Setting up your home

When you first move into your new home you’ll want to sort out a few things as you get settled.

To help get prepared to move in, keep this checklist handy to make sure you tick everything off your ‘to do’ list:

 

  • Contact your gas, water and electricity suppliers to set up or change your utilities account
  • Take meter readings as soon as you move in (these are usually taken as part of the tenancy sign up process)
  • Contact your local council to set up or change your Council Tax payments and to add your household to the electoral roll
  • Contact your local council to make a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit (if applicable)
  • Find out where your stop taps, fuse box and trip switch are located (contact your Customer Liasison Officer if you need help)
  • Arrange contents insurance for your personal belongings (building insurance is already set up for your property)
  • Re-direct your mail from your previous address (please contact the Post Office for advice)
  • Arrange or amend your TV licence (if necessary)
  • If you install a phone, please let us know your landline number.
  • Remember to let your doctor, dentist, bank, employer, school and DVLA, etc of your new address.

Furnishing your home

Your new home doesn’t come with furniture, so you’ll need to provide your own furniture and appliances, including a fridge and cooker, and in most cases, carpets and flooring.

If you receive benefits, you may be able to get an interest-free loan from your Jobcentre Plus office to cover essential furniture.

There are lots of ways to get access to cheap, used furniture or to get help with paying for it:

Settling in

Register for a MyGuinness account

You can register for an online account to view your rent statements and check your payments. Find out more and register.

Electricity

Your electricity supply is switched on with British Gas at the point of move in – you can then swap if you want to. You can choose which electricity company to use. They’ll want to know:

  • your name and address
  • the meter reading and the date you moved in
  • how you’re going to pay.

You can ask your supplier to fit an electricity payment meter, but please let us know first, so we have this on record.

Gas

If your home has gas, we’ll let you know when you sign up.

If the gas supply needs to be connected, we’ll also tell you how to get this sorted. You mustn’t allow anyone to touch your gas supply unless they’re a qualified Gas Safe engineer.

We let many of our homes with the gas supply ready to use. Your gas supply is switched to Scottish Power at the point of move in – you can then swap if you want to. You can also ask your supplier to fit a gas payment meter if one hasn’t already been installed.

Some of our properties have a communal gas supply. We’ll let you know if you live in one of these schemes and the cost of your gas supply will be included in your service charge.

Checking your gas safety

We’ll give you a copy of the gas safety record for the property, which tells you when gas appliances were last serviced and checked. For your safety, you must give us access to your home to run an annual check.

Adding a gas supply

If you don’t have a gas supply and you decide to add one, you must let us know so we can include it in our annual safety checks.

Internet, phone and TV

Internet

If you want an internet connection, contact your preferred supplier and pay any connection or equipment charges.

You might find that a phone and broadband package is cheaper than arranging them separately, so check with your supplier.

Phone

If you want a phone connected at your new address, contact your preferred phone company. You’ll have to pay a fee to reconnect an existing line or put in a new one.

If your move is local, you may be able to keep your old phone number – but you should ask about this before you move. If you change your number, don’t forget to let us know.

TV

All our homes provide access to terrestrial TV channels, but you may decide to purchase additional TV services (Sky, Virgin Media, etc.). You should check that the services you’re purchasing are compatible with your home first.

Telling people you've moved

For a charge you can ask Royal Mail to re-direct post from your old to your new address. To do this, get a form at your local post office or visit their website.

When you move, don’t forget to tell:

  • your council – so they can send your council tax bill and sort out any housing benefit
  • your local Jobcentre – if you’re claiming income support or other benefits
  • the child benefit service – phone 0300 200 3100 or visit gov.uk
  • the pensions service – phone 0345 606 0265 and any other pension providers you may have
  • your employer
  • your doctor and dentist
  • TV Licensing – phone 0300 790 6131 or visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk
  • the DVLA – phone 0300 790 6801 or visit the DVLA website
  • your bank, building society and credit card companies
  • your children’s school.

Water supply

Your water supply will be connected when you move in. Phone the water company to tell them:

  • your name and address
  • the date you moved in.

We’ll tell you if your service charge includes water. Otherwise, the water company will set up your account.

If you want to have a water meter fitted to save money on your bills, just contact your water provider directly.

Contents Insurance

We insure the building of your home, but not your personal belongings. We’d advise you to take out insurance to cover your belongings against flood, fire, burglary or damage.

There are lots of insurance companies that offer contents insurance. It’s worth comparing them to find the best deal for you.

The Citizens Advice website has lots of tips and information on what to look for when signing up for household contents insurance.

RSA Insurance Group

We’ve teamed up with RSA Insurance Group, who have a contents insurance plan designed for tenants with a lot of great benefits that are not available on the open market. These include nil excess, no set contract and flexibility around how and when you wish to pay.

There are two ways you can sign up: