Whether you’re moving to another apartment or to a house, there are probably loads of tasks on your plate right now! Tackling it all can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never attempted a move of this scale before.
Moving out of an apartment isn’t usually a straightforward matter. The logistics can be overwhelming, but this list can help lower the stress.
1. Make Sure to Give Enough Notice
Giving enough notice before a move-out is just basic common courtesy.
Even if you don’t get in legal trouble or suffer any financial loss through a too-short notice, there’s no need to sour your relationships with anyone. Keep it courteous and ethical; you don’t want to surprise anyone with the arrival of a moving company!
How Much Notice Should You Give?
60 Day minimum notice is a common courtesy.
Risks of Not Giving Due Notice
Failing to give notice in the required time can result in a loss of your deposit. At times, you might even have to give up several months of rent payments.
The moving company and relocation costs will already be a burden on your pocket. So, make sure to follow this step to save face and money.
Check the Delivery Method
Finally, check the lease to see the required delivery method of your notice. Property management may require written notice, while others may accept emails, a phone call, or even a text message. It is best to mail a written notice as well as follow up with an email to the management.
2. Stay Aware of Your Payments
The usual agreement upon renting an apartment today is a security deposit, along with first and last month’s rent.
Be aware that the deposit is for covering any damage in the apartment during your stay. You will get a refund on this if the apartment is cleaned, and cleared of your items.
Don’t Confuse the Security Deposit and Last Month’s Rent
The last month’s rent, on the other hand, is to eliminate your final payment when the lease term ends. The amount of your security deposit and last month’s rent may be similar, or even identical, but keep in mind that they are not interchangeable.
3. Contact All Utility Providers
If the utilities services are in your name and property management, you are responsible for calling up the providers before the move. Make the call at least a fortnight beforehand and schedule the dates for turning the services on or off.
Ideally, you want the company to turn off the utilities the day after you move out. In the new apartment, you can schedule a turn-on time for the utilities one day before moving in.
Adapting this proactive approach will save you from getting into any hassle later on.
It is courtesy to pass along the turn of dates to the management, so they can continue the utilities in their name to prevent property or equipment damage due to shut off utilities.
4. Do a Deep Clean
Want that security deposit back? Of course, you do! You also want to leave a good impression. So, it’s time to take out all the cleaning supplies and do a deep clean of the place. The management can refer a service to you that you can pay for as well.
Make it your goal to have the apartment looking as it was when you moved in.
Hire Someone Else to Clean
If you don’t feel like putting in so much effort, especially when a new apartment or house is waiting, you should consider hiring a cleaning service. The security deposit will probably be more than what you pay them, so it’s a win all around.
Get Out the Camera and Take Pictures
Once you have the apartment all spic and span, take some pictures. The memories will be nice to have, but you also want to have proof of the apartment’s condition before your move-out.
Hold up that day’s newspaper or some other evidence to show if your landlord does find some damage or mess.
Have a Walk Through Inspection
After the cleaning, you can also ask your the property manager to have a walk through before the move-out.
A walk-through inspection will enable both parties to see the apartment’s condition for themselves. They can then discuss any problems, decide on necessary repairs, and generally iron out everything before the final inspection.
Be Prepared for the Final Inspection
Finally, you should try to be present when the landlord does their last inspection, also called the move-out inspection. You might have to work with some checklists and forms, but it will mean getting your security deposit back in the end.
If you’re confused about where to start, here are some tips on how to make your apartment feel like new.
5. Fix Whatever is Fixable
Yet another way to ensure that security deposit refund is to fix up any issues beforehand.
If you’ve hammered any nails into the walls, take care of those holes as soon as possible. If you have painted any walls, ask the management if you need to change it back to the original. The same goes for any changes in blinds, cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and so on.
Ensure Extra Checks for an Apartment with Pets or Kids
Pets and children often cause a lot of scratches, dings, and other minor damage that one may not notice in their everyday routine. A thorough walk-through will probably reveal many of those. Therefore, you must see what you can fix before the management takes it out of your security deposit.
6. Book the Moving Company
If your old apartment is on the ground or first floor, you may not require this. However, those living on higher floors might need to book time the moving company.
Book ahead of time and you’ll probably save some money by cutting down on the workers’ hours from the moving company as well.
7. Give Your New Address Everywhere
The U.S. Postal Service will need your new address if you still require its services.
A lot of people still send U.S. mail; you also don’t want to miss out on those holiday packages from your relatives! Any nearby post office will change your address. You might also be able to do this yourself online.
Also, make sure to give the new address to people and organizations that might send some mail at times. These include relatives, friends, educational institutions, banks, and your employer. Don’t forget to pass this address to the property management to mail your security deposit to your new address.
Whether you’re downsizing to live in a smaller apartment or moving to a whole new state, the tips above are sure to help out in many ways.
These precautions are necessary for saving a load of money and also ensuring that you’re comfortable while moving. Here’s hoping the move goes smoothly and safely!
Best, Janet & Charlie