No one would blame you for forgetting part of the moving process: the hectic nature of packing up your entire life and putting it in a moving vehicle and depositing it somewhere else, not to mention the weeks of preparation and the act of apartment hunting…it’s a task built for mistakes. So while you’re bound to forget things and take the losses on the chin, there are some steps that shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s our must-do’s that can easily be lost in the shuffle, but shouldn’t be neglected.
Some of these may seem obvious, like, giving notice to your landlord. The 30 day deadline is tough to get around except in rare circumstances, and it’s much easier and less headache-inducing to follow the prescribed legal guidelines. Even if you have a casual relationship with your landlord, don’t skip the written notice: a verbal agreement could cause problems down the line. Be sure to check your lease, as well—though the normal notice is thirty days, some landlords and leases have 60-day notice, or up to 90-day in rare circumstances. It’s most prudent to use hand delivery (with a signed receipt) or certified mail if your landlord is offsite.
It’s best to submit your change of address form at the post office before you move, to avoid any lags in mail service. It can be done after you move, but getting it done early will save you from forgetting later and missing important documents. You can do it at the post office or online.
Even if you haven’t caused damage to your room or apartment, you might not get your deposit back if you leave it dirty, because the landlord could subtract cleaning fees from the deposit. So, you need to block out time to clean the room or apartment. You can also hire a cleaning service if you calculate that it would be a low enough fee that it won’t cut into your money back from the deposit. Remove nails from the walls and fill the holes with putty, wipe down surfaces and clean any residue or stains. Vacuum and mop, and do a deep clean in the bathrooms and kitchen.
Consider the specifics of your utilities—is this something under the umbrella of ‘building management will handle it,’ or did you start up the internet and cable when you moved in? Go through each utility and make sure you know if it’s your responsibility or your landlord’s, and then cancel or transfer anything that’s under your name.
Once this (and….the physical act of moving) is accomplished, don’t forget to return your keys!