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What to do After You Sign Your Lease

Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s

August 21, 2019

So, you’ve found the perfect apartment and signed your lease — congratulations! But don’t pop the champagne quite yet because there’s still some work to do before enjoying your new home. There are a few key factors you’ll want to keep top of mind as a renter to ensure a smooth lease.

In this article, we’ll offer pointers to help you navigate everything that comes after signing on the dotted line, split into two parts:

1. Moving out: How to tie up loose ends at your current location (which you’re free to ignore if you’re moving out of your parents’ basement).
2. Moving In: What you need to know to settle into your new home.

Moving Out

Advance notice: You’ll need to give your current landlord some forewarning — usually about 30 or 60 days’ notice. Be sure to check the terms of your lease to know the exact requirement. Although your landlord may reach out to see if you want to renew your lease, those documents are sometimes mailed after the date of required lease termination. You don’t want to be on the hook for a month’s rent after you’ve already moved out.

Thorough cleaning: The lease terms will outline specifically what it takes to get your full security deposit back. It will factor in the condition of floors, walls, doors and even appliances. So while it’s easy to overlook cleaning the inside of your oven, you’ll certainly notice the hefty chunk out of your security deposit. And be sure to think about how the cleaning session will fit into your move-out schedule — you probably won’t be able to thoroughly mop, vacuum or dust until all your furniture is cleared out.

Special requests: You’ll likely have to return your gym key, parking pass, and whatever other keys you’ve been carrying around. Again, pay attention to the specifics outlined by your landlord.

Moving day: Depending on the time of year, move-out day could be busy with other renters coming and going. Check whether you need to reserve the elevator, a parking spot for the moving truck or anything else. Be sure that hired movers have access to the building, and make yourself available all day.

Changing spaces: Which furniture and belongings are going to be following you to your new apartment? Think about how the new and old apartments vary by size and amenities/appliances.

Utilities: Cancel accounts — internet, cable, electricity, etc. — that won’t be following you.

Moving In

Utilities: Transfer your internet, cable or any accounts that you’ll be taking with you. And schedule the installation if needed. It’s never fun to go a week without internet.

New address: Complete a change-of-address form with the Postal Service (available here). Update your billing information, delivery address and any other necessary services and subscriptions.

Renters Insurance: Usually quite inexpensive, renters insurance is always a good idea to cover your belongings from theft or damage.

Follow these pointers and you should be in great shape to survive your move. Remember, planning ahead is key.

Enjoy your new home!

If you’re curious to learn more tips to make renting more rewarding, check out our blog for renters. If you are looking for an apartment, we encourage you to check out all of the properties offering Rhove, where you can make money on rent!