You’ve bought a house, you’ve signed the deed at the notary, and you’ve got the keys. Full of joy and excitement, you go to your new house
But what should you do next?
Hello, my name is Oscar Vaello, I’m a certified lawyer with Vaello Legal, and today I’m going to give you 7 tips on what to do when you get the keys of your new home.
1. Change de locks.
The first thing you should do is to change the locks. You don’t know how many copies of the keys there are, and who holds them. So to avoid any unpleasant surprises, change the locks.
2. Take a photo of the meters.
Take a picture of the reading of the water, gas and electricity meters, and send them by certified email to the seller and the agency within 24 hours of getting the keys. Of course, your Lawyer may take care of this.
The reading will be used to find out which part of the next bill is owed by you and which part is owed by the previous owner.
3. Check everything.
Now is the time to check the house in depth, so that you can claim to the previous owner if something isn’t right. Check that the water is running correctly from every tap. Check the electricity works, the gas from the kitchen flows correctly, the boiler is heating the water properly and that the heating system heats well. Also check there is no mould or humidity on the walls, the floor is correct, and all doors and windows open and close correctly. If any appliances have been left in the flat by the previous owner like the fridge, washing machine, oven, air conditioning… etc., check that they are working too. Check the furniture is ok too.
If there’s anything wrong, you should immediately send the previous owner a certified communication. This may be used as evidence to claim for any problem or expense. Your lawyer also should help you with this.
4. Change the holder of the utilities.
Within the next week you should change the account name of the Utilities, that is the water, gas and electricity supplies.
In the deposit contract, it’s important that you made sure that there was a clause in which the seller agrees to have these supplies connected. This is important because if the service hasn’t been interrupted, one call will be enough to make the change of the holder, for free, and you won’t be one minute without supply.
On the other hand, if the service has been disconnected and you have to register again, it is very likely that you’ll have new expenses and inconvenience, because with the electricity supply, you will have to pay a registration fee, but you’ll also have to prove that the electrical installation conforms to the current regulations.
It is important that on the day of completion/signing for the property, the seller gives you the last water, gas and electricity bills, because in them there is essential information you need to make the change of the holder.
This detail is often overlooked, because when you make a purchase of a property, there are so many documents given to you, so many things to consider, and so many papers to sign, that it is almost impossible to take everything into account. This is why you need a lawyer to cope with it all.
5. Contact the management company of the building.
Tell them you are the new occupant/owner, and give them your bank account details to debit the monthly management fees.
6. Introduce yourself to the neighbours.
They say that there’s only one opportunity to cause a good first impression. So go to the President of the Community of owners and introduce yourself. It will cause a wonderful impression on the President and the rest of the neighbours. People in the South of Europe like to greet and be greeted.
7. Treat yourself.
Go to the closest store, buy a bottle of good wine, have a glass… and enjoy the moment. You deserve it.