Four ‘common mistakes’ to ‘avoid’ when moving home this year

How to make moving home as stress-free as possible

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Moving home is said to be one of the most stressful events in someone’s life, so it is understandable when things go wrong. However, some of these mistakes can be rather costly, according to Bettina Faull, housing expert and sales manager at Cala Homes, who has shared some of the most common mistakes people make, helping those moving home this year to avoid forking out “£1,000 unnecessarily”. 

1. Failing to change address on your pets microchip

The expert explained: “Utilities, online accounts, workplaces and schools are usually the first on the lists of places to change address details when moving home. However, one thing many may forget is their pet’s microchip.

“Microchips became a legal requirement in the UK for all dogs over the age of eight weeks in 2016. The law was also extended to cats in 2021, with all cats over the age of 20 weeks requiring a microchip too. 

“In both cases the microchip must be registered to one of the approved databases and kept up to date with the correct information.

“The fine for not complying is £500, a costly mistake. Make sure you make changing the address on your pet’s microchip a priority when moving home.”

2. Not updating your driving license

Drivers are required by law to let the DVLA know if they change their address, and although this can be easily forgotten, it is one which is extremely important.

If a driver fails to notify the DVLA of changes, they could face a fine of up to £1,000, according to the property expert.

Bettina added: “This only applies to those who are permanently changing address, so students for example who are living in at university do not need to change their address on their licence.

“Changing your address on your driving license is free of charge, meaning you don’t need to pay for the new license to be issued and it can be done online.”

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3. Forgetting to inform TV licensing

It is illegal for Britons to watch live television without paying for a license. The expert explained: “What some may not realise is that a TV licence is issued in the name of the person paying the fee and covers the use of television receiving equipment at the address/premises specified on the licence.

“Therefore if you are paying for your TV licence, move house and forget to update your address, not only could you be paying for the licence for your previous property, but you could also get caught out without a TV licence in your new home without realising. 

“Without one, you risk prosecution and can be issued a fine of up to £1,000, plus court costs.”

Britons can change the address with TV licensing up to three months before they move, doing it online with ease.

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The expert recommended creating a moving house checklist to help keep track of the places where an address change is required.”

4. Overloading the car when moving

The property pro continued: “Moving is expensive, so it is only natural, especially in a cost of living crisis, that you would want to find ways of cutting costs. 

“One of these ways is by taking care of some of the physical moving yourself. The issue this can cause is that loading the car with furniture and boxes can take your car over its official weight limit, which is an offence. 

“Drivers found guilty of this can land themselves with a fine of up to £300 and three penalty points if the car is overloaded past its official weight limit.

“If you are unsure about the weight limit of your car then you should double-check the vehicle handbook.”

To prevent a fine, make sure to hire professional movers to do the job which can be done in a matter of hours. Whilst this is an initial expense, it can give movers peace of mind.

Also, make sure not to pack personal items into boxes last minute because this could result in a shortage of boxes, meaning homeowners may have to fork out last minute for next day delivery.

Make sure to label these precisely to save time at the other end, allowing movers to put the boxes in the right rooms.

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