There are many things that need to be taken care of before you move. Here's an ordered sample list to get your started:
- Give your current landlord notice of intent to move out, in writing. Your lease will specify how much notice you're required to give; 30 days is common. In your letter, ask your landlord to confirm she received the notice.
- Schedule an exit walk-through with your landlord. Do this soon after you give notice. A couple of days before the walk-through, call to confirm it. Also, ask your landlord to bring her checkbook for the security deposit (your lease, however, may allow her a month or so to return it).
- Clean your apartment. You're expected to return the apartment to the same overall condition as the day you moved in. If you do a good job cleaning, you should get your security deposit back in full.
- Take photos of rooms, including walls, floors and fixtures. These photos are your insurance against any claims your landlord may make of a mess or damages. Once you receive your security deposit, feel free to toss the photos.
- Do an exit walk-through with your landlord. If your landlord doesn't provide an apartment checklist that she initials or signs during the walk-through, I'd recommend penning an impromptu one. All it needs to say is that your landlord finds the apartment in good condition and that, consequently, you are to receive your security deposit in full. Both of you should sign and date it. If there are any problems, spell them out on the form.
- Transfer utility accounts, like Internet, cable and your landline. To spend less money and gain more financial independence, you could cancel some accounts altogether, like your gym membership or Internet if your new apartment complex has a workout facility and free Wi-fi.
- Submit a change of address form with the post office. This will ensure that any mail delivered to your previous address gets routed to your new residence for a few months. You need to notify other parties of your new address, too. Here are some to keep in mind: credit cards holders, your bank or credit union, phone provider, health club and professional organizations where you're a member. Also, be sure your family, friends and employer update your address in their accounts.