bother with internet or a land line. Haven’t had the latter for over a decade. And likewise Freeview is grand.
    Poundstretcher and B&M are good for cheap bits and bobs for the house. My cousin always used to use conservatory furniture for rental properties. You can also upcycle cheap or second hand bookcases and drawers with chalk paint and a throwover or two will brighten up a cheap suite.

  • #3346


    Never buy new furniture.
    Ebay is great, local FB pages…bay. I got an almost new bed for £20, they were moving and it was cheaper to sell at a loss than store and pay for removal.
    The only thing I would buy new if I could not get secondhand is 1600rpm spin washing machine. They save a fortune in money drying clothes and time. These are the very few wise words I have passed on to my daughters, that they actually paid any attention to.

  • #3347


    Thanks everyone for your great tips, I have already been cruising EBay, Gumtree, Freecycle etc for essential furniture items. Thankfully it does come with a washing machine and large fridge freezer but I was going to rent those items as washing machines die here due to the hard water. TV licence I had nearly forgotten about that, haven’t ever had to pay for one myself!

  • #3348


    Starting with nothing, though initially daunting, can with a bit of forethought end up as an adventure. I did it when I was about your age, and once in to it — it was a blast! OK so you have a mobile ‘phone, that’s a start. Assuming that the drum which you’ve blagged your way in to is unfurnished what are the basics? Well;

    A mattress, a duvet, a couple of pillows. The bed can come later.
    An armchair, plenty of serviceable stuff in the charity shops. A small kitchen table and a chair from the same source.
    A telly? Without one you may end up talking to yourself, but there’s the licence to consider. If you can’t afford one, I’ve got a good-un that you can have.
    An electric kettle (vital for most). Plate(s), saucepans and cutlery, all that sort of stuff, is easily found — again, charity shops.
    Electric or gas? That depends upon what’s available from the supply standpoint. If you’ve a choice of either I’d suggest Gas. Find your nearest Gas show room (Google).

    Finally — I remember being 35 and felt as though I was a geriatric — that was 35 years AGO!

  • #3349


    I’ve just moved into rented for the first time after I sold my house but the one I was buying fell through.

    Check if you need curtains, only some of the rooms here have curtains so I picked up some for £20 from Ikea which you just trim to the right length (or I will eventually trim to the right length). I had no lampshades on lights so got a few cheap ones from Wilkinsons or B&Q for £7 or£8 each. You can get cheap, pretty lighting from Ikea but it won’t fit normal light fittings so you’ll need spacer things. Charity shops are your friend, many towns now have at least one big charity shop selling furniture.

    My list of stuff to do was Energy (already covered above but just avoid the big 5 and go for a smaller company for the best deal), TV Licence, Council Tax (rental agency might do this one for you), Electoral Role. I’ve had to send of the V5 document for my car to the DVLA to get it’s registered address updated and filled in a request online to update my driving licence, and then send my driving licence off. I’ve registered with a new GP (I moved area) but still need to find a new dentist. I updated my bank records online. I still need to update my employers records. I am struggling with figuring out what goes in what bin, I know which day they are collected but I think my bins will be covered in stickers for a while saying I’ve put the wrong stuff in.

    I also paid for the royal mail to redirect my post for 3 months, not all of it is making it through!

  • #3350


    If you’re renting though an agent, they should deal with the switch over of utilities etc.
    Also, make sure you have an emergency contact number, as you need to be able to get hold of someone in the event of, say, a leak. Or, that your land lord has insurance for these things, and gives you a copy of the policy with contact number, so you can arrange repairs when convenient to you.

  • #3351


    Sort out the inventory and the state the property was left in by the previous occupant with the agent. Be meticulous and take photos to back yourself up, especially of the state of cleanliness, signs of damp and any marks or chips on the paintwork. This will pay off if you decide to move on. In our experience agents don’t like to give up the security deposit when you leave and will try to argue that penetrating damp or mould because of badly ventilated bathrooms is good reason to hold back a portion of your deposit.

    Other than that – congratulations and enjoy your own home!

  • #3352


    People mentioning buying second hand furniture but be careful if buying second hand soft furnishings they can have bed bugs or other infestations and they are a nightmare to get rid of you normally have to get rid of everything and spray several times, I know as a friend of mine bought some chairs that had bed bugs living in them and she ended up with them in all of her own soft furniture.

  • #3353


    Take a look at for good comparisons between energy companies.
    Put the word out at work / with friends that you are looking for furniture…there is always someone looking to offload some furniture cheap / free. Or charity shops, here we have a Dorothy House shop that is purely furniture.
    Do you need to pay rates or does the landlord pay that? Ditto water / sewerage?

  • #3354


    My top tips would be:

    -Make sure the agent sends you the paperwork saying your deposit has been placed into the deposit scheme. They must do this by law within a few days. Do you have a cooker?

    -You should be able to organize internet of your choice, which helps with the TV/WiFi, it’s probably cheaper to have an Internet package.

    -Register for council tax, there will be a bit on the local council website to do this. It’ll ask you for moving in date, this is the date you received the keys, regardless of day you actually moved in. Also register for water, generally there’s only one company per area.

    -You should be sent an inventory with lots of photos to show condition of the property. This is crucial re getting back your deposit long term. If you don’t have one, take loads of pictures and send them, dated, to the agent. Take a close tour and make note of anything broken/worn. Check for a carbon monoxide monitor, there must be one by law in rooms where the boiler/gas cooker are. There should also be a smoke alarm on all floors. Test them. Also check you have keys for the windows and try all the door locks. Get home insurance as mentioned.

    -It’s your responsibility to change batteries/lightbulbs. If anything breaks, like the fridge, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to fix it. Find the heating/hot water controls and set them to your timings.

    -Ask if there’s anything you aren’t sure about and don’t be shy about contacting the agent with questions. Don’t do anything without checking your contract which you should read thoroughly. It will give you exactly what you can/can’t do and what you’re responsible for re upkeep.

  • #3490


    Thanks for all your hints and tips. They are doing the inventory today apparently and there were a few things that they said would be fixed by the time I moved in but then the landlord’s father demanded that if I didn’t move in on the 1st January then the agent was to put the flat back on the market, which I pointed out was breaking contract as I had by that time signed and paid a holding deposit which the landlord himself had agreed to. Anyway moving in on the first or the 6th makes little odds to me so I said I would but they had to get the work done before, obviously that was the week before Christmas and now we are between Christmas and New Year so I hope that the landlord is enjoying having to spend much more money to get it all sorted this week than to wait until next week to get it sorted. It was only small stuff but I will be going over the place with a good friend to check out anything we are not happy with. Weirdo landlord’s fathers and wet weekend letting agents aside (which yes does worry me a little) I am just excited to get my own place at last. I sign the contract tomorrow and move in on Monday!

    My wish list has now depleted a bit, I need a bedside table, bed possibly have a frame but the only thing I will buy new will be a mattress (although I can manage with the sofa or a blow up bed until I get paid next month), dinning room table and chairs. I have been gifted or already have everything else that I think I need. I am very excited to be getting all my stuff out of storage too, when I left my last job, I had an epic clear out as I had limited space at friends to put it whilst I was lodging. It was really hard chucking out stuff that I have had for years but actually I needed to do it. My friends have been great rallying round to help get me moved in and they are looking forward to the house warming parties (have to have more than one as the place is small), thankfully they are all of a sensible age that a) they won’t trash the place and b) won’t get too loud to upset the neighbor.

  • #3491


    It sounds like you’re doing very well on the move larry. I hope the landlord gets all the bits done in time for you going in.

  • #3502


    I seriously do not want to put a damper on this but a word of caution = several years ago I rented a house from a reputable agent – all went well and the rent was paid on time etc. I had a shift change and worked nights for several months – one day I was woken hearing someone in the house – the landlord and his mother had let themselves in, opening drawers and cupboards. I was absolutely furious. I spoke to the agent who was also horrified and said he would speak to the landlord on my behalf and inform him that he had no right doing what he was doing. I handed my notice immediately and found another property. In the meantime I ‘accidentally’ lost the house keys and had a complete set of locks replaced, with a set of keys for me and a set for the agent. The agent told me that he would not deal with this particular landlord again.

    Have a door chain fitted (agree it with the agent first) just so that this can’t happen to you.

  • #3503


    I think that’s worse case scenario, logi! Most landlords wouldn’t dream of doing that. I have keys for my rentals, but there’s no way I’d go in without the tenant present. Fortunately we have good relationships, I organise repairs super quickly and ensure they’re happy. I wouldn’t dream of invading their privacy and there are laws to prevent this happening. I know it happens, but super rare, I’d say.

  • #3504


    @troll yes I do agree it is a worse case scenario, my agent was both horrified and furious with the landlord. I did think about whether to post or not but given that the OP had mentioned a ‘Weirdo landlord’s father’ I decided to post. A door chain is a good safety measure anyway. Again I agree super rare for this to happen.

  • #3505


    @logi I do see what you are saying, I think they are just super fussy, thankfully they no longer live in the area. I only deal with the letting agent, the property had been on the market for a month, which is unusual for a 1 bed round here, I did ask the agent and he was said that the landlord had turned down a few people that wanted it as they didn’t think they would stay long term. So I think it’s just a fussy landlord that wants maximum profit for minimum effort. I have no direct dealings with him, I am going in today to sign the paperwork. Am sooo excited.

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