6 Things You Must Do When Moving to a New Apartment

Follow these steps when moving from apartment to apartment.

I’m currently in the midst of moving from Austin to Denver, and boy oh boy, there is so much to do. You don’t think about how much work that goes into moving until it gets slammed in your face and you need to think about leases and health insurance and how you’re going to bring your favorite lamp to your new place. Let’s go through the logistics of moving, whether you’re moving down the street or to another state.




1. Send your Intent to Vacate

Check your lease to see when you have to notify your apartment owners that you’re leaving. Typically, you need to notify them 30 days in advance, but it’s normal if they ask for 60 days in advance. Don’t forget to add in your letter that you expect your security deposit back. Here is a template I used to send to my apartment. 

If you want to get a special lease, like a month-to-month lease for example, check the policies for when they expect you to notify them. If you ever need clarification, call or stop by the leasing office to chat with the leasing agents. 


2. Research to find New Apartment and Sign New Lease

Often times research for your new apartment building either starts with hearing from your friends and family or searching online. Once you conduct your research with your criteria in mind, you need to then go through the process to apply for the property and sign your lease. 

First, apply to the apartment according to your property’s request, which is typically an online application or a paper application. Have this information ready for when you fill out the application:

  • ID Number (ex. Driver’s License, Passport)

  • Desired Move-In Date

  • Vehicle Information

    • Make

    • Year

    • Model

    • Color

    • Plate Number

    • State

  • Current Renter’s Insurance

    • Provider

    • Policy Number

  • Current Income Information

    • Current Employer

    • Employer Address

    • Current Income

  • Pets

    • Number

    • Type

  • Emergency Contact Information

    • Name

    • Phone Number and/or Email

You often have to pay an application fee to submit your application so keep that in mind for your budget. Once you’ve submitted the application, it should from about 1-3 days for you to get a response if you’ve been approved or not. 

Once approved, depending on the apartment complex, you might need to sign a Reservation Receipt, which outlines the details of your apartment reservation and move-in requirements.

At this point, you might have to pay a holding deposit. A holding deposit simply holds the apartment for you until you move on, and is often not refundable. This protects the owner if you flake and find a new apartment. Also, at this point you will need to pay your security deposit, so that if you damage the apartment, the security will go to repair expenses. But, you should get your security deposit back at the end of your lease if you did not damage your department. 

Now you are at the point where you sign your lease. Remember to read your lease! You don’t want to be stuck in this situation: you want to break your lease to move for a new job, but you have to pay $10,000 to do so. This has happened to someone I know… 

Perfect. You’ve secured your place and can focus on the other logistics. 


3. Change Renters Insurance

Sometimes different apartment complexes do not take the same renters insurance. Even if your future apartment does take the same renters insurance, check to see if you can get a better deal.

If you want to keep the same provider, great. Go to their website or call a customer representative and simply cancel your current renters insurance for your move-out date and start your future renters insurance for the new address and move-in date. 

If you don’t want to keep the same provider, cancel your current service and start your future renters insurance for the new address and move-in date with the new provider. Remember that it’s in your best interest to always be covered by renters insurance. Currently I’m paying $12.25 with the company Lemonade during the time of my month-to-month lease. Better to be safe than sorry. 


4. Change Gas/Electricity Account

Notify your gas/electricity provider of the date that you would no longer need their service. Then, contact the relevant gas/electricity provider for your new apartment to initiate service. 

Make sure that you do this at least a week in advance before your move-in date. Apartment complexes like to know on the date of move-in that you have a gas/electricity account set up.

If you don’t have it set up, your apartment complex will charge you your gas/electricity bill for that time period, and you bet that they will charge you an unnecessary fee. 

Also, keep in mind that sometimes it might take a provider to connect your electric service, so that’s another reason to set up your account well ahead of time. 

You might incur an initiation fee (mine was $20) and deposit charge (mine was $200). However, often times when you’ve established that you pay your utilities bills on time they will give you back the deposit. You can establish this by paying on time for a full year, getting a letter of reference from your previous utilities provider, or a letter from your landlord. Check with your utilities company to see how you can get that deposit back or even get the deposit waived from the very beginning.  


5. Change Internet/Cable/Phone Account

First check to see if your provider is services your new apartment. If it does, then you can change to your new address, move-in date, and internet/cable/phone plan online or on the phone. 

If your provider does not service your new apartment, find out which providers do. You can do this by searching and typing in your new zip code and “internet providers” (or “cable providers”, “landline providers”). 

Once you figure out your options, compare the plans and see what will work for you. Then, either call or go online to book your plan for the new address and move-in date. Sometimes it’s better to talk on the phone to get a discount. My mother taught me that. 

Keep in mind that you might have an installation fee or have to buy a modem for self-installation, so factor that into your budget. 

Also, pro tip. I just learned that if you want to cancel your internet service and you do it before the date of the end of your plan, you’ll have to pay a cancellation fee. So, if you need to cancel your service for your new one, cancel the date of the end of your plan. Companies are so desperate for money these days…


6. Book Your Moving Plans

Ok, this is a long topic. Let’s just touch the surface right now. 

The typical components that might go into your moving expenses are:

  • Shipping Your Furniture & Belonging

  • Moving Packers

  • Shipping Your Car

  • Rental Truck

  • Gas

  • Hotels

  • Food

  • Insurance

Depending on how far you go, if you want a moving company to take care of the move, if you want to DIY the move, etc., will determine which of these expenses you will incur.

Personally, I am semi-DIYing my move. My mother doesn’t think its safe to drive my car 14 hours, so I will ship my car to Denver for $745, which is actually not very expensive for shipping a car in the US. I refuse to hire packers for hundreds of dollars, especially because I need the workout, so I opted to get my parents to help me pack. I decided on a UHaul because it will cost around $1,000 for the truck, gas, and insurance, instead of paying $1,500-$2,500 to a moving company. 

Needless to say, figure out what works best for you. If you have it in your budget to hire a moving company, packers, ship your car, and pay for a flight, do it! If you want to save some money and DIY the whole thing and tow your car with your rental truck, do it! Or, if you want to drive cross country with your few possession more power to you. Moving is already stressful enough, so do what you think is best. 


What stresses you out about moving? Comment below. 


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