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Moving? Take care of those utilities

utilitiesMoving to a new place is a daunting task on its own. Packing your life up and relocating requires a lot of time and hard work. On top of that, you have to coordinate the shutdown and/or transfer of all utilities. Though it’s a laborious one, it’s a necessary job. Here are a few helpful tips to make sure everything gets taken care of.


Make a list. The first thing to do is gather information and make a list of all the utilities you currently have – water, electric, gas, heat, trash removal, cable, etc. Put everything in one place and have your account numbers at the ready.

Call early. You’ll want to contact your utility companies at least two weeks prior to your move. That will give them plenty of time to submit paperwork, if necessary, and time to coordinate their schedule with you in case someone needs to be home for the transfer or shut down. Some companies require that you give notice within a certain time frame, so make sure you know if any company you’re contacting has specific guidelines.

Determine specific dates for shut down, transfer, and activation. Don’t leave this open-ended. Make sure the utility company knows exactly when you want changes made. It’s best to schedule a shutdown the day after you move out and an activation the day before you move in. You don’t want to be in the dark while packing or unpacking.

Pay balances and provide forwarding address. You should give each utility company your new address in case there is a final bill to pay. And make sure you pay off all balances on canceled utilities to avoid fines.

Get in touch with the people coming and going. Reach out to the tenants that are vacating the place you’re moving into. They can provide you with information on the correct service providers to use. You can also get in touch with the tenants moving into your old place. Give them an idea of when you plan to shut down or transfer the utilities so they can plan ahead. And you’ll want to make sure they know how to reach you in case a final bill isn’t forwarded to your new address.

Research new utility services. If you’re opening a new account, not just transferring utilities, check with the homeowners association, landlord, or other community managers. There might be some utilities included in your rent that you weren’t aware of and some communities require tenants use specific providers.


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