Moving into social housing checklist

From questions you should ask, to essential moving day tasks, this guide will help ensure a smooth move. Here’s your checklist to tick off before you move into social housing.

sad girl on phone

"Council tax is HOW much?"

Before you move into social housing

Here’s what to think about before moving in day.

Read the small print

What to check:

  • What kind of tenancy agreement you’ll have [Cross-link to social housing tenancy agreements]
  • What date you can move in
  • How long you can stay
  • If it’s going to be furnished
  • If you’re allowed to have pets

If you need furniture

Money and social housing

Living by yourself can have lots of boring and annoying expenses you didn’t think about. So try and figure out how much money you’ll be hemorrhaging before you get in there.


  • Check how much your rent is and how often you have to pay
  • Check what day of the week or month you have to pay
  • Find out if you can pay by cash, card, cheque or direct debit
  • Where do you go to pay in person? Will you be given a rent card that you need to take with you?
  • Can you pay by other methods, like online, by phone or by text?
  • Check whether you can get housing benefit to help pay your rent

Service charges:

  • Check if you have to pay a service charge on top of your rent
  • If so, how much do you have to pay and how often?


  • Check if water rates are included in your rent
  • If not, ask which water company to tell when you move in

Council tax:

Gas and electricity:

  • Find out if you’ll have pre-payment meters for gas or electricity
  • If so, you’ll need a pre-payment card or key
  • If not, you’ll need to give meter readings when you move in

Other things you might need:

Moving in day

It’s the big day! Here’s what you need to do.

Things to know:

  • When you can collect your keys
  • Whether you need to pay some rent in advance

Check things over

  • Test any keys you’ve been given to make sure they work
  • Give the place a once-over to check for damage or defects
  • Check all the doors and windows open and close properly

Found some damage?

  • Take photos to prove it was there when you moved in, or you might get charged for it
  • Check the rules about repairs in your tenancy agreement or handbook – is it something you can ask to have fixed?
  • Follow the instructions for reporting urgent or non-urgent repairs, depending on which you need

Is your house safe?

You should have:

  • Working smoke alarms
  • A gas safety certificate

What else to check

  • How the heating system works
  • Where and when to put the rubbish out
  • Local bus stops and bus routes

Next Steps

By Anne Wollenberg

Updated on 03-Nov-2015

Photo of girl by Shutterstock