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T-Minus 2 days | Navigating the September 1st move-in

Okay, so you’re officially 2 days from moving into your new apartment. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to get in a few days early, here is a quick recap of what you should expect and a few helpful tips on making this a seamless and successful move.

  1. Double check with your agent/landlord about the move-in policy and how you’ll get access to your keys. There is nothing worse than arriving only to find out you didn’t schedule to use the elevator or the lockbox is nowhere to be found. 

  2. Apartment condition: Hope for the best, expect the worst. Depending on the arrangement with the landlord, your apartment may be professionally cleaned (again, the lucky ones) or the prior tenants are to leave it in “broom swept condition”. In this case, you'll likely be scrubbing surfaces AND moving in. Is it a huge pain to clean while moving in? Yes, but sometimes even the cleaners can miss certain surfaces. i.e. fan blades, recessed lights, the tops of baseboard trim, common areas, etc. If you set the expectation that you’ll likely need to clean a bit then you won’t be too disappointed.  

  3. Condition statement: Complete this within the first 14 days of occupancy. This is important to do for two reasons. First, you obviously want things to be fixed that aren’t working and secondly, you don’t want to be charged for something that you didn’t do at the end of your lease. I always encourage both parties (Lessees and Lessors) to take pictures of the apartment at the start to ensure you have records of the apartment condition. Share your photos with the opposite party at the onset. 

  4. Measure your moving truck’s height. Roadways in Massachusetts, specifically the urban core, are known for turning U-hauls into convertibles. Not only will you create the worst traffic jam but the move-in costs will no longer be the most expensive part of your move. Get the insurance and be mindful of the height of your truck. 

  5. Make a copy of your key at Home Depot using their KeyHero” service. It’s a digital and secure way to keep a copy of your key on file. This beats the hell out of a hefty locksmith service when you lock yourself out. Click here.

  6. Put the utilities in your name. The utilities will always be on when you move in, but they need to be put into your name upon moving in. You can call ahead of time and change over the utilities but this is your responsibility as a renter. 

  7. Address forwarding. The post office charges $1.10 to do a change of address. Typically, this takes two weeks to go into full effect, so the sooner you can change the address the better. Click here.

  8. Check trash day pickup times and locations. Don’t start the lease off on the wrong foot having to dispute trash fines with your landlord. Find out what the pickup times are and what’s allowed. Typically anything that doesn’t fit in the trash can will be subject to a fine. If you have lots of stuff you’re disposing of, better to get someone to come and pick it up. 

  9. Keep the apartment in good clean habitable condition. This should go without saying, but if you don’t want pests to start invading your home, you’ll want to keep it clean on a monthly basis at minimum. This will also help protect your security deposit as well. 

  10. And finally, build a good rapport with your landlord. Obviously if you need maintenance done ASAP that’s one thing, but try to avoid emailing about changing light bulbs or because there is a bottle cap in your disposal. Save the outreach for the important and emergency type stuff so as to build a good relationship. This goes both ways. I encourage the landlords we represent to give their tenants some space in the first few weeks and not randomly show up to check on the cleanliness of the unit.

Happy move-in day! 

James

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