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  1. Guides
  2. Change of address checklist
Checklists
Checklists
Last Updated 27 October 2021

Change of address checklist

Daniel Strieff
Writer
  1. Moving house checklist
  2. 5
Table of contents
  1. 1. Who to inform when moving house
  2. 2. In summary
  3. 3. FAQs

New home? Check. Contracts signed? Check. Keys in hand, bags packed, boxed filled? Check, check, and check.

But have you changed your postal address and notified everyone that you’re moving house? What about mail forwarding? Do you know the critical institutions you need to inform when you move and where to update your address?

It’s easy to procrastinate when changing your postal address. After all, it sometimes feels like all life happens online nowadays. However, not updating your address can leave you exposed to identity theft, cause problems when you try to pay council tax, or keep you in the dark about important tax requests. That’s why it’s important to have an easy reference of who to notify when you move.

We’ve provided a change of address checklist to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible. Remember: updating your address isn’t just about making sure your post arrives on time; it could have serious ramifications on your finances if you aren’t thorough.

Who to inform when moving house

1. Government, mail forwarding and local services

Royal Mail: Home movers often wonder whether they can set up mail forwarding for free. Unfortunately, the answer is no. However, Royal Mail does offer a Redirection service. See our FAQs for more information on how to set up mail forwarding in the UK with Royal Mail.

Local council: Updating your local council is critically important due to your household’s Council Tax. If your new home is in a different council area, you’ll need to update both councils with your change of postal address to pay council tax correctly.

Give both local councils your exact moving dates so you’re not stuck paying council tax on your previous property after you’ve moved. Even if you’re moving home within the same council area, you need to change your postal address to ensure you’re paying the right amount.

Also contact the following with your new property address:

  • Electoral Register: Make sure you don’t miss your next chance to vote!
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority: If you have a driver’s license, the DVLA has a change of postal address form you’ll need to complete.
  • HM Revenue and Customs: Updating HMRC is essential if you’re moving house, especially as it’s critical to provide a change of address for your National Insurance payments. You need to update HMRC about a change of address once you’ve moved.
  • TV Licensing: You should be able to transfer your old TV License to your new place. You can also provide this information up to three months before your move date, so it could be worth getting your TV License information sorted early to give you peace of mind.

2. Utilities Companies and energy providers

Keep your address up to date with your utilities companies and energy providers to limit your risk of overpaying. In most cases you should contact energy providers at least a few days, if not a week, before your moving date.

Electricity:

Take final readings from the old property and provide a reading for your new home. Moving home is also a good time to re-evaluate whether to switch providers to save money, improve service, or both.

Gas:

As with electricity, let your provider know when you’ll stop using gas in one property and begin in another so that you’re charged fairly. Take meter readings both when leaving your old property and upon moving into your new house.

Water:

Phone your water provider to let them know about your change of address, as well as when your usage will cease in one property and begin in another. Otherwise, you could get stuck paying for the subsequent or previous resident.

3. Household

Broadband:

Do this early. Broadband companies tend to offer different connection speeds depending on your location, so you may find that you’ll need to change providers. Whether or not you work from home these days it’s essential to have high-speed internet access.

DON’T FORGET: If you have a data cap on your mobile, extended periods without broadband can cause you to go over the limit specified on your plan, resulting in expensive additional charges.

Satellite:

Consider contacting your satellite provider at least a week before moving home. It can take up to a few weeks to get an installation appointment for a new home.

Phone:

A shrinking percentage of us use landlines, but having your phone line ready to go when you move in will be invaluable for your peace of mind. You won’t just be changing your address but, in most cases, also getting assigned a new telephone number. Contact your phone company at least a week before you move. Likewise, change your address with your mobile phone provider to ensure that all telephone bills continue to reach you.

4. Money and finances

Banks and building societies:

Let banks and building societies know your new address as a priority once you’ve moved in. Proof of address is essential to identity checks which can impact your access to funds. Besides, with increasing cases of identity theft in recent years, you don’t want your financial statements sitting in someone else’s post box!

Credit card companies:

Contact your card companies as soon as you can after your moving date to reduce the chances of missing a bill.

Loan companies:

If you’ve taken out loans, contact these companies either online or by phone to inform them you're moving house. Updating your address will help make sure you receive all relevant correspondence.

Pension:

If you’re on a pension, check with your provider about how to change your address. For State Pensions, check the UK government’s information page for more details.

Premium bonds:

If you have savings in premium bonds, it’s important to remember the NS&I will need your updated address. Don’t miss out on a chance to win!

5. Health services

Dentist:

Let your dentist know your new address so you don’t miss any appointment reminders.

GP Surgery:

If you're moving to a new area, you’ll probably need to sign up for a new medical practice. Once you’ve updated your details with your GP surgery, consider contacting any other medical specialists you might need, like chiropractors or opticians.

Veterinarian:

Your furry, feathered, and scaled friends will thank you!

6. Employment and education

Employer:

Your employer will need to know your new address so they can update their payroll records. Don’t miss a pay cheque!

Schools:

Your children’s school administrators will need your current contact information for daily issues and in case of emergency.

Universities:

For those in post-secondary education, tuition fees are an unfortunate fact of life. Contact these institutions to ensure that the payments remain regular and you don’t get dinged with late penalties.

7. Insurance Companies

Changing your postal address is critical for insurance companies. You don’t want to risk invalidating claims by failing to inform any of the following insurers when you move house:

  • Car insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Pet insurance

8. Recreational and subscriptions

Subscriptions are an essential addition to modern life. Save yourself future billing headaches by making sure recreational subscriptions have your new details. You can thankfully update most subscriptions online:

Gym and fitness:

Make sure to cancel gym subscriptions with plenty of notice if you’re moving to a new area, or you may be charged anyway.

Store cards:

If you’ve got store cards with your favourite retailers you’ll need to contact them directly to update your address.

Magazine subscriptions and memberships:

Make sure magazines, newspapers and regular delivery services like Naked Wines or HelloFresh have your new billing information.

Streaming subscriptions:

It’s pretty quick and easy to update your address online for digital streaming subscriptions, just make sure you check each service to avoid disruption to your service. We’ve listed the most popular streaming services below.

  • Spotify
  • Amazon Prime
  • Disney+
  • Apple Music
  • YouTube Premium

9. Personal Services

You’ll also need to update your address with the following service providers:

  • Accountant
  • Cleaner
  • Gardener
  • Solicitor

In summary

Moving home is a big deal. Even in the digital age, your address is an essential piece of information that helps to authenticate who you are to authorities and businesses. By carefully following the steps laid out in our complete change of address checklist, you can rest easy knowing that you’re protected from nasty surprises like identity theft.

Free change of address checklist

  1. Royal Mail
  2. Local council and Electoral Register
  3. DVLA
  4. HM Revenue and Customs
  5. TV License
  6. Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water, Phone, Broadband)
  7. Banks, credit cards, loans, pensions and bonds
  8. Dentist and GP
  9. Vets
  10. Employer
  11. Schools
  12. Insurance companies (Car, Home, Life, Health, Pet, etc)
  13. Subscriptions (streaming, magazines, gyms, etc)

FAQs

Do I change my address before or after I move?

Generally after you’ve already moved in. Utilities and energy providers need you to do readings before you leave. But meter reads should take place no more than a week before you’re due to leave. Some services, like gym memberships, penalise members if they don’t give enough notice of cancellation, whereas others (like HMRC) only want to know when you’re physically in your new property. It’s always best to check with individual organisations, as identified on this change of address checklist.

What happens if I don't change my address when I move?

If you don't change your address when you move you’ll most likely end up being charged for services you no longer need. Worse still, you may be utterly unaware of penalty notices or important requests for documentation. Unfortunately, proof of address is still an essential requirement for financial institutions and government bodies. The consequences of failing to update your address simply aren’t worth it.

Can I change my address online?

Yes in most cases you can change your address on line but it’s always a good idea to check whether you can update your address online. But it does depend on the services. There isn’t a centralised location where you can update your address in one go, and it wouldn’t be very secure if there was. In recent years, there’s been a big drive to digitise services. However, you shouldn’t assume that all of the above organisations have online portals, especially small local businesses like cleaners and gardeners.

When should I tell my bank I’m moving?

You should tell your bank once you’ve moved into your new home. As soon as you’ve moved in, make it a critical priority. Banks aren’t the most agile businesses but they have a great deal of influence on your ability to access credit as well as funds. Your billing address is only worth updating if you’re moving into a long term residence (like a house you own); it isn’t necessarily a good idea to update your billing address if you’re renting and moving frequently.

How do I redirect post with mail forwarding?

You can set up redirection with Royal Mail Mail here. You will need your new address, and you'll need to know how long you want it to forward for. Forwarding with Royal Mail takes a week or two to implement, but then forwards your mail from your old address to your new residence. You’ll still need to contact everyone who sends you mail. The total cost of Royal Mail Redirection depends on the length of time you choose, with 3 month, 6 month or 12 month options.

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