For some moves, new service providers may be necessary. A list of providers can be supplied by apartment management companies, or new neighbors. Renters should verify if the utility services have been included in the rent. Official state and city websites also provide detailed information. Deregulation has led to numerous states offering a choice of natural gas and electricity providers. Researching the different options available can save money.
Asking a landlord, real estate agent or new neighbor how satisfied they are with their services, and the cost of their average bills is always a good idea. A lot of information can be found by doing research online. Once a list of the utility companies and their phone numbers has been compiled, there are some important questions to ask. This includes the charges to begin the service, the amount of any applicable deposit, any available discounts, if anyone needs to be home when the utilities are set up, and the current prices.
Most service providers require a minimum of two weeks’ notice to turn off, or turn on utilities. Calling these providers three weeks prior to the move is recommended. Utilities are best disconnected the day after the move, and turned on the day prior to arrival at the new residence. This helps avoid any inconvenience or hassles. Ensuring there are enough cheap moving boxes available will also be beneficial. Non-essential services such as television services can wait a couple days. Some utility services can be connected online, while others require a trip to the company office. This requires proof of identity and residence.
It is important to pay any overdue bills and final balances prior to the date selected for shut-off. The current utility providers should be given the new address so they are able to send the final invoice. All final bills should be paid by the due date. Any equipment provided by a company that needs be returned including satellite dishes, modems, etc. should be returned by the date designated. Any refunds due for utility deposits should be collected and the money can be used for new utility deposits or start-up fees.
A final reading of the water, electric, and gas meters is important. A copy of the report should be kept, and it is a good idea to take a picture of the meters right before the move. These records are evidence in case there is a dispute. Once the utility company’s final invoice has been received, this should be checked to ensure it correctly reflects the last meter reading and the move-out date. This will make certain the correct amount was charged for the days of service after leaving the residence. On the move-in day, the new electricity and gas meters should be read to ensure the first bill is accurate.