Moving into your new home
Whether you're moving in (or out) our helpful guides will let you know what you need to do.
When you first move into your new home, you’ll need to sort out a few things first.
To help you be prepared, 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
- 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 Tenancy Management 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.
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:
Once you’ve moved in here’s some things to remembers to get you settled.
You can register for an online account to view your rent statements and check your payments.
Once you’re signed up you’ll have 24/7 access to:
- Report, book and manage repairs
- Make payments and view your rent statements
- Get information
- Contact us.
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 Contact Us to let us know so we have this on record.
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 arranged. 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 British Gas 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, and legally, you must give us access to your home to complete an annual safety check.
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.
Social Tariff Scheme
Starting in August 2022, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will run a new social tariff scheme to assist low income families with access to cheaper broadband.
It will allow internet service providers to verify – with customers’ permission – whether they receive a relevant benefit and, therefore, are eligible for extra financial support. These benefits include universal credit, pension credit, income support, income-based job seekers allowance, and income-related employment support service.
In line with this, the government has called on all broadband providers to offer and promote social tariffs – discounted broadband and mobile deals for people on Universal Credit and other benefits.
DWP anticipate that this service could save customers over a hundred pounds a year in some instances. The new system will also simplify the process by removing the need for customers to prove their entitlement to broadband providers as regularly as every month.
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.
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 contact us to let us know.
We insure the building you live in, 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 many companies that offer contents insurance. It’s worth comparing them to find the best deal for you. Citizens Advice has lots of tips and information on what to look for when taking out home contents insurance.
We’ve also teamed up with Thistle Tenant Risks, who have a contents insurance plan designed for social housing tenants with a lot of great benefits that are not available on the open market. These include a offering no excess to pay when making a claim, no set contract and flexibility around how and when you wish to pay.
Living in your home
We want you to feel safe and comfortable in your new home and make it your own. Below are a few things we ask you to do to keep your home in good condition (as per your tenancy agreement) and this also helps to ensure that everyone can enjoy their neighbourhood.
Carpets are your responsibility. We’ll leave a gap at the bottom of the doors inside your home for fitted carpets. If it’s not deep enough, it’s your responsibility to arrange for the door to be adjusted.
If you live in a flat, please ask us for written permission before fitting a wooden or laminate floor. These floors can be noisy for your neighbours, and they might need to be taken up later so we can carry out repairs under the floor.
If you have your own garden, you must look after it. We want our communities to be nice for everyone who lives there, so please keep them clean, safe, and rubbish-free.
You’re also responsible for keeping trees that are in your garden trimmed back and managing the shrubs and lawns. If we have to undertake work to prune any trees that are in your garden, you may be recharged for this cost.
If you plant a hedge, make sure it doesn’t block out your neighbours’ light or grow higher than two metres.
If your neighbour’s hedge is growing into your property, you can cut back branches or roots, but only as far as the boundary between your property and theirs.
Reminder: Tree Pruning – pruning cannot be carried out if a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is in place, and you would need to seek permission from the local council.
Once cut, the branches and any fruit that has fallen down on your side still belong to the tree owner, so they are within their right to ask you to return them.
If you share a garden with other residents, we’ll arrange for someone to do the gardening. This cost is included in your service charge.
When you move in, you’ll get two sets of keys for your front door. You’ll also get a set of keys for any other locks, such as windows, sheds, and bin stores.
We don’t keep spare keys, so if you lose them or need more copies, you’ll have to get these cut yourself. If you lock yourself out of your house, you must arrange and pay for any lock replacements.
For lost communal keys or fobs, you will need to contact us to ask for a replacement. You will be charged for replacing these.
Please ask our permission before putting up a satellite dish. You may also need planning permission from your council.
If you live in a block with a communal dish, it’s unlikely we’ll say yes to you putting up your own but do contact us to ask us about getting access to the main one.
It is becoming increasingly common for older people and those with mobility problems to use mobility scooters to help them get around and maintain their independence. Every resident who wishes to use, store and/or charge a mobility scooter in and around our properties and/or estates must obtain our permission and written authorisation, regardless of the type of property in which they live.
The safe use, storage and charging of mobility scooters in many YHG buildings and estates can be difficult as we need to consider the health and safety of all residents.
In your application you will need to inform us where you intend to store and charge your mobility scooter, as we do not allow the storage of mobility scooters in internal communal areas, including under stairwells.
The storage of mobility scooters must comply with all fire and safety regulations and as such must never block exits or escape routes from the property and the building. If this is the case, we will consider taking legal action to rectify the issue to keep our residents safe.
You can also find more information about how to choose and use mobility scooters from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Pests like rats, mice, fleas or bedbugs can infest your home, garden or shared areas. Keeping your home clean and tidy should keep them at bay.
If you find pests in communal gardens or internal communal areas, please contact us to let us know and we’ll arrange removal.
If you have pests inside your home or in a private garden, you’ll need to get rid of these yourself. Check with your local authority to see if they can help.
If you’re having difficulties, please contact us immediately for help and advice.
Some of our properties allow you to have pets, but first you’ll need to check our pet permission criteria to make sure it’s okay.
Please note: if the home you have been offered is accommodation in our older persons or retirement living schemes, there may be different arrangements and criteria in place. Please contact us and we can put you through to the right person to discuss your options.
If you keep pets you will need to make sure that you are keeping to the terms of your tenancy agreement including ensuring pets are kept under control and do not cause a nuisance or danger to anyone when walking through our communal areas or estates and not allowing your pet to foul in any communal areas, including gardens, footpaths and play areas.
If you have any questions about the criteria, or about keeping pets in your home, you can contact our customer service team.
If the gas and electricity bills are in your name, you can have a smart meter installed by your energy company.
Before you go ahead and get a smart meter installed, make sure you’re aware of the following:
- Smart meters measure how much gas and electricity you use and share this information securely with your energy supplier.
- You can have a smart meter if you’re on prepay or a credit meter.
- You’ll have a separate smart meter fitted for gas and electric, but you’ll only need one in-home display to view both.
- If your gas and electricity accounts are with different suppliers, you’ll have two separate smart meters installed (one from each of your suppliers).
If you’re getting a smart meter fitted, please update us through yourhomehub so we can update our records.
Please get our written permission before putting up a shed or summer house in your garden. Should you decide to proceed, once erected it will your responsibility to look after it.
It’s illegal to put up a shed:
- more than 2.5 metres high;
- within two metres of the boundary to your home; or
- that covers over half of your garden.
No one is allowed to sleep in your shed or summer house.
If there is already a shed at your property when you move in, then it will be gifted to you. This shed will be your responsibility and not the responsibility of Your Housing Group.
You can have a water meter installed in your home. Before you go ahead and have a meter installed, make sure you’re aware of the following:
- By changing to a water meter, you’ll pay for the actual amount of water you use. Most people make savings, but you might not. Check with your water company to estimate how much water you’ll use and if you’ll save money. There’s also a water meter calculator on the Consumer Council for Water’s website.
- If you find you are not better off after changing to a meter, you can usually change back to how the bill was paid before within twelve months.
- If your water company has a compulsory metering programme, make sure they help you out. Ask for help early to stop bills mounting up and making the problem worse.
Every company offers the ‘WaterSure’ tariff. This puts a limit on bills for certain vulnerable customers. To qualify you must meet the following conditions:
- You pay the bill or someone else in the household must receive benefits or tax credits; and
- There are three or more dependent children living in your home. Or the bill payer or someone else living with them suffers from a medical condition that involves using large volumes of water.
Some companies offer trust funds or payment matching schemes. Others have schemes for people in arrears or are on specified benefits that lowers costs. This means you can pay your water company directly from your benefit payments.
If you’re getting a water meter fitted, please update us through Your Home Hub so we can update our records.
Our relationship with you
We want your time living with us to be as enjoyable as possible. As a landlord, and as tenants or homeowners, we all have legal rights and responsibilities.
Please refer to Your Service Standards for full details about what you can expect from us, and us, you. As a valued tenant, we will always work with you to get things right, and strive to be honest and reliable, and fair and respectful in all that we do.