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Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Planning a move

Moving can be stressful, complicated and expensive.  Whether you’re moving in, moving on or moving out careful planning can make the process easier.

Moving out

Make sure you’ve given the right notice to your landlord to end your tenancy properly.  The steps you need to take to end your tenancy are slightly different for

You’ll need to notify people that you’re leaving and give them a new address.  Don’t forget to:

  • contact your utility suppliers, get them to cancel your account on the date you leave and to send the bills to your new address;
  • set up a postal redirect with the Post Office;
  • let the Social Security Agency or Housing Executive know your new address if you’re claiming any benefits;
  • change your address details on your bank account and driving licence;
  • let Land & Property Services know that you have moved and are no longer responsible for rates on the property;
  • leave a forwarding address for your landlord or agent so they can get in touch about your deposit if you paid one.

Moving costs

Moving can be expensive, especially if you have a lot of furniture or heavy items to move.  If you’re receiving income related benefits you could apply for a Budgeting Loan to help with moving costs.  Most people ask friends or family for help when they have to move.  If you don’t have anyone who can help and can’t afford to pay someone you could see if a local charity is able to help you move.

Moving in

Get to know your new home when you move in.  Make sure you know

  • where your trip switches are
  • where your stopcock is
  • where the mains valve for the gas supply is
  • where the payment cards are if the property has a gas or electricity meter
  • how to contact your landlord in case of an emergency.

Check that you have keys for all doors and windows and that these lock securely.  Make sure you have enough fire alarms, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.  If your new home is a House of Multiple Occupation, check that enough fire blankets and fire extinguishers have been provided.

Tell people about your move

You’ll need to set up an account with your energy and heating suppliers.  If these utilities are on a prepay meter, take a note of the account numbers in case you misplace your card.

Make sure you give your new address details to

  • your friends and family
  • the Social Security Agency if you’re receiving any benefits
  • the Housing Executive if you receive Housing Benefit
  • the Land & Property Services so you can start paying your rates
  • your doctor and dentist
  • the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency if you drive or have a license
  • the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
  • your bank and
  • any other agency that you regularly communicate with.

Make sure you get proper insurance cover in your new home. Everyone needs to get contents insurance to cover damage or theft.  If you’re a homeowner you’ll need buildings insurance.