Whether in or out, make sure that you are prepared for your new home with these 10 tips for moving.
Moving out for the first time
When you move out of your parents’ home, keep stress levels down by booking movers early and packing gradually.
The steps below are important to keep in mind for when you decide to move on from your first rental, as many tenants are caught off guard by processes they weren’t previously aware of.
1. Submit notice within a reasonable period
Your lease agreement should specify the notice period required to end your lease. Agents and landlords must contact tenants between 80 and 40 business days before the lease is set to expire to find out if they would like to renew or end their tenancy. The tenant must let the agent know, no later than 40 business days before the lease expires, whether they intend to stay on in the rented property.
However, tenants also maintain the right to express their wishes to end their tenancy 20 business days before the expiry of the lease. This may (read: almost always) incur penalties for not letting the agent or landlord know sooner.
To be safe you should inform the relevant party that you do not want to renew about 2 months before your lease ends.
How can you break a contract with a landlord?
If you have a managing agent, it is best to email them at least 40 business days or two months before your lease is supposed to expire. If you work directly with your landlord, it is also advisable that you email them. If you have a good relationship with them, it may be courteous to give them a phone call ahead of this email to explain your desire to move.
2. Book a cleaning service
Your rented property must be left in the same as you received it, fair wear & tear excepted. If the agent or landlord finds the home to be dirty when you vacate, they will likely charge your for cleaning services.
To avoid this, it is best to hire a cleaning service to do a deep clean, a normal day-to-day clean will not cut it. Read our article on the end of tenancy cleaning requirements for a detailed guide.
Be sure to make this booking well in advance, as many other people will be looking for end of tenancy cleaning services.
Carpets must also be cleaned professionally before you leave your rented property. It is essential to book this service in advance. The carpets will need several hours to dry, so if you book it for the same day of your move, it’s best to book it for early in day.
3. Hire movers
Movers, like cleaners, are often booked up early for the end of the month. Make contact with a moving company at least one month before you move, and try, where possible, to move your furniture out the day before your lease is set to expire. This allows the cleaning crew full access to the oft-forgotten or hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
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4. Cancel your contracts
Contracts with security services, internet service providers, and landscaping companies should be terminated by the time you move. Most of these companies need one calendar month’s notice to avoid penalties, so ensure that they are contacted early.
Regarding Wi-Fi specifically, the internet service provider will need your new address ahead of time so that they may schedule a callout as soon as you move.
5. Repair damages
Not all damages are the tenant’s responsibility. There is an allowance for reasonable wear and tear in a property, but damages created by the tenant through negligence or lifestyle will need to be attended to i.e. repaired or replaced, before you move.
While not comprehensive, this list provides an idea of damages that the tenant should repair:
- Holes in walls: tenants must fill all holes they have created, and paint the entire wall, wall to wall, with the correct paint colour.
- Light bulbs: any fused bulbs must be replaced.
- Blocked drains: if a drain is blocked due to a build-up of hair or other substances (such as grease or food), it is the tenant’s job to unblock them.
- Shower floors and bathroom grouting need a thorough clean, removing any mould.
- Appliances: if an appliance has incurred damage due to improper use, the tenant will be billed for its repair or replacement (depending on the severity).
F.Y.I. – not fixing damages and not cleaning a property adequately are the top two reasons why tenants do not receive a full security deposit refund.
6. Leave a list of useful information for the next tenants
There are likely a number of ‘quirks’ in your home that a new tenant will need to know about – from a side gate that needs a wiggle to a staircase with a creak. But more importantly, the new renters will need to know the alarm code or which remotes are needed for certain amenities such as the garage or security beams.
It would also be kind to leave a list of useful contact, such as a neighbour, gardener, or trustee whom the new tenant may want to communicate with.
7. Pack a “Survival Box”
Most people forget the first days in a new home and the inevitable scurrying when trying to find your essentials. Pack a Survival Box with the items you will need at hand when you move:
- A couple of glasses, mugs, & essential crockery & cutlery
- Coffee, tea, milk, and snacks – and pet food
- Basic appliances such as the kettle and toaster, as well as ingredients for breakfast
- Toilet paper
- Cleaning products
- Basic tools (hammer, screwdriver etc)
- Sleeping clothes
- Blankets and bedding (don’t forget your pillow!)
- Bin bags
8. Read the rules of your new complex
It is a requirement for tenants to sign the Body Corporate rules as an annexure to the lease, ensuring that they are aware of the rules of the complex. Moving procedures may be included in these rules, so read the document carefully before you move in.
9. Take pictures of your rental home
The landlord or agent will have performed an ingoing inspection with you, but it is essential to also have your own pictures to record the state of your new rental home. Be as observant as possible and submit these pictures to the agent or landlord within seven days of receiving your keys.
10. Update your address
When you are in your new home, you should update your address where relevant (the bank, your employer, and contracted services). Your new lease can serve as proof of address, or your Wi-Fi invoice which will likely be drawn up soon after your move.
N.B. You should update your address with your insurance provider as soon as possible, as this affects your premiums.
Preparation is the best way to make moving easier. Book the services you will need (cleaning, moving, etc.) well ahead of time, and pack your items gradually.
Do not forget to clean the property. This can be the last thing on your mind when moving, but it is essential for getting back your security deposit.
At least 40 business days before your lease expires is the best time to let your agent or landlord know, otherwise penalties will apply.
The tenant must return the property in the condition it was when they first moved in. This excludes reasonable wear and tear.