Keeping your electoral roll up-to-date after moving house

Posted by Ben Ryland in Electoral Roll on 14 January 2019 - Ben is a Senior Credit Analyst at checkmyfile.

Few things in adult life are more stressful than moving house. The planning, the packing and of course the last-minute panicking about paperwork. Even once you’re in, mountains are quickly made from molehills and before you know it, you’ve lost those tiny keys for the windows – never to be seen again.

But once you’re in, you’re in, and can start to relax and enjoy the euphoria of that new home feeling for all of 5 minutes before you need to start organising utilities, council tax and informing everyone of your new address. Quite possibly the last thing on your mind is your Electoral Roll status – but it probably shouldn’t be, especially if you’re planning on taking out credit any time soon.

Why is it so important to update my address?

As you probably discovered when going through the house buying process, being registered on the Electoral Roll is crucial to your Credit Report and to your chances of getting accepted for credit.

Lenders will look at whether you are on the Electoral Roll as part of the application process – it confirms the address you have given them and implies a level of stability in your life from the fact you are permanently registered at an address. They can also use this information to see if your other accounts are all registered at the same address.

Keeping your Electoral Roll listing updated will help ensure your Creditworthiness isn’t affected as direct a result of your move, and that you shouldn’t have trouble the next time you want to apply for credit (provided there hasn’t been a major change in your circumstances).

After inputting a few of your details, your local Electoral Roll office will notify you if your registration has been accepted. Your details will then also be passed on to the Credit Reference Agencies, who will then update this on your Credit File.

How long does it take to update my address?

Registering at your new address for the Electoral Roll is quick, taking less than 5 minutes if you register to vote online. The sooner you register, the sooner your listing can be added, with the exception to this being if you register to vote during the Annual Canvass period. The Annual Canvass takes place between July and December each year, during which time no electoral roll information is published.

Find out if the Annual Canvass is underway

Typically once Electoral Register information has been published, it can take up to three months for your listing to appear on your Credit Report, though in many cases this happens within one month.

Anything else I should know?

Contrary to popular misconception, paying council tax at your new home doesn’t automatically enrol you on the Electoral Register. They are separately held records at the local council and being on one won’t necessarily mean you’re on the other.

When you register to vote, remember that you can opt out of the Open Register if you would prefer not to receive marketing letters addressed to you at your new address; this will not affect your Electoral Roll listing as it appears on your Credit Report, or ability to take out credit. If you wish to do this but did not tick the box when registering to vote, you can opt in or out at any time online.

It might also be worth your while notifying the Electoral Roll office for your previous council (if you switched during the move) to make sure you have been removed from the register under your old address. When you register at your new address your new council should make sure that your old listing is removed on your behalf, but it might also be worth checking for ‘belts and braces.’

Once you’ve registered at your new address, you can see if your Electoral Roll listing has been updated by checking your Credit Report. If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then for £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel online, by phone or by email.

You’ll get access to the UK’s most detailed Credit Report, including information on your Electoral Roll status is being reported by the UK’s four Credit Reference Agencies.

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