How to Prepare for a Move into Your First (Grown-Up) Apartment

Posted by under Guest Posts, Renting a Home

By: Abodo

You’ve been living at your parents’ house for way too long, and now you have received a great job opportunity in another city. 

Get ready now, because a lot of things that you took for granted at your mom and dad’s place will be your responsibility now. 

To make things easier, we have compiled a list of some of the most important things you need to do BEFORE you move into your new place.

Understand Utilities

Tenants are usually responsible for utility payments in one form or another. If your apartment has its own electric and gas meters, your landlord may require you to set up your own account with the utility companies and then pay them directly. In some older buildings, where there are not separate meters, the landlord may merely divide the building’s electric and gas bills among all of the tenants according to the square footage of their respective units. 

Regardless, make sure you understand who you will need to pay and when.

Your Own Internet

While you may be used to a robust fibre Internet connection at home, some buildings may not yet be set up with the same kind of connection you are used to, so you’ll need to carefully check the marketplace for the fastest, most reliable and of course most reasonable connectivity. It might be a good idea to talk to your new neighbours about what works best for them.

Review Your Lease

You will most likely be asked to sign a lease, and if it’s your first transaction of this type, we suggest that you have a lawyer look at the document before you sign it. If nothing else, the legal lease review will be like Renting 101 and it will give you a great idea of what obligations you are agreeing to. And be sure that you review local rent neighbourhood rental guides, like this one in Minneapolis, MN for example from ABODO, before signing your lease. You need to make sure the price is right!

Security Deposit

If you broke something at home, your parents probably paid for it. When you rent an apartment and eventually move out, you are required to leave the place in the same condition as you found it—minus what is called normal wear and tear. If you punch a hole in the wall and leave it unfixed, your landlord is going to charge you for it. 

Depending on where you are renting, you may need to pay a security deposit (though they are illegal in some provinces, such as Ontario). This is money you give to the landlord that ensures that you will leave the place in reasonable condition. If you move out and leave the apartment in a state of disrepair, the landlord can deduct repairs from your security deposit.

There are laws regarding the proper use and withholding of security deposits, and these differ in many localities, so make sure you understand the rules that apply to both you and your landlord.

Find Out Where Stuff Is

Finally, thoroughly educate yourself about your new area. Find the grocery store, the drugstore, the Home Depot, and of course the best pizza place. It’s a lot better to know where things are before you really need to use them. Wandering around at 2:00 a.m. looking for the closest ER because you need your broken finger treated is not going to be fun.

You are taking a big step as you move into your own place. Just be sure to do your diligence so that you can minimize any surprises.