SOAS University of London


Moving in

A week before you move in

  • Check your paperwork and make sure you’ve done everything you have to to get the keys eg. paying deposit
  • paying first month’s rent
  • providing signed guarantor form
  • completing standing order forms for future rent payments

Move in day

Make sure you keep a record of the condition and what is provided in the property. This might seem like hard work on your move in day but it is crucial to ensuring you get your deposit back. Take photos of the current condition of the rooms and any damage you notice. Check that this is noted in the inventory.

The inventory

The landlord should complete an inventory – this is a list of what is in the property and, more importantly, what condition the property is in. They should give you a copy to check and sign. Make sure that you

  • note any changes – ensure all damage no matter how small is included
  • sign and date
  • keep a copy 
  • give/send the amended version back to your landlord
If the property isn’t up to standard

In most cases, problems with the property do not stop the contract from being binding.
Report any issues in writing to the landlord. Always keep a written record of any correspondence between you and your landlord.Seek advice from the University of London Housing Services before you walk away from a property as you may remain liable for rent.


Take meter readings for electricity, gas and water (if applicable) as soon as you move in and keep a note of these. Even if bills are included in your rent, still take a meter reading if you have access to the meter.

Within the first week

  • Find out who supplies your utilities Ofgem offer advice on how to find out who your utility suppliers are.
    Contact the current supplier and open a new account in your name. Have your meter reading from the day you moved in to ensure that you are not charged for any previous tenants’ bills.
  • Find out from your local council when your bins get emptied and how your local recycling scheme works
  • Introduce yourself to your neighbours – this can reduce risks of future disagreements and help to reduce risk of burglary.

Within 30 days of moving in

Within 30 days of the date your landlord/agent recieves your deposit, you should receive confirmation that your deposit has been protected. Contact your landlord or managing agent if you have not received this information.

If you need further advice on this, you can contact the University of London Housing Services.

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