Moving out of a rental property can be just as stressful as moving into a new home. Often, it hides a lot of pitfalls and planning early is key. In this guide, we'll answer the question of what to do when moving out of a rental property, giving you useful tips to make the whole process easier and better.
How to prepare for moving out of a rental property?
Moving-out preparation involves many aspects. First, we should mention the details related to the physical preparations for resettlement - proper packing of different types of belongings, coordination of all deadlines and important dates, organization of the necessary transport.
Preparations when moving out of a rental property also involve a lot of communication. In fact, it's not just you involved in the moving process, but a bunch of other parties, including:
- Your landlord (current and future)
- The employees at the removal company
- Utility providers (e.g., electricity and internet services)
- Municipal authorities (including Immigration, which you should notify of your change of address)
- Couriers and postmen
- Your friends and family
- Employers (if you move to a foreign country and change your job)
Another important aspect is the administrative requirements related to moving out. Make sure you are well informed on issues related to:
- Your rights and obligations when moving out (mentioned in the tenancy agreement) - including when you need to give notice that you are moving out, whether there is a possibility of a refund of the initial deposit paid and what is the minimum period of occupancy before you move out
- The requirements for changing your address registration
- The ability to disconnect (or change the address of) the services you use
- The timescales involved in moving into your new home
Communication is the key: Or who to inform about your resettlement?
As previously mentioned, proper communication is the key to a successful move out of a rental property. First of all, communicate that you are moving out to your landlord. Submitting a notice to move out that complies with the timeframe specified in the lease is one of the most important steps preceding the actual move. The deadline for filing the notice varies depending on the state you are in, your landlord's requirements, and your ability to find a new tenant quickly. Usually, you must give written notice of the move-out 30 days before you leave. However (again depending on the country you are in) the notice to move out may also need to be sent online (as in France). A useful tip is to make a copy of your removal notice (whether you send it on paper or digitally). The contents of the notice should include:
- The reason for moving out
- The date on which you plan to move out
- The date on which the notice was given
- Contact information (phone number, email, new address)
It is advisable that you also notify government agencies of your decision to change your address, including:
The municipality: This step would actually make it easier for you, as in some countries municipal officials will inform other parties (including service providers) of your change of address and thus, reduce your liabilities. Moreover, in Belgium, for example, a change of address involves the reissue of an identification card. Moving to a foreign country requires you to deregister from your current address, a condition linked to the payment of local taxes and fees.
The local tax office: Informing them of your move involves a potential reduction in local taxes and refuse taxes, as well as redirecting correspondence and changes to documentation relating to you.
Immigration: Notification of your change of address should happen as early as possible. It is related to the transfer of documents such as visa, permits and applications. After all, if anyone needs to know where to find you, it is immigration.
Collaborating with a transportation company also requires that you coordinate the resettlement and important dates with its employees. We advise you to start looking for professional movers, as early as possible. It is not uncommon for their schedule to abound with commitments and engaging them in a timely manner would help you feel as relaxed as possible. In case you are moving out for the first time, choose the right moving company by consulting your friends or looking for reviews from satisfied consumers online. A useful tip is to contact your chosen removal company at least a week before the actual move to reconfirm the arrangements made. Also agree with them whether they will supply you with packing materials or if you need to prepare them yourself, a step that also requires time and attention.
The service providers used in the household are also an important party to notify when moving from a rental property. Often, they also have specific requirements relating to the terms of the contracts signed with them, the ability to re-route their services to a new address, appliance re-installation timescales etc. As providers of this type of services you can consider ISPs, couriers (working with a predefined address) and postmen. You should also inform the following about your change of address:
- Banking and financial institutions
- Healthcare providers
- Insurance agencies
- Employers (if you receive business correspondence at an address)
- Online retailers
What are the main steps to follow when moving out of a rental property?
Make a plan
A good plan could help you avoid a last-minute move, usually associated with stress, missed important details and lack of alternatives. Make a detailed list of the necessary activities around changing properties, documents, most important contacts, institutions, and the planned moving budget. For this purpose, you can trust an already created moving checklist or create your own. Also consider a schedule for purchasing the materials needed for your move, packing your belongings, carrying specific items (such as furniture) and cleaning the home.
We advise you not to take on all the responsibilities yourself - trust professionals or consult close ones who have already moved. They would be able to give you useful, practical guidance and realistic expectations of how much time you need when moving out from a rental property. As for the paperwork involved, tenancy agreement, notice to quit, service termination papers, forms from the transport company - we advise you to organise these so that they are ready in case you need them. We advise you to photograph each of the documents listed – a back-up plan in case they get lost in the hustle and bustle of the move-out.
Don’t forget about your kids and pets
Planning a family move, especially to a foreign country, requires more attention. In addition to taking care of the details of leaving your child's current school (and extracurricular activities), it is advisable to gather more information about the educational opportunities in the country you plan to move to. Another useful step is to organise a send-off party for your children - a chance to say goodbye to their friends while having fun.
Moving with a pet also has its specifics, most often related to required vaccines, checkups, paperwork, and important deadlines when transporting the animal. Make sure that before moving from a rental property, you have discontinued services dedicated to the animal, such as pet walking or babysitting, and have notified the vet you normally visit.
Set a date for a preliminary inventory of the property
Previewing the home with your landlord or real estate agency could save you unforeseen problems at the last minute of moving out. This will give you peace of mind that the condition of the home is upright, while you can also discuss important details with your landlord, such as how to recover the deposit already mentioned and pay off any remaining utility bills.
We advise you to make sure all household appliances are working before inviting your landlord. Inspect the furniture carefully for scratches. In the event of problems, repair faulty appliances and furniture (within a reasonable time) or discuss monetary compensation with the landlord. In addition, pay attention to whether the landlord has specific requirements relating to how you will leave the property - do you need to turn off appliances, are there specific requirements about cleaning the property, when do you need to leave, do you need to hand the key directly to the next tenant, do you need to return all copies of the key, etc.
Make sure the property is clean and tidy
The final step in leaving a rental property is to clean it, leaving it in a condition that allows new people to move in. Often, this step takes place after the actual removal of all important items - a detail that is good to keep in mind when talking to your hired removal company. Here, you may also want to consider unplugging appliances in the home (in case they are not going to be used soon).
What are the most important post-resettlement aspects?
A key step is the re-issuance of documents such as identity cards and passports. In fact, you can set the procedure in motion during the preparation for the move - as one of the anchor points in your checklist. For this purpose, we recommend contacting your home country's embassy - in case of a change of residence abroad.
After moving out of your rented property, we advise you to make sure that all institutions (government, work, health insurance, suppliers, etc.) send documents to your new address. In the event of a delay, you could inform them of your move again.
Another useful step is to be sure to leave up-to-date contact details for your current landlord. This way, you could ensure that he will be able to contact you in case of need or he could send you correspondence that ended up at your old address or forgotten items.
Don't forget to tell your current neighbours and friends about your move and get their contacts. You never know who might be helpful, especially if it's a move to a new home in a country you don't know.
Another important step concerning drivers is changing your vehicle registration.
Moving out of a rental property is often underrated. Careful planning and control would ensure you have peace of mind and no conflicts with the parties involved. If you feel that you would not be able to handle your relocation on your own, you can always trust the team of experienced professionals at Movega Removals, a company specialising in transport services in Europe. Get in touch with us right now via the available contact form and chatbot feature.