Completion Day – Arriving At Your New Home
Assuming the completion money has been successfully transferred, upon arrival you should now be proudly grasping the keys to your new home.
With a bit of luck the removal van’s satnav will have directed them to the right county, and your arrival will synchronise neatly with the sellers’ departure, the whole house being clear and vacant by early afternoon at the latest. In practice your arrival time will largely depend on how far you have to travel.
One of the first tasks is to clearly label each room in the new house, to help the removal team identify where individual boxes and pieces of furniture need to go. This also reduces the chances of you subsequently having to shift a misplaced grand piano from the study to the dining room after they’ve departed.
At this stage it’s worth taking a few spare minutes to perform some essential tasks, such as meter readings, switching on fridge-freezers and checking that all the agreed fixtures and fittings have been left in place.
You may also want to give some of the rooms a bit of clean before you start unpacking food and kitchen utensils, hanging curtains and making beds. But don’t completely disappear, because the removals team may need guidance from time to time.
Once the cavernous removal lorry is finally emptied and everything’s been brought into the house, the removal team’s job is done. Check that nothing’s been damaged or broken, in case you need to make a claim for compensation. If you’re happy with the job, give them a decent tip – these are low-paid guys who have toiled extremely hard, saving you hours of backbreaking work.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief. But before cracking open a celebratory bottle, there are a couple of quick checks to perform so that your first night isn’t too uncomfortable.
Check the services and read the meters
One of the first things to check upon arrival is that the electricity, gas and the hot and cold water supplies are all doing what they’re supposed to do. Does the heating work? Is there a dial tone on the phone line? Doing this as early as possible should give you time to contact the service providers should any have been inadvertently disconnected.
Keep a record of meter readings so that when you get the bill you know you’re not being charged for the previous occupants’ energy consumption. Meters in external boxes have standard keys, which the sellers should have left for you, otherwise a pair of long-nosed pliers can come in useful. If you get stuck, duplicate standard keys are available from DIY stores or utility companies.
Fixtures and fittings
You’ve got to be extraordinarily unlucky to find that miserly sellers have unscrewed the light bulbs or taken the door handles with them! In reality few people are that mean, but it’s worth fishing out your list of the agreed fixtures and fittings, as some missing items may not be immediately obvious.
If there’s a gaping hole where the integrated oven used to be, or any other major item is missing, you are within your rights to take legal action to recover your loss (although it would have to be a large enough loss to make it worthwhile). More likely, you may find the sellers have failed to fully clear the house.
Perhaps the loft or garage is full of old junk that should have been taken to the dump. In reality there’s not much you can do except roll your sleeves up and deliver it into the capable hands of the recycling militia at the Council tip.
Also, if there were any issues raised in your home survey which you asked the vendors to sort out as part of the contractual agreement, it’s worth taking a few minutes to check this has been done as agreed.
Sorting out the paperwork
Once the mountain of unpacking has been whittled down to size and you’ve settled into your new home, there are some formalities to be dealt with. It’s important to safely file away all the documents and correspondence relating to the move as it’s easy to lose track of these amidst the general turbulence.
The new house should already have buildings insurance that you arranged from exchange of contracts, but the firm providing your contents insurance may need to be notified.
Our next blog – coming soon …….
POST-COMPLETION – Finishing the legal work.
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