Tips for Tenants Moving to a New Area
Renters Warehouse Blog
Moving houses can be tremendously exciting. Moving to a new area, even more so. After all, it’s the start of a fresh chapter and a chance for a new start, just brimming with possibilities. The logistics of the move, though, can be a challenge, and if you haven’t done it before, it can be difficult to know what to do first. How can you lay the groundwork so that it’ll be smooth sailing for you once you get to your new place?
While navigating a move to a different city isn’t always the easiest, by doing some prep work upfront and with the following steps, you’ll be able to set yourself up for a straightforward move and will be able to make the transition to a new location much easier.
Steps to Take at Your Current Rental Before You Move
Before you start the move, you’ll want to tie up any loose ends at your current residence. Here’s a look at some steps you’ll want to take before you leave town.
Review Your Lease Agreement
Most rental units come with a lease agreement that outlines the conditions and terms of a tenancy and includes the rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant. This agreement also includes details about what happens when you need to move out of the property. For instance, if you break the lease early, you’ll need to follow the right course of action. If you’re on a longer contract, this may involve paying a fee to end the lease early but if you are on a month-to-month contract, you may have some flexibility in terms of when you can end the lease.
The lease agreement should also specify how many days you need to give your landlord as a notice to vacate. Most agreements usually require tenants to give about a month’s notice and indicate expectations from the tenant before leaving the property. This usually includes specifications about cleaning the property and returning it to the condition it was in at the time of move-in. Once you confirm all the obligations and move-out responsibilities, you can add them to your calendar for easier planning.
Give Your Notice to Vacate
Once you know how much notice to give, you can provide your notice to vacate to the landlord or property manager. Your notice should include the specific date of your move, your new address (if you have one), and a request to receive your security deposit. Make sure you give the notice in writing and ensure that you give adequate notice according to how much time is specified in your lease agreement.
Inspect the House
In most cases, you should try to leave the property in the same condition it was when you first moved in. Before you start packing up, it’s a good idea to inspect your current residence for any damage and compare it to the report and photos from when you moved in.
While the house might have experienced normal wear and tear while you were there, you are responsible for any damage caused by you or your guests. This could include things like nail holes from hanging pictures on the walls or scuff marks on the walls. If the property has any damage that you’re responsible for, a portion of your security deposit may be withheld to cover the repairs.
Want to learn more about who is responsible for what? Read our article Landlord Vs. Tenant: Who Is Responsible for What?
Cover All Your Pending Bills
As a tenant, there are a number of different bills in your name. This usually includes bills such as internet, TV, phone, water, and electricity. Before moving, ensure that all the bills you are responsible for have been paid. Inform the service providers that you are moving so they know who is responsible for bills up to that date, and after.
If you don’t have many household items, the packing process can take a few days. However, if you have a bigger place, then it will take longer. Getting started on the packing process early can save you stress and a great deal of hassle as well. Just be strategic with how you pack. As early as possible, start putting items that are rarely used or purely decorative into boxes. Items like extra clothes, books, and spare dishes, extra cookware, and less-frequently used items can be packed next. Everything that’s used more frequently can be left until a later date. Ensure that all your boxes are well-packed and appropriately sealed to avoid any damage. Maximizing the space in all the boxes will reduce the number of boxes you’ll need to carry and allow you to get a smaller and more affordable moving truck.
Consider Hiring a Moving Company
If you are moving to a new city or state, you may want to consider working with professional movers who know the area and can make the job less stressful for you. Although this might be more costly, they are often the best option if you want to safely get all your items to the new house without any damage. However, before choosing a moving company, ensure that you compare the cost of several companies and gauge which is more affordable.
Additionally, you may want to consider a moving company which packs and unpacks the items for you. It is also important to note any stairs, elevators, or parking challenges in your new area that may complicate the move for your movers.
Clean the Property
Your lease agreement indicates the cleaning expectations before moving out. Cleaning the residence increases your chances of receiving the full security deposit amount back. Some of the areas to focus on when cleaning include:
Cleaning the carpets
Washing the windows
Spot cleaning doors and walls
Cleaning kitchen appliances
Sweeping and vacuuming floors
Dusting lighting fixtures, fans, and surfaces
Cleaning out sinks, showers, bathroom surfaces, toilets, and tubs
Mowing the lawn and tidying up the exterior
Cleaning patios, garages, and balconies
And anything else that’s required to bring the property back into the condition that it was when you first moved in. It’s usually helpful to create a list and then go through it one task at a time, starting once again with the areas that are largely disused and leaving the more frequented areas until the end. If your home is bigger or the job is especially challenging to fit in alongside everything else, this is one job that you may want to outsource to a professional cleaner.
Tips for Tenants Moving to a New Area
As you prepare to move to a new house, there are certain things that you need when renting. But moving to a new city will require even more preparation. Here are some things you should focus on to help make the moving process as stress-free as possible.
Start Your Research Early
You should start researching the new area as early as possible. This will help you to familiarize yourself with different areas and show you what local amenities are available, giving you a feel for the place and a better idea about where you may want to reside.
Rents in most markets are continually marching upward so it’s a good idea to conduct research early on to confirm whether you can afford the housing options in the region, and neighborhood, that you plan to move to. Additionally, this allows you to compare rental prices for different types of rental units.
To get this information, check neighborhood reviews and explore the area virtually. You can also view real estate listings to compare options in the area. You can check websites like Zillow and Trulia and view multiple listings to get this information. Once you have more information about the area, you can make further decisions before making the move.
Choose an Ideal Neighborhood
Before you can go about finding your dream rental, you first will need to determine your ideal location and neighborhood. This will depend on your needs and preferences. For instance, if you are looking for a location that allows you to commute to your job easily, you can start your search there. Additionally, if you have friends or relatives living in the new city, you can ask for recommendations on the best places to live.
You can also use neighborhood blogs and reviews to find the best area for your needs. As you choose a location, factor in the rental price, access to amenities, and other factors that are important to you. If you don’t have any information on the new city, consider using a local real estate agent who also does rentals to get information about good location options that meet your requirements.
Visit the Area If Possible
While a virtual tour can give you information about the available properties, visiting available rentals in person is always a good idea. If you have a free weekend, plan and visit the listings to determine whether any of them are a good fit for you.
Ask All the Necessary Questions
Once you have a potential property in your sights, you’ll want to inquire about it. All rental units are different. Every landlord and property manager has a set of rules and regulations specific to their unit. For instance, you’ll need to ask your potential landlord or property manager about keeping pets if you have a pet. You’ll have to discuss who is responsible for maintenance on the property, and which standard fees are for the tenant to pay.
You need to consult the landlord about all the property details, like rental costs, security deposits, lease agreements, payment methods, maintenance and repair responsibilities, and guest policies to make sure the terms and agreements work for you.
Looking to move to a new house? Here are the Questions to Ask Your Landlord Before Signing a Lease.
Stick to the Budget
One of the common mistakes that renters make is looking at properties that are out of their budget. This becomes a major problem for most renters because you need to pay for other expenses like the security deposit, monthly utilities, and other fees. If you attempt to rent properties that’s above your budget, you may struggle to get approved for them.
Additionally, if the house is unfurnished, you’ll need to buy items for the home, which can further increase your expenses. Before signing a lease agreement for any property, ensure that the property is within your budget. Calculate the living costs to determine whether you can afford to live in a particular neighborhood. A good rule is to avoid renting a property that is more than 33% of your monthly salary. In most cases, you’ll have an easier time getting approved for a property that falls within that price range as well.
Clean Up Your Credit
Landlords and property managers will often check an applicant’s credit score. If your score is on the lower side, it could indicate that you struggle with managing credit which could make it harder for you to get approved for a property. The best solution is to start working on building a good credit history. You can do this by ensuring that you pay all of your bills on time, avoiding using too much of your available credit, and paying down your credit card balances each month. You can also consider getting your parents or a close friend who has good credit to be a co-signer. Some landlords will accept co-signers, so it’s a good precaution to take if you have fair or poor credit.
Set Up the Utilities
Once you’ve changed location, you’ll need to set up new utilities in the new location. To make things easier, you should call to see if you can get the utilities running a day or two before you move in. This will help make your life easier as you settle in and will save you from having to be without heat or hot water when you move in.
Get Renter’s Insurance
As a tenant, you’ll also want to set up renter’s insurance for your new unit. Renter’s insurance is important because the landlord’s insurance does not cover your personal property. This insurance will usually cover personal property and liability claims, but check your policy carefully to make sure it includes the coverage that you need.
Finally, once you’ve moved in, it’s a good idea to find ways to get involved. Once you’ve arrived at your new place, you’ll want to be a part of the local community. But making friends doesn’t usually happen by accident. Instead, you’ll want to be intentional about putting yourself out there and getting to know others. Joining a book club, sports club, or other local group can be a good way to meet other people with similar interests to yours and will help you to warm to the local area faster.
Moving to a new property can be complicated, but with careful planning and some help from friends, family, and professionals, it can be much easier. Just remember to start the process as early on as possible and to work on researching the area to learn all that you can about it before you go. Whenever possible, try to put boots on the ground and visit the location and properties in person before you commit to renting. Finally, try to make life easier by outsourcing jobs to professionals when needed. Remember, they are there to help and can make the moving process much less daunting. All the best in your new adventure!
Looking for your next rental? Be sure to check out our available listings. Find rentals that meet your budget and criteria quickly and easily today.
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