Moving houses as a renter is one of the most challenging types of moves you will do in your life. Relocating from one rental property to another involves a wide range of constraints and expectations. There’s the notice period, the time period by which you must move out, the pressure from the landlord and/or rental agency, moving your stuff to your new home, changing your details, getting settled... The list goes on and on and is enough to make anyone stressed, but on top of all of that, you might be managing relationships with other tenants, friends or even a partner that can get strained by all the hassle of moving. That’s why we’ve created this tenant moving guide to provide you with the ultimate moving checklist for renters. Take some of the weight off your shoulders during the process by making sure you’ve given yourself the time to make your way through this list.
In this guide, we cover all the main things you need to do and consider when moving into a rental property. We’ve divided this guide into four important stages: getting ready to move, leaving your current rental property, moving into your new rental and getting settled. It’s a good idea to read through the whole guide first to start planning for your moving process as early as possible.
Getting ready to move
Lock in a place to move to
The first step of moving properties is having somewhere to move to. You don’t want to start ending lease agreements and booking moving vans before you’ve actually figured out where you’re going. Once you’ve organised a place to move to, you can start to work out the logistics of the move itself. Understanding the size of the space you’re moving to will also give you a good idea of how much stuff you can take with you. It will also help you coordinate with your movers where to put everything when it comes to moving day. Locking in a place to move will also give you a timeframe with which to work, and let you know if you need to terminate your lease early or potentially organise some short term storage to help if there’s a period between your leases.
Get rid of unnecessary belongings
A good early step in the moving process is to start purging all of the things in your life that you don’t need. This will help in a number of ways. It will declutter your life, reduce the number of things you need to move, make packing and unpacking much quicker, and potentially earn you some extra cash if you decide to do a garage sale.
Leaving your current rental property
Check your lease agreement
Before you give notice or commit to your moving dates, the first step is to check the conditions of your current lease agreement. Moving out at the end of the lease is ideal, but if you want to end it early then you’ll need to check the notice period. In New Zealand, the standard period of notice is 21 days before you can terminate the agreement. While this doesn’t mean you have to stay in the house that time, it does require you to continue paying rent for this period.
Plan your move well in advance of the lease termination
Once you’ve figured out your lease agreement, your notice period and when you can move into your new rental property, it’s time to start formulating a game plan for your move. It’s a good idea to do this as early as possible. Once you give notice and set everything in stone, the wheels will start moving and they’re very hard to stop. This is a good time to start contacting a moving company, finding out if you want to get a moving truck or movers to help and to start planning the logistics. It might be a good idea to figure out exactly how much space you have in your new place to know whether you can take everything you want. If not, you will either need to sell, donate, discard or store those extra items. Short and long-term storage is a great option for beloved furniture and other large items that you don’t have space for, but aren’t ready to let go of.
Once you’ve checked your lease agreement and confirmed that you want to move out, it’s time to give notice that you will be leaving. There are a few important parties for you to notify. If you share the house with other tenants who will be staying, then you should definitely let them know as early as possible so they can find a new housemate. If you will all be moving out, or you don’t share your lease, then you will need to notify your landlord and/or the rental agency that you deal with of your plans. A polite email with the dates that you will be moving out should suffice, so long as you are providing the necessary notice period as required by your lease agreement.
The final party that you must notify of your move is your utility company. This is a common one for renters to forget about, but it’s a very important party to notify so that they stop sending you the bills.
Successfully recovering your full bond requires you to leave the property in an acceptable condition in relation to the state that it was when you moved in. If you’re moving out but your housemates are staying, this is a simpler process. You will just need to make sure your room is in a good condition for the person who moves in. If you are all moving, or you don’t share, then you will need to do a comprehensive clean of the entire property. It’s important to give yourself lots of time for this process. The more time you have, the better the chance of recovering your bond. It will also be a far less stressful experience if you aren’t rushing to get it done among a million other moving tasks, which is often the way with rental relocations. Some important areas to focus on are the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Cleaning all walls and surfaces in addition to appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and the fridge (if they aren’t yours) are a good way to ensure you secure that bond. Once you’ve removed all items and completed the clean, take photos of all the rooms and important areas as proof of the condition you left it in. This will help you in case of any disputes over the bond.
Moving to your new rental
Pack early, pack smart
It’s a good idea to start packing as early as possible so that you aren’t trying to do everything at once. When packing early, make sure that you pack the least essential items first. This will ensure that you aren’t constantly unpacking again just to find things that you use all the time. It’s always a good idea to get yourself high-quality packing materials to provide you items with the best protection during transit. When packing items in a car or moving truck, make sure to pack the heavier items on the bottom for maximum stability.
You don’t need to move on your own
Rental moves are stressful, you can take some of the stress out of your relocation with the assistance of a moving company. Whether you’re moving across town or further afield, a professional moving team can make all the difference. The experience and support of movers can reduce the chance of problems on moving day and give you the best chance of a smooth relocation. If you’re wanting a moving truck, extra hands, or any other service, it’s a good idea to book it well in advance of moving day.
Getting settled in your new rental property
These are the final things you need to consider to help you get settled into your new place. It is highly advised that you get these sorted before you move, otherwise, you may end up without water or electricity for your first few nights!
Set up utilities
Contact your new utility companies to set up your important services. This includes:
- Rubbish pickup
Change your address
Change your address with all relevant services. Some important ones to remember are New Zealand Post, your bank, your relatives and any subscriptions such as newspapers and magazines.
Start the process today
While the list of jobs to do may seem long, just remember that you don’t have to do it all on your own. We provide a full range of moving services that cover all of the most challenging parts of moving. That includes moving trucks, professional packing and unpacking, cleaning services and any other aspects you may need help with. For more information, or to start planning your upcoming move, reach out to our experienced moving consultants. Get in touch on 0800 255 433 or fill out the free quote request form today.