The beauty of living in an apartment is that it is temporary. You can really move more easily than if you home a home, which comes with a mortgage and requires the sale of your house. When it is time to move on, whether to your first house or upgrading to a new apartment community, there are some things you need to consider. While most renters’ primary concern is getting their security deposit back, they overlook small, but crucial details in the process.
Here are some tips to ensure that your relocation is as smooth as possible.
- Give notice. This is the most important step. Review your lease to see how much notice you need to give your apartment manager. The rule of thumb is that residents usually have to give 30 days’ notice, however, this can vary, depending on the terms of your lease. Failure to give adequate notice could result in financial penalties, such as owing the next month’s rent after you move out.
- Transfer your utilities. Make sure you close out your account at your apartment and transfer all utilities to your future address. Usually, this is as simple as placing a few phone calls or making the switch online. If you live in an all utilities paid complex, it might be a little more complicated as you may have to open all new accounts in your name at your new residence.
- Clean up the place. While it is tempting to just pack up and go, you need to leave your apartment in as close to move-in condition as possible. Even though you know that the unit will be rehabbed before new residents move in, leaving the place a mess can cost you. You might have penalties deducted from your security deposit. Additionally, this can earn you a negative reference from your landlord in the event you need to rent a new place in the future. Splurge on a professional cleaning service if you don’t have time or want to do it yourself.
- Change your address. You can do this online at the USPS website and provide updated address information where you mail will be forwarded and where you will receive your new mail. A lot of times, this step gets overlooked and it can be problematic in the long term as the Post Office only forwards mail for 12 months and periodicals for 60 days. If you still receive bills by mail, they could show up late or not at all, which brings on a host of new problems.
- Get your security deposit back. This is the time to review your lease one more time to make sure you fulfilled all the conditions to receive all or a portion of your security deposit back. What usually happens is that once your have vacated your apartment, the apartment manager will conduct an inspection of the unit. They should compare it to the punch list from when you moved in, to make sure there is no new damage. Your deposit will be mailed back to you once the inspection has been completed and you will also receive a letter noting any deductions for damages. So, don’t forget to leave your forwarding address with your (former) apartment manager.
Moving also is a great opportunity to donate. As you are packing, separate clothes, shoes, outerwear and any household items you are no longer using and donate them to a local charity. Many places will even come and pick your stuff up. Likewise, when you are packing up the kitchen, any unused canned goods can go to a food bank; many grocery stores have drop-off barrels for non-perishable goods.
While moving can be a hassle, once the process is over, you can settle to your new apartment and turn it into your home. If you are thinking about changing apartments, we would invite you to check out Vision Communities. We have apartment communities through out the Greater Columbus, Ohio, area with floorplans for studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Our communities offer first-class amenities and are conveniently located for an easy commute for work or play. Contact our office to schedule a tour and to inquire about floorplan availability.