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Settling in: steps to follow

Settling in to a new home involves a series of formalities: home insurance, inventory, utilities, and so on. Read on to find out more about the main steps and to get some helpful hints.

Home insurance

As a tenant, you are responsible for your accommodation: you are legally obliged to take out home insurance. Home insurance covers you against a variety of risks: fire, explosion, water damage. You can take out a policy with a mutual insurance company, bank or private insurer.

You will need to insure your accommodation:

  • before signing the rental agreement (you will need to provide your landlord with a copy of your insurance policy);
  • every year;
  • regardless of whether you rent private accommodation or in a student residence.

If you are part of a flatshare or houseshare, each tenant needs to take out home insurance.

Tip: you may choose to take out “multi-risk” home insurance, which includes third-party liability insurance.

Incoming inventory

The day you get the keys to your new home, you will carry out an incoming inventory with the landlord. This inventory will be covered by a document describing the accommodation and its facilities in a very detailed manner. Two copies of the document are printed out and appended to the rental agreement.

Make sure you describe all visible damage, even very minor damage, and keep a copy of this document until the day you leave the accommodation.

When you leave the accommodation, an exit inventory will be carried out with the landlord:

  • if the exit inventory matches the incoming inventory, your deposit will be returned to you within one month;
  • if the exit inventory is not consistent, this time frame is extended to two months.

Rent receipts: ask your landlord to provide you with a rent receipt each month. These documents prove that you have paid your rent - you may need them when carrying out certain administrative formalities.

Sign up for various services

As soon as you move into your new home, you will need to open an account in your own name with utility companies (electriity or gas, as the case may be), and possibly with an Internet provider.

If you are housed in a student residence or rent a room with a private individual, these expenses will take the form of a flat rate and are usually included in the rent.

Tip: during the incoming inventory, remember to ask the landlord for the names of the previous utility companies and Internet providers, as this will make it easier for you to sign up for the same services in your own name.