Moving into a rental property, whether it’s an apartment or house, involves some careful planning and preparation. Before you move into any rental, there are some steps you should take to ensure that it’s the right fit for you and your family. Some of the tips listed below are common sense and things that anyone should undertake when moving, but it’s easy to lose sight of the obvious when you’re in the middle of transplanting your life to a different neighborhood, city, or state.
Get To Know the Neighborhood
One thing we always advise when moving to a new area is to get to know the neighborhood first. If you have children, you’ll want to take a look at things like the safety of the neighborhood, proximity to local schools, and entertainment options for kids. By the same token, you’ll want to find out how far of a commute you’ll have for work, where the nearest gas station and grocery store are located, and what sort of adult entertainment options are nearby. It’s awful tempting to job on the first affordable rental you find that’s in a decent neighborhood, but if it’s not near anything you need to get to, that can be a hurdle in your day to day life.
Inspect For Damages
Inspection should be high on your list of priorities when you move into a new place, regardless of whether it’s a rental or a home you’re buying. For renters, it’s smart to take a careful look at any existing damages inside and outside of the house and document them. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even take photographs of damages before you move in so that you’re not left in a difficult position when it comes time to get your security deposit back. If you don’t have any evidence that damages were there before you moved in, it’s awful tough to make a case that you deserve the full security deposit back when you move out.
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Review the Lease Terms
Make sure you carefully review the terms of your lease before signing it. While most leases are a general boilerplate document that covers the basics of what you’d expect whenever you move, some of them may contain some confusing language that doesn’t clearly lay out your responsibilities as a tenant. If you have any questions or anything seems off about a rental arrangement, it must be address before you sign it to make things official. Pay special attention to things like repairs and utilities, which can vary from one property to the next.
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Make Arrangements For Utilities & Mail Forwarding
You want your new residence to be move-in ready before you actually spend your first night there. This means you’ll have to make arrangements for all utilities to be turned on before you start unloading the moving truck. The same goes for change of address arrangements—not just with the post office, but any bills, communications, medical offices, or any other service that has a record of your current address. While it’s easy to assume that a simple change of address form will be sufficient, there are some things that you may only receive online statements for, but that doesn’t mean they won’t need your current address.