A guide to moving into your rental property

A guide for contract-holders who are moving into a property let by CPS Homes.

Collecting your keys

Where and when you collect your keys on your move-in day will depend on whether CPS Homes manages the property. We’ll have previously made you aware if CPS Homes is the manager, or if your landlord is going to manage things themselves. If you’re unsure, please refer to your tenancy-related paperwork.

Properties managed by CPS Homes: All keys are available from our Woodville Road, Cathays branch from 12pm on the day your tenancy starts. Please be mindful that on busy move-in days, such 1st July, you may have to queue for your keys. If don’t need to collect your keys on one of these days, we’d recommend waiting until the following day in order to avoid the queuing.

Properties managed by your landlord: Using the contact information you have been given, make contact with your landlord in order to confirm when and how you will receive the keys.


Your inventory is vital

Moving into your new home is an exciting time and you’ll have plenty going on, but once you’ve got the keys, it’s really important that you pay close attention to the inventory you'll be sent electronically. This will help avoid any disputes over damages and cleaning when you eventually move out. We appreciate that moving out won’t be at the forefront of your mind at the start of your tenancy, but it certainly will be when you’re looking to receive your deposit back at the end, so be sure to get it right from the get-go.

We can’t stress the importance of the inventory document enough. Essentially, it’s the only thing we can rely on to decide on any deductions from your deposit when we do your check-out inspection, so it needs to be spot on. In our experience, the lack of a solid inventory is the biggest contributing factor to an end-of-tenancy bond dispute. We don’t want you losing your money unfairly, but we need your input in ensuring we have the evidence to avoid this. In short, your inventory is certainly worth spending some time on!

What to do

Shortly after you collect your keys, you’ll be sent a copy of your property’s inventory (sometimes known as a ‘schedule of condition’). It’ll be a working document and fully editable by you via our software, Inventory Base. Embedding your own photos and adding your own comments is easy-peasy. Once confirmed, the inventory will stay on file, ready for the end of your tenancy.

Walk around each room and check each item against the inventory; taking photos or making notes as you go. Too many times we hear tenants say “I didn’t think that was substantial enough to photograph or note when I moved in” when discussing damage at their check-out inspection, so don’t hold back; there’s no such thing as being too picky when it comes to annotating your inventory.

Please don’t raise maintenance requests on your inventory as they are not reviewed by the maintenance team.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

Any issues you spot when moving in

If we booked a check-in inspection with you when you collected your keys, then unless you come across anything urgent when you first move in (in which case let us know ASAP), please wait until this check-in appointment to report items. Please bear in mind the following:

Blu tack, scuffs and scrapes

A full redecoration only tends to be required every few years, so it’s commonplace for a property to have some degree of wear and tear to its décor when the tenancy starts. Don’t worry, it’ll be documented within the inventory and you won’t be blamed for it; we’re just letting you know so you don’t expect pristine walls throughout when you arrive.

To add to that, it’s hard-to-impossible to decorate around tenants and their belongings, but if you’re prepared not to be there and to pack up your stuff, we’re prepared to speak with your landlord about decoration works and hopefully sway them. Communal areas tend to be easier to work on. If we get a positive outcome for you, it’ll then be subject to finding available contractors.  And remember, if a wall/room is painted for you, then it does need to be retuned in that same condition, so you’re better off not putting up posters or affixing items.

It’s common for previous tenants to affixed items to walls using tape or blu tack, which can leave some marks. Whilst we don’t encourage you to create marks to clear walls, we don’t mind if you cover heavily-marked walls with your own decorative touches. Please just make sure the wall is denoted as such on the inventory you’re sent, or even better, add your own photo(s) to show it.

Carpets and furniture stand the test of time more so than décor, so again, it’s likely these won’t be brand-new on arrival.


If your landlord deemed that a clean was required after the last tenancy, we’ll always ask cleaners ensure that cleaning is carried out to a good standard before a new tenancy begins. There will be occasions when the cleaning carried out isn’t quite up to our standards and, as we can’t check everything, we’ll rely on you to let us know if re-attendance is required. Properties that have been sat empty and unventilated – even for a few days – can smell a bit stuffy on arrival, with a little dust settling. That’s not anyone’s fault and should largely sort itself with a good airing. Give it a day or two and, if there’s an issue, send us some photos and we’ll take a look. Below is the list of items the cleaners have been asked to deal with;

A standard clean

  • All carpets vacuumed / floors mopped
  • Insides of windows and PVC washed down
  • Skirting boards and woodwork washed
  • Washing machine: front and detergent drawer
  • Oven: glass, grills and tray
  • Fridge/freezers: front, top and interior
  • Furniture: including inside units, underneath sofa cushions and behind any units which can be moved
  • Kitchen units: inside and cupboard fronts
  • Bathroom suites, including bleach cleaning of grout and seals (N.B. some staining can be permanent)
  • Cobwebs removed and lampshades dusted

Note: we don’t expect cleaners to pull out washing machines, fridges or other extremely heavy items in order to clean those black holes behind.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

Reporting issues

Our 24/7 online portal

If your issue is not an emergency, please report it to us via www.cpshomes.co.uk/report and we'll have it dealt with as soon as possible. You can easily log in to the portal with your email address and postcode, then select the relevant category as below. It's a good idea to bookmark this link, so you can easily access it if needed during your tenancy. For a step-by-step guide on how to use the portal to report repairs, click here.

Track the status of your repair with ease

You can tell us the specific details of your issue via a short form. This is logged safely in our system, ready for a member of our team to pick up on and decide the best course of action. You can then revisit to easily track the job's progress, receiving updates along the way.

This more streamlined process will save time for both you and our contractors. Please make sure to include clear photographs and note down as much concise detail as possible, so we know the extent of the problem instantly and can get working on fixing it for you ASAP


If you have a genuine emergency during office hours, please call us. If it's outside of office hours, please refer to our Emergencies page.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

Landlord responsibilities in flats

In big blocks of flats – particularly purpose-built flats – each flat is usually owned by a different person on a leasehold basis. In short, this usually means that your landlord only owns the walls of the flat and everything within those walls, so any external or structural walls aren’t their responsibility. Similarly, gardens and car parks aren’t their responsibility either.

Where your landlord is a leaseholder as described above, external and structural walls, gardens and car parks will be managed by the freeholder, who are responsible for the structure and common parts of the building, as well as the land it stands on. A freeholder will usually appoint a block management company to perform these duties. The block manager will almost certainly have notices displayed in and around the building, letting residents know who they are.

Make yourself familiar with the block manager, in case you need to speak to them about anything they control.

Properties that were once a whole house and have now been converted into flats tend to be entirely owned by the same landlord, making them responsible for everything in the building.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

CPS Homes’ duties as a managing agent

Most contract-holders (tenants) are familiar with the term "landlord” and their responsibilities, but a lot of people don’t know what a "managing agent" can and can’t do, so here's a quick explainer to help your tenancy run smoothly.

In brief:

  • A managing agent's role is to make sure contract-holders and landlords stick to the terms of the signed Written Statement of Occupation Contract.
  • The CPS Homes maintenance team will seek permission from your landlord to get repairs done and will request upgrades or improvements but your landlord will make the final decisions on everything.
  • Your deposit (if you paid one) is held by a government-approved deposit protection scheme throughout your tenancy.
  • CPS Homes does not decide whether to claim from your deposit at the end of your tenancy. If your landlord decides there are valid reasons to claim after reading our check-out report, it is their prerogative to make a claim but contract-holders can raise a dispute if they disagree. An eventual decision will be made by an independent adjudicator, who is appointed by the deposit protection scheme.

Are CPS Homes my landlord?

A lot of contract-holders think we are, but no, we never are. The owner of the property is your landlord and you’ll find their name on Written Statement of Occupation Contract. You might meet them if they want to visit their property during your tenancy, but your first call should always be to us if we manage your property. It's our job to keep our contract-holders and landlords happy as much we can without holding the purse strings for repairs and improvements.

Does that mean my landlord doesn’t get involved at all?

Quite the opposite! The landlord plays a vital role as they make the final decision on everything. They decide when to send a contractor out or agree to let you pay your rent a bit later. We don’t hold the power to make those decisions.

So what is CPS Homes’ role as ‘managing agent’?

It's our job to make sure tenants and landlords stick to the terms of the Written Statement of Occupation Contract you both entered into. We know the laws, guidance and industry standards inside out, which is why landlords employ us as a managing agent.

Who authorises repairs to my property?

This is your landlord. When you first report something to us, there are some initial ‘tenant obligation checks’ we’ll do with you in case it can be easily fixed, but if that doesn't work, we will seek permission from the landlord to get the work done, as they will be the one paying the bill. Some landlords give us the authority to automatically go ahead with everything that gets reported to us without even needing to contact them, whereas others give us a maximum spend per job or want to be contacted for everything.

The difference between a ‘repair’ and an ‘improvement’

When you report something to us, we’ll categorise it as a repair or an improvement. A repair is something your landlord is required to do, such as fixing an appliance that came with the property or remedying a potential health & safety issue, whereas an improvement is discretionary, i.e. even if it makes total sense to do it, your landlord doesn’t have to agree to it as long as it’s not a health, safety or hygiene problem.


If the issue is a result of wear and tear, your landlord must remedy it. The time between your initial report and completion of the job can vary due to a variety of factors; the main one being the seriousness of the problem. Don't expect a wonky drawer to be dealt with as quickly as a faulty boiler!

Sometimes things can delay the repair process, but we’ll always keep you informed about how things are moving along.


We want the homes we manage to be looking and functioning at their best for our tenants, so we’ll pass over every reasonable request we receive to your landlord. We’ll even do our bit to persuade him/her that making the improvement makes sense. We can’t guarantee we’ll always get the outcome you/we want, but landlords do trust us as experienced agents, so most of the time we get our way.

Does a managing agent decide whether to deduct from my deposit at the end of my tenancy?

It’s a long way off at the point of moving in, but we get numerous questions about the deposit return process, so we always aim to be as clear and transparent about it as possible.

The short answer is no, our staff members will assist in documenting and assessing the condition of the property when you leave, but we do not have the authority to determine the final deductions.

When you pay us your deposit, it is registered in a government-approved deposit protection scheme. These schemes are in place to keep your money safe and ensure fair, impartial handling of any deposit disputes between the landlord and contract-holder. Your managing agent can’t access the money at any point throughout your tenancy, or afterwards.

If there are valid reasons for making a claim from the deposit at the end of your tenancy, such as unpaid rent, damage beyond normal wear and tear or cleaning expenses, it's your landlord's prerogative to claim. Contract-holders are able to raise a free dispute if they disagree with any claim and the deposit scheme will then work to reach a fair conclusion.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.


Your responsibilities

Though your landlord has a lot of responsibilities during your tenancy, such as ensuring there is adequate heating & hot water and drains & sanitary facilities are kept in working order, contract-holders also have an obligation to look after and carry out the little jobs around the property. It's called acting in a 'Contract-holder-Like Manner' and it forms part of your contract. It basically means treating the house as if it's your home. Read more on this topic.

To help you fulfil your responsibilities as a contract-holder, we’ve produced a few How To Guides – please take a look and bookmark the page.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

Setting up your utility bill accounts

What are utility bills?

Your utilities are the supplies of gas, electricity and water to the property. If the cost of your utilities are not included in your rent, you will need to arrange payment of each one accordingly.

Who supplies my gas, electricity and water?

As utility suppliers can be changed from one tenancy to the next, we don’t keep a record of who supplies to each property, but you can find out your current suppliers in a few different ways. When you move in, you might already have a letter from your suppliers addressed to the “The New Occupier”. Alternatively, use the telephone numbers below;

Please note that the above two telephone numbers are automated, so you will need to know the postcode and first line of your address before calling.

Your water supply will be with Welsh Water, who can be contacted on 0800 052 0145 or via their website.

Am I allowed to change my utility suppliers?

Yes, you are. You can use a website like Money Saving Expert to compare prices across suppliers.

How do I set-up my utility accounts?

The vast majority of properties have gas and electricity meters installed – the readings on which your supplier’s bill will be based on – so you’ll first need to locate these. Once found, take a record of each reading and remember the date on which you’ve taken them. Please take your meter readings as soon as you first enter the property. It’s also worth noting the meter serial numbers at this time.

Next, make contact with each supplier and provide them with the readings you have taken. It’s advisable to do this via telephone, but you can also do it online.

The suppliers will need to know what date to open your account from, so please ensure you provide them with your tenancy start date, rather than the day you moved in.

Water bills are typically based on a set charge determined by Welsh Water, so you’re unlikely to have a meter for this. Please make contact with Welsh Water and set-up your account from your tenancy start date.

Where I’ve been paying half-rent and living elsewhere, do I need to pay for the utilities?

Yes you do, but as the property will have been empty for this period, any usage will be zero to minimal, so that part of your bill will be extremely low.

Pretty much every utility company will apply ‘standing charges’ on top, regardless of whether the property was occupied or not, and there’s no avoiding these unfortunately.

When should I set-up my utility accounts?

Immediately. As soon as you move in, you should take your meter readings and make contact with your suppliers. Please don’t delay this.

When and how do I pay my utility bills?

How often you’re required to pay your bills will need to be agreed direct with your supplier, but they will all accept payment by way of Direct Debit, bank transfer or debit/credit card.

Some contract-holders choose to set up a ‘household bank account’ which everybody pays into, whereas others will have one person pay the total bill and then collect payment from the other members of the group.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

Disposing of your waste

To help you keep your house waste and pest free and ensure you're fulfilling your duties as contract-holders, we’ve produced a full guide on waste collection for Cardiff. Read it here: https://www.cpshomes.co.uk/how-to-guides/2021/12/28/a-guide-to-kerbside-waste-collection

Paying your rent

When you signed your Written Statement of Occupation Contract, you were given details on how, when and where to pay your rent. Please refer back to this if you didn’t make a note of it at the time. It’s vitally important that you use the payment reference we provided you with, so we/your landlord know who the payment has come from.

Contract-holders living in properties managed by CPS Homes pay their rent to us, which we then pass onto your landlord. We require payments by standing order, which means you need to instruct your bank to pay us each month. You can do this via mobile, online or telephone banking.

If you live in a property managed by your landlord, you will pay your rent direct to them.

It’s vitally important this is set up ahead of your tenancy to avoid incurring any late rent charges. If you’re unsure of anything, get in touch with our Accounts Team via 02920 454555 or roath@cpshomes.co.uk.

Please note that this information only applies to properties fully managed by CPS Homes.

20 March 2024


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