You have to move, and it’s not a fun thought. In addition to deciding whether you are going to do a DIY move or hire traditional movers, you also need to get rid of unneeded items before you start packing. Furthermore, you should take care of certain financial items during the move in order to avoid unnecessary consumer debt. Check out the following list of financial items to handle before moving.
The first of the financial items to handle before moving is making sure you can get that security deposit back. When you moved into your apartment, whether it was an affordable place in Minneapolis or an expensive apartment in New York City, you had to produce a security deposit. In theory, if you left your residence in the same condition that it was in when you moved in, your security deposit should be returned to you in full. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, so before you leave:
- Make sure you take pictures or video of the unit’s condition after you have cleaned it and moved your things out.
- Check with the landlord to find out security deposit return procedures.
- Schedule a walk-through with the landlord or his/her representative so that you can explain any material conditional differences.
- Ensure that the landlord has your new address so they can send your security deposit funds.
If you do anticipate a problem getting your funds returned, find a local tenant help service or have an attorney ready to represent you. Handling security deposit issues can be cumbersome, especially if you are in a different state.
Turn Off the Utilities
If you don’t tell utility companies that you are moving, and the new tenants don’t bother to set up utility company accounts, you may find yourself with a bill for someone else’s gas, water, and electric services. If you are moving and your landlord has not yet found a new tenant, then the utilities should be placed in your landlord’s name. While many rental property companies have procedures in place for this to happen correctly, an individual landlord may not, so you’ll need to make sure that the utilities are no longer in your name after you move out.
Turn On the Utilities
On the other end, make sure that you have made arrangements with utility companies in your new location so that there will be no service gaps. This is especially important with cable and Internet providers because there are sometimes installation delays, and you don’t want to be waiting at home for a week until the cable guy appears.
Turn Off Auto Payments
If you are automatically paying monthly for something like lawn services, make sure that you end the services and remove your credit card from the company’s billing system. This is especially important with gyms because some of these companies are notorious for continuing to charge credit cards after membership termination.
Change Your Address
Finally, be sure to change your address with the post office and have your mail forwarded. Any creditors will very quickly update their systems and you should soon get all of your bills at your new place. There may be a bit of a delay, so keep on top of payment due dates so you do not make any late payments. All in all, preparing to move out is a huge responsibility, but your preparation upon departure and arrival will make life in your new city much more enjoyable.
Sam Radbil is an author at ABODO Apartments, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets and trends within the real estate industry.