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What documents do you need when moving house?

Troy Stevens 06 September 2022

There’s no way around it – moving house comes with a whole lot of paperwork.

Even in this digital age, expect to find yourself rifling through drawers and digging through document boxes to track down all manner of forms, certificates and documents before the moving process can begin.

Missing paperwork can seriously delay your move, so it pays to know what you need in advance. So, let’s take a look at the documents you need when moving house.

Identification

This is an obvious one, but you'll need to prove who you are to the likes of solicitors, conveyancers, mortgage providers and insurance companies. A photo ID, like a passport or driving license, is the gold standard here – an original, not a copy.

If you’re originally from a country other than the UK, you’ll need to show proof of permanent residency or the appropriate visa, too.

When do I need it?

You’ll need proof of ID to get a mortgage agreement in principle, so this is something you’ll need to keep handy from the get-go.

Proof of address

Similarly, various parties will need proof of where you currently live. This has to be something official, such as a letter from the bank, a council tax bill or a utility bill in your name. It’ll need to be something dated recently, within the last three months.

Your passport or driving license could also be used as proof of address, but if you’re using one of these for ID verification, you’ll need to use a separate document to prove your address.

When do I need it?

Again, proof of address will be needed for your mortgage application, so keep it next to your proof of ID.

Bank records and payslips

If you’re buying a house, you’ll need to be able to prove that you’re in a financial position to do so. Your mortgage lender will want to see your recent payslips and bank statements covering at least three months of transactions, so they can check your incomings and outgoings and perform an eligibility check.

If you’re self-employed, mortgage lenders will need to assess your income differently to determine affordability. In the absence of payslips, you will have to produce either your annual accounts, your SA302 year-end calculations, or both. Your SA302 is your annual tax summary from HMRC – many lenders will want to see up to 3 years’ worth.

When do I need it?

At the point of the mortgage application, you should be able to produce at least three months of bank statements demonstrating healthy financial habits, so it’s a good idea to plan in advance and keep an eye on your accounts in the run-up to your application.

Things like breaches of your overdraft agreement, bounced direct debits, and unsecured lending can all cause a mortgage application to fail.

You can request paper documents of bank records from your local branch, although many lenders will accept PDF copies for online applications. If you’re self-employed, you should be able to print or download your SA302 records directly from your online HMRC account.

Building and maintenance

If you’re selling your house, you’ll need to get some documents together for the conveyancing solicitor to check off as part of the conveyancing process.

These documents include anything related to building or significant maintenance done on the property – either while you’ve lived there, or before. So, if the home has ever been extended, altered or converted in any way, you'll need to hand over the warranty and guarantee for the work. This includes things like a new conservatory, roof repairs and damp proofing.

If your house is relatively new (built in the last ten years), you should also provide the new home warranty that the developers would have provided when the home was first built.

When do I need them?

You’ll need to have all these together in good time to hand over to your conveyancing solicitor if you’re selling up. Ideally, you’ll have them all in one place and ready to go as soon as you’ve accepted an offer on the property.

Certificates and safety records

When you sell your property, in-built appliances like boilers and radiators will be part of the deal, and the new owners will want assurance that everything is compliant, safe and working as it should. As such, you need to dig out the relevant compliance certificates and safety documents, including:

  • Boiler installation certificate and servicing records
  • Gas Safety Certificate
  • Electrical Installation Certificate (EIC), if applicable
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

When do I need them?

As soon as possible after having an offer accepted if you’re selling your property. Your solicitor won’t be able to complete the conveyancing process if any are missing, so it’s a good idea to gather these documents as soon as possible, giving you enough time to order replacements if necessary.

Insurance policy documents

When you’re buying and selling, you’ll be dealing with various forms of insurance. The big ones are home contents and buildings insurance – you’ll be leaving your old policies behind and taking out new ones, so make sure they’re all up to date.

If you’ve chosen to protect your upfront fees with Home Buyers or Home Sellers Protection Insurance, you’ll need to keep your policy numbers handy in case the sale falls through.

When do I need them?

You’ll need to have Home Buyers / Home Seller Protection Insurance in place after an accepted offer. Your home contents and buildings cover should be in place from the moment you exchange contracts.

Don’t get yourself in a muddle

There are many moving parts when it comes to a house move. It's a high-pressure time, and there is so much to remember.

To keep stress to a minimum, make a checklist of every document you require for the moving process. It's a good idea to nominate a folder to save your paper documents all in one place, as well as a folder on your computer desktop for virtual files.

It's worth mentioning that you should always send original documents by recorded delivery if you send them through the post and make copies for your records.

We hope this list has been helpful – good luck with your upcoming move!

 

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