Planning a house move? Packing up all of your possessions and moving house to a new place can be a mammoth task. Especially if you haven’t done it in a while. There are so many things going through your head, lists on scraps of paper and things to remember so we hope that you find our series of tips a useful addition to your moving plans.

This week we’re focusing on a few essential things you might need to ask the people you are buying from – or if you are renting – your landlord, about the new place.

  1. Where is the stopcock?It’s not always in the obvious place and you never know when you might need to shut off the water. If the house has been empty and the water has been shut off for a while then you really need to know where it is so that you can turn it back on when you move in!
  2. Where is fuse box and the electricity meter (and gas meter if you have one)?Knowing where the different fuses and isolator switches are is essential knowledge. Make sure you take down the meter readings when you move in so there is no dispute over who owes what when those first bills arrive.If the house has oil-fired heating ask them to show you the oil tank and how to check the level of oil inside. The same goes for gas tanks or gas bottles if the house is not on mains gas – you need to know how to check if they are full and how to shut them off if there is an emergency.
  3. What day are the recycling and rubbish collected?In some areas rubbish bins are only emptied fortnightly so make sure you have the right week. Do you need to secure them against foxes or other wildlife? If you forget to ask when they go out– don’t worry, you can usually find out your collection days by entering your postcode on your local council website – or just ask one of your new neighbours.
  4. Do you have any instructions manuals or warranty info?If there are appliances built in to the kitchen or bathroom such as dishwashers or power showers ask if they have the instruction manuals or warranty information. The same goes for the boiler and any other recently installed items.
  5. How do you control the heating and boiler and where is the thermostat?They might have some tips for conserving energy, depending on the type of dwelling and some info about the best energy suppliers -particularly if you have to order in oil or non-mains gas.
  6. Ask about the fixtures and fittings.Aesthetically, it helps to know a bit more about the fixtures and fittings in case any of them are accidentally damaged. For example do the tiles or wooden floors need any special cleaning products? Where do the kitchen cabinets or bathroom tiles come from? What shades of paint have they used and do they have any old tins of paint left over that match the walls?

If you’re finding this hard to remember, make a list of questions and run through them – it might be useful to ask them a week or two before moving rather than bombarding them on the big day. This will also give them time to leave things out for you, like the paint or instruction manuals.

Was there anything you forgot to ask the vendors or landlord last time you moved house? Do you have any more useful moving tips? Let us know in the comments section below!