How to Transfer Utility Services When You Move
If you're moving from one apartment to another, an important item on your moving to-do list is to transfer utility service from your old apartment to your new one. This might seem a little overwhelming — especially if you have a number of utilities to transfer. Apartment Guide has your back: just follow these simple guidelines to do it correctly, and avoid any gaps in service.
If you’re moving from one apartment to another, an important item on your moving to-do list is to transfer utility service from your old apartment to your new one. This might seem a little overwhelming — especially if you have a number of utilities to transfer. Apartment Guide has your back: just follow these simple guidelines to do it correctly, and avoid any gaps in service.
Don’t leave your utility transfer until the last minute. Start about 4 weeks before your moving day. Remember that for certain utility services, it might take a few days for the paperwork to go through on the transfer. Leaving enough time will help the transfer go more smoothly.
Make a list of utility services
Start the transfer by making a list of the utilities you currently use. List the utilities you have, which companies handle those services, and how much on average you pay per month to use those utilities. Leave enough space by each utility to jot down notes about the transfer details.
Get utility services details from your new apartment community or landlord
If you can, talk to your new apartment community management about the utility services situation at your new apartment, taking careful notes.
- Ask if any utility services are included with your rent. For instance, one apartment community might include your water bill in the rent, while another might offer a free Internet connection.
- Ask if there are any exclusive utility providers for the apartment community or the area. Depending on how far you are moving, you might have to switch providers for utilities, such as cable, rather than simply transfer service between addresses.
- Ask if there are any preferred utility providers for the apartment community. A certain provider might offer a discount to residents of the apartment community.
Call your utilities to schedule changes
Next, you will want to check online or call the utility services to initiate service or to schedule transfers. The general rule of thumb is to call 3 weeks before the transfer date. During peak season (June, July, or August), we recommend setting the activation appointments up at least 4 weeks in advance.
- Ask what you will need to secure in order to transfer utilities. Is a deposit required? Will you need to be present when the old utilities are turned off or the new utilities turned on? This is a good time to set up any necessary appointments.
- Ask if there are any discounts for starting new service at your new apartment.
- Ask if there are any ways to lower your utility bill. This might be a good time to examine your utility services and see if there are features you are not using.
You'll want to have the following information on hand:
- Your shut-off and activation dates
- Your account numbers
- Your new address
Set up water and sewer service through the city or county
It’s common for landlords to include the cost of water and sewage in your rent. In these cases, the services will be registered to the owner or property manager and you won’t have to worry about them.
If this isn’t the case, you may need to set them up yourself with the city or county you’re moving into. Each city/county is different, so be sure to look up how to get them turned on in your location. You’ll likely need to visit the office in person. Be prepared to bring proof of your new address as well as well as identification.
Pay any balances and update your address
Make sure to pay off any overdue balances and update the address you have on file with the utility company. They may need to send you a final bill or return your deposit after service is officially stopped at your previous address.
Check with your wi-fi or cable provider to determine whether or not you’ll need to return or swap out any equipment. If you are stopping or switching your wi-fi/cable service provider, you’ll probably need to return routers or cable boxes.
Conduct a final meter reading
This is an important step to protect yourself in case of any disputes after you have moved out. Arrange for the utility companies to do a final meter reading at your home and ensure that the utilities are turned off. You don’t want to get stuck with the bill for utilities that you weren’t using.
Arrange for someone to be home during activation
Companies often require that someone is home to oversee the installation of utilities such as wi-fi and cable. This person will need to provide information to actively assist in the setup as well as determining things like network names and passwords. For electrical and gas service, you probably won’t need to be there in person but check with the providers.
Call to confirm activation
Shortly before your move, call each utility service to confirm that your utilities will be transferred to your new apartment, and confirm any appointments needed to turn on service. Have your notes with you when you make these calls in case there are any questions.
Check the fixtures and appliances in your new home
After all utilities are connected, go through your new house and check to make sure everything is working properly. Turn faucets, light switches and appliances on and off and let your landlord know immediately if anything is broken.