Movers walking down truck ramp with boxes

6 important things to know before moving into a rental property

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Regardless of the move, there seems to always be different challenges involved. For apartment or condo moving, this can often mean navigating stairs or tight hallways, or even high rise buildings and elevator usage.

The same moving principles still apply to a rental property – you need to pack up your belongings, figure out the transportation or if you’re hiring professional movers, and more. However, with a rental property, you’re not dealing with mortgages and other house-related issues, but instead handling renter’s insurance, security deposits, specific moving dates, and leases.

We’ve helped customers move into rental properties for more than 35 years now and have seen many important details people should know when handling this type of moving scenario. Take a look at some of the tips below!

Research the best fit for you

On the surface, this sounds obvious, but it’s crucial to find the best fit for you personally because you’re signing a lease, which means you’re paying rent for a certain amount of time. Breaking a lease if you determine it’s not a fit, can often result in high costs and headaches.

Find something within your price range, an area you’re comfortable living, and a rental group or landlord that is trustworthy. We recommend going to the rental property and taking a tour before ever signing a lease.

Finalize all rental details

Rental properties generally come with a list of fees you might have to pay before moving in, such as security deposits, one month’s rent in advance, paying for extra appliances like a washer/dryer, and more.

This is also a good time to talk with the landlord and pick a move in date that works for both  of you.

Have a final meeting with landlord and sign your lease

This is your chance to go over any last questions you might have before making it official, so be sure to review everything you’re signing thoroughly and determine you are agreeing and signing to all things discussed.

Purchase renter’s insurance

You might think “is this necessary?”, and the answer is yes. Accidents happen, and renter’s insurance is a good way to ensure all of your personal belongings are protected should something unfortunate happen such as a break-in, a fire, or a flood.

Set up utilities

Be sure to cancel all utilities at your previous home. Then, discuss with your landlord which utilities are available in your area and set that up before moving into your rental property. Depending on the rental property, some utilities may even be included with your rent.

Complete a move in checklist

Once move in day arrives and you start bringing your belongings into your new home, the landlord will provide you with some type of move in checklist to assess the current state of your rental property. Be sure to go around and examine everything to check for any damages or things missing and write them down so you aren’t charge for it at a later date.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Movers walking down truck ramp with boxes

Top 7 things you should know about moving into a rental property

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-Written by Erik Sargent

When it comes to the world of moving, moves into a rental property like an apartment or condo present a different set of challenges from what you’d experience when completing a home move.

Although the same aspects like moving your belongings, planning, and packing are still prevalent – there are many necessary and important steps involved to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success when you move into a rental property. From figuring out utilities to move in dates, rent prices and payment options, finding a roommate if necessary, and more – you want to be well prepare before you enter this world.

We’ve seen everything that can come with moving into rental properties over the last three decades, and decided to put together a few important tips to make moving into a rental as stress-free as possible.

Research the best place for you

The last thing you want to do is lock yourself into a rental property at a price you can’t afford, or in a situation that doesn’t fit your needs.

Research the best options in your price range, and read online reviews about the property to make an informed decision about where you are moving. It’s not a bad idea to drive to the location and take a tour, either.

Finalize the details

Typically, a rental property will have a list of fees that are required of the tenant before move in day. Everything from a security deposit to a move-in fee, and paying the first month’s rent in advance is usually in play.

Meet with your landlord to discuss these details and make sure you understand all necessary payments before move in day to avoid any late fees.

Sign your rental lease

Be sure to review this lease document thoroughly and make sure it’s up-to-date with what works best for you. Here, you can find important information like the final rent price and your move in date, and also any specific clauses the rental property might have.

If you have questions, be sure to ask and clarify before moving in!

Set up utilities

First and foremost – be sure to take care of the utilities at your old home and change your address. Then, be sure work with your landlord to find out what utilities you need to set up before moving into your rental property, if any.

Some apartment complexes and condo units have certain utilities included.

Purchase renter’s insurance

This is an absolute must if you’re moving into a rental property. Renter’s insurance protects your belongings in the event that something unfortunate happens, such as a break-in, flooding, or fire.

Hire professional movers

Everyone thinks they want to handle the challenge of moving into a rental … until the day is actually there. From navigating through tight spaces with heavy furniture to climbing up flights of stairs, it can take a physical toll on someone – thankfully, there are people who can help!

When you hire professional movers like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, you’re eliminating quite a bit of stress from your life. Our moving teams work with rental properties to understand all the rules and regulations of moving into the community, and they’re ready to handle all the tough moving associated with an apartment or condo.

Complete the move in checklist

Typically at a rental property, a landlord will present you with a moving day checklist that you’re required to complete and give back to them. This document requires you to go through the property and ensure everything is in working order and that there are no damages prior to you moving in.

If you see anything that is out of place or needs to be fixed, be sure to write it down so that you aren’t charged for the repair in the future.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

What to consider when choosing a college apartment

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-Written by Caitlyn Laidler

So, you’re getting ready to move into your first college apartment, how exciting! There are several things to consider when choosing a place to call home for the school year. While everyone’s priorities will be a little bit different, we’ve developed a list of things to consider when comparing communities and making a final decision.

Rent and fees

First and foremost, rent is an important factor in determining where to live. Student housing often offers different types of payment plans — monthly, by semester, or for the full year. Make sure wherever you live has a payment option that is best suited for you.

On top of rent, look at the other fees you would be responsible for paying. There are often application fees and security deposits required before moving in. Sometimes, apartment management offers special deals where they may waive certain fees, or even give you a special rate on rent when you sign during specific promotional periods.

Utilities

While we’re on the topic of money, let’s talk utilities! Every community is different, and knowing if they charge you for utilities such as gas, electricity, water, cable, and internet is important to know. Some of these may be included and others may be your responsibility to pay for separately. Utilities vary between communities, so take into consideration what your bills may look like depending on where you chose to live.

Lease type

It’s important to know whether you’re signing an individual lease, or a joint lease. Both are fairly common in student housing, and each comes with pros and cons.

In an individual lease, or bedroom lease, each roommate signs their own lease and is responsible for paying their portion of the rent.

Pro: You are not responsible for the actions of your roommates. If one of your roommates breaks their lease, or is late on rent, you won’t be affected.

Con: You may pay a little bit more than you would in a joint lease. While an individual lease is low risk for you, there’s more risk involved for the apartment company, so a premium is added your monthly rent.

With a joint lease, you and your roommates will sign one lease altogether. Instead of each roommate paying individual rent per room, there will be a monthly price you and your roommates will split and pay together.

Pro: Joint leases are generally cheaper than individual leases.

Con: You and your roommates are equally responsible for putting up the money to cover rent, utilities, and repairs. If a roommate is late on rent or decides to move out, you are still responsible for making sure their portion gets paid — the apartment company can come after any or all of you in order to get the money they’re owed.

Amenities

Every apartment is going to offer various amenities, some more necessary than others. Below is a list of amenities that are generally offered by student housing communities. Some places may have more than others, it’s up to you what you want most out of your future home!

  • Washer and dryer (Some communities will have these in every unit, and some offer a shared laundry room located somewhere on the property)
  • Dishwasher
  • Gym/fitness center
  • Tanning
  • Pool and/or hot tub
  • Roommate matching (if you don’t already know who you are living with, some communities help set you up with roommates)
  • Pet-friendly
  • Private bathrooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Covered parking

Parking

Figure out what each communities parking policies are. Whether they have numbered parking, and what their guest parking policies are. It can be a hassle if guests have to get a pass or park far away, but at the same time it could be even worse if guest parking was not enforced and you end up with nowhere to park in your own Community.

Location and transportation

Is the housing close to campus? The closer it is, the higher the price will likely be. If it’s further from campus, is there a bus stop by the community? Some places even offer a free shuttle to campus which is an added bonus — that way you don’t have to buy a parking pass and you can use public transportation to get to class!

Another thing to consider: is the community close to nightlife, entertainment, and shopping? Whether you have a car, bike, or ride the bus, these are all important things to think about since you will be commuting to and from these places on a regular basis.

For many students, price is a huge concern and each of these aspects affects how much an apartment will cost. Figure out what is most important to you and look for places that offer those elements in your price range. Whether or not you get everything you want out of your apartment, you can decorate any space to suit your taste and make it feel like home.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

What to expect when moving into a rental property

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This is a guest blog post from Avail.co

Are you moving into a rental property? From signing your new lease to getting settled in your new home, we know just the right steps to take to help you navigate the move-in process.

Follow along with these helpful tips on what to look out for as you move into a new rental property this summer!

Sign a lease

Be sure to review your lease completely, paying close attention to the rent price, security deposit, move-in fee, and lease dates. You’ll also want to read the clauses and rules to make sure everything looks good.

If you have any questions about the lease, you should ask your landlord before signing. It’s better to ask questions up front rather than sign a legal document you’re not sure about. And remember, it’s standard for tenants to sign the lease first. 

Pay first month’s rent and your deposit

Typically, your landlord will ask you to pay first month’s rent after signing the lease and before you move in. Landlords want to make sure you’ll be able to pay on time before handing over the keys.

Schedule professional movers

Professional movers are the safest option when it comes to moving your belongings. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, there are trained professionals who will take care of your belongings as you move. They guarantee your belongings won’t be damaged, and your landlord will appreciate the apartment will also not be damaged during the move. They’re experts at moving furniture without scratching walls or surfaces because they’re properly trained moving professionals who have all the necessary equipment to make your move safe and efficient.

Want to be prepared? Read these tips for your upcoming move. 

Switch your utilities

If your current and new home have the same utility provider, then you can schedule to transfer service to your new address on your move date.

You can also set up utilities quickly if you use a service like My Utilities. 

Complete move-in inspection checklist

Landlords often require that you fill out a move-in inspection checklist. If you paid a security deposit, then it’s in your best interest to fill one out with your landlord even if he or she doesn’t initiate it.

In the checklist, you’ll mark existing damage in the rental. When you move out, you’ll fill out the same checklist to show what damage is new versus pre-existing. Your landlord should not charge you to repair any damage that was already there.

Enjoy your new home

Finding a new property and moving in are the tough parts. Next, you’ll unpack and settle into your new home! Here are some ongoing tips to keep in mind as a renter:

  • Treat the place as your home (taking care of the rental goes a long way with your landlord)
  • Pay rent on time
  • Submit maintenance tickets as needed

Next steps

Read more about important steps to take after you move in.

At Avail, we empower responsible tenants with online tools, education, and customer service to support them in their rental experience. Learn how you can pay rent online with Avail. 

Nine questions to ask your landlord before moving in

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This is a guest post from Avail.com

There’s a lot on your mind when you’re preparing for a move, from what day you can move in to when you’ll receive your keys, where the moving truck can park, and more.

To ensure you’re as prepared as possible, and have as many moving day details to make it a stress-free and efficient day, it’s important to ask your landlord these nine questions ahead of time.

#1 What day can I move in?

It’s best to check with your landlord about what day you’re able to move in. That way, you are both on the same page and you can schedule professional movers ahead of time. It’s recommended to reach out and book your movers as soon as possible, even as early as one month out from the date you’d like to move.

#2 What will you do to prepare the unit before I move in?

Most landlords clean and re-paint in between tenants. We recommend finding out what your landlord plans on doing ahead of time, so you know what condition the place will be in when you move in.

#3 Were the locks changed?

In some locations, it’s a legal requirement for landlords to change the locks in between tenants. Even if it’s not a legal requirement, you can still request that your landlord changes the locks if you prefer.

#4 When will I get my keys?

Of course, you’ll need to know when you can pick up your keys to access your unit for move-in day! We recommend coordinating with your landlord to find out where and when you can pick up your keys. You may want to ask if there are other people who have a copy of the key, or access to your unit.

#5 What doors/elevators should I use? And where can I park my moving truck?

Your landlord will know the best place for your moving truck to be, whether it’s in an alley, on the street, or in a truck dock (at a larger building). You can also find out if there are service elevators for you to use. Be sure to make arrangements for parking and service elevators prior to your movers’ arrival.

#6 What do I do in the case of a lockout?

Before moving in, it’s best to know the lockout procedure. Is there an extra key on site in a lockbox? Is there a 24/7 emergency lockout company you should call? Your landlord will likely have a way for you to remedy the situation, and having this information may come in handy down the road.

#7 Is there a move-in checklist for me to complete?

It’s best practice to fill out a move-in checklist. You’ll mark any existing damage on move-in day. That way, when you move out, you can show the landlord that the damage was already there. This is helpful if you want to receive your full security deposit at the end of the lease.

You can also check to ensure you have all the proper moving essentials, here.

#8 How do I pay first month’s rent?

Typically, landlords expect first month’s rent before you move in. It’s usually a requirement before he or she will hand over a key to you. Make sure you know how to pay rent and when it’s due so you get your keys on time.

#9 What utilities am I responsible for?

You’ll want to set up your utilities before you move in. Gas, electricity, and internet are utilities you’ll want immediately. If you’re responsible for setting these up, your landlord should let you know which companies to reach out to. If not, we recommend asking your landlord for more information.

Next steps

You’ve asked your landlord these questions, and found out your move-in date, so the next step is setting up professional movers. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is here to help.

If you’d like to pay rent online, tell your landlord about Rentalutions. You can set up automatic payments, so you don’t have to remember each month. Learn more about Rentalutions below.

Bio

At Avail, our end-to-end software empowers tenants and landlords. As a tenant, you can complete a rental application, sign your lease online, pay rent online, and manage maintenance all in one place. Thousands of landlords and tenants across the country use our platform to streamline the rental process. Learn more here.

11 important steps to take after you move into a rental property

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This is a guest blog post from Avail.com

Finding a new apartment and moving in is a lot of work. Once you’re moved in, you’re not done yet! We’ve compiled a few tips to get you up to speed on the moving process, and settled in nicely in your new apartment.

#1 Make sure all utilities are working

As soon as you’re in the property, make sure the electricity and gas are working. Turn the lights on and off, and double check the stove works.

It’s also important to check that your thermostat is working. Depending on the season, you’ll need access to air conditioning or heat.

If you set up your utilities ahead of time, they should be turned on in time for your move date. Anything that’s not working should be addressed sooner rather than later.

#2 Complete move-in checklist

Your landlord should provide you with a move-in checklist. The checklist helps you document the condition of the unit when you move in, and note if there’s existing damage (scratches on the floor, chips in the paint, etc.). You should thoroughly check the areas listed on the checklist and document anything you see, ensuring you’re not blamed and/or charged for damage that was already there.

#3 Unpack

Next, the fun begins as you start unpacking! Getting settled in can take a long time, so it’s important to get started sooner, rather than later. If you’ve labeled your boxes and organized your belongings, it’ll be a faster and easier process.

Read this article to stay organized during your move.

#4 Tell your landlord about any maintenance problems

As you’re settling in, you might notice maintenance issues. For example, maybe the dishwasher isn’t working, or the intercom system to buzz people in isn’t working. You should keep track of anything you notice, and then inform your landlord right away.

#5 Check your new mailbox

Find out where your mailbox is located and check that your key works. You should clear out your mailbox if it’s full.

#6 Find out where the trash and recycling is located

If you’re in a high-rise, you should find out where your trash chute is located. Otherwise, you’ll want to find out where the nearest trash and recycling bins are.

#7 Make copies of your keys

If you need extra copies of your keys, you can make duplicates at a home improvement store. Once you’ve made copies, you should make sure they work. In the case of a lockout, you may want a spare key hidden, or you can give an extra set to a family member or friend.

#8 Go grocery shopping

As soon as you move, you’ll need to stock up on groceries. Locating your nearest grocery store will be helpful as you get settled in.

#9 Set up internet and cable

Setting up internet and cable will likely require a professional to deliver and set up your router and cable box. You’ll want internet and cable right away, so you’ll want to ensure you set up these up prior to your move in date.

#10 Update your renters insurance

If you haven’t already, you should update your renters insurance for your new address if you don’t have a current plan. Renters insurance protects you from damage in the case of theft, flooding, fires, and other unfortunate circumstances.

#11 Make it your home

Lastly, we recommend settling in by decorating, checking out your new neighborhood, or cooking your first meal there. Moving is a hectic process, and at the end of a long day, you’ll want to feel settled and comfortable in your new home.

Moving into a rental can be a hectic process, but staying organized and completing these tasks will help you get settled quicker. Moving forward, you should take care of your space, pay rent on time, and report maintenance issues as they arise so you’re all set to enjoy your rental!

About Avail

At Avail, our end-to-end software empowers tenants and landlords. As a tenant, you can complete a rental application, sign your lease online, pay rent online, and manage maintenance all in one place. Thousands of landlords and tenants across the country use our platform to streamline the rental process. Learn more here.

7 tips for your next apartment move

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American moves 11.4 times in his or her lifetime. Moving can be stressful; there are countless things to do and you want to make sure the move goes smoothly. Luckily, by following our seven tips, you can save yourself some stress and be well on your way to a smooth move.

#1 Talk to your new landlord about the move

Contact your new landlord before the move to clarify important details:

  • Where to park on moving day
  • Availability of service elevators for use
  • Need to complete a move-in checklist prior to moving day
  • When and where you should pick up your keys
  • Confirm your move-in date
  • Double check which utilities you need to set up
  • Confirm how you should pay your rent and if you’re allowed to pay rent online

#2 Set up your utilities ahead of time

It’s important to set up your utilities ahead of time. Typically, landlords will pay for water and trash, and you’ll need to set up gas, electricity, cable, and internet. If you already have these utilities for your current apartment, then you’ll just transfer the service to your new address. You can save time by completing this task online, as most utility companies allow you to manage your account online.

 #3 Update your renters insurance

 Whenever you move, you need to update your renters insurance. Call your insurance agent and he or she will walk you through how to switch your policy to the new unit.

If you don’t already have renters insurance, we highly recommend it. It covers your belongings in the case that they’re stolen or damaged by incidents such as fires or leaks. It also helps protect you if someone is injured in your unit.

#4 Start packing early

Moving is much easier if you start packing early. We recommend packing anything you don’t need before the move first. You can start with sentimental belongings, decorations, books, movies, and art. You should also pack clothes and dishware you don’t need before the move.

Disassemble furniture ahead of time to make moving day easier, and organize belongings that you’ll pack at the last minute.

As you pack your boxes, make sure to label two sides of the box so you can easily find the labels. Avoid labeling the top because you won’t be able to read it when boxes are stacked on top of one another. You can also color code your labels by which room they will go in. For example, boxes with red labels belong in the family room, etc.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offers a variety of packing services and packing supplies to assist you during the packing and moving process.

#5 Hire professional movers

Once you’ve confirmed your move-in date, you should book your move with professional movers. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® will make your move easier and faster. A crew of professional and uniformed movers will take care of all of the heavy lifting for you. They are professionally trained and will pad and stretch wrap your furniture to protect from damages as they move your belongings in and out of a home, apartment, condo, or storage unit. They’re the “Movers Who Care®”, and the experts at ensuring each move goes smoothly.

#6 Make sure your new keys work

You’ll need to get your keys from your new landlord before the move. Once you have the keys, be sure to confirm they work. It would be a hassle if you get to your place on move-in day, with all of your belongings, and can’t get in. This is especially problematic if you hire professional movers who are paid by the hour, as you’ll want to move your belongings in as soon as you show up at the property.

#7 Clean and check your unit before you leave

It’s best to clean your unit after you’ve moved all of your belongings out. That way, you can thoroughly clean with no boxes or furniture in the way. Your landlord will likely have the unit professionally cleaned for the next tenant; however, it’s still a good idea to return the unit cleaned. It increases the likelihood that you’ll receive your full security deposit.

Ease and convenience in your new home

Once you’re all moved in, you’ll want to continue making your rental experience as efficient and convenient as possible, including making rental payments easy. With Rentalutions, you can pay rent online, schedule automatic payments, and receive receipts for every rent payment. You won’t have to write checks, walk to a mailbox, or worry about whether your landlord received the payment or not.

About Avail

 At Avail, our end-to-end software empowers tenants and landlords. As a tenant, you can complete an online rental application, sign your lease online, pay rent online, and manage maintenance all in one place. Thousands of landlords and tenants across the country use our platform to streamline the rental process. Learn more, here.

5 tips for moving from home to high-rise

Written by Claire Schneider

You’ve decided to make the move from a single-family home to a high-rise building or condo. That’s exciting! There are some things to consider for moving day since transitioning into a high rise is drastically different than moving into a home. Not only is the space smaller, there are many details to take into consideration prior to and on moving day. For example, you may need to arrange moving reservations with the building manager in advance for elevator use and parking purposes, along with paring down useless items once stored in your home to make room for a smaller, new space. Below are tips to help make your moving day an easy one.

Purge

MovingIf you’re moving from a home to a condo or apartment, it’s likely not all of your belongings will fit in your new space. Before you begin packing, go through each room and see if there are items you could sell, donate, or put in storage. Have a color-coded post-it note for each category and mark all belongings. If you haven’t used something in the past year, it’s time to let go. For seasonal items, think about putting them in storage. This will not only save space, but will shorten your move, saving you money in the long run.

Storing your items

Whether you have a storage unit in your building or you need to rent one, there are precautions you should take. Water damage is the leading cause of damages to items in a storage unit. To prevent this, see if you can acquire old pallets from a local company to create a platform for your belongings to rest on. Do not use plastic covers. They encourage moisture buildup which leads to mold and mildew. Instead, use cotton covers. Another important tip is to invest in quality boxes for your belongings. Purchase professional storage boxes that are more dependable in protecting your items.

When storing your items, label all boxes for easy discoverability, and group them into functional categories. Since some storage units are dark, consider purchasing cheap, portable dome lights to place in the storage unit. This will help dramatically when searching for your crystal serving bowl for Thanksgiving.

Furniture

Get floor plans for your new apartment or condo, and plan out how your furniture will fit in the new space. Don’t wait until moving day to see if everything will fit. You’d hate to move your giant couch up to the fourteenth floor only to find out it’s too big in the room. There are great floor plan sites that will take your measurements and place items into a virtual room, allowing you to see which arrangement will work best. Knowing your desired arrangement will save you time during the move for arranging your items.

Building

Check with building management to see about reserving a parking space for the moving truck during the day of the move. The closer the truck is to the building, the less time it will take to transport items, which in the end will also save you money. See about reserving an elevator or using the maintenance elevator. This will make your move a breeze!

Apartment movingHire movers

Hire a moving company to take off the pressure and stress of moving your belongings all by yourself.  Moving companies have the experience of moving into high rise buildings and can offer expert advice along with much-needed equipment. Deciding what moving company you want and trust to move your valuable possessions can be difficult. Make sure to do your research when selecting your movers, this is not the time to be shy! Learn more tips for selecting a mover.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.