One of the realities of being a renter is that from time to time you may have to move. Perhaps the landlord wants to sell the property or move in themselves, or you may simply need to upgrade to a new space.
While most renters are well aware of the inconvenience of packing up and moving, they may not be so aware of the associated – and sometimes hidden – costs.
Here are the main costs you need to consider when changing rental properties.
Final rental payments on the original property
While not so much a hidden cost, you will need to make sure your rental payments are up to date and that you pay right up to when your lease officially ends. Any missed or insufficient payments can be taken out of your rental bond.
Fees for breaking the lease early
Are you leaving the rental property before the end of the tenancy agreement? If you are breaking the lease early, there is likely to be a fee so the landlord is covered for the costs of re-advertising and finding a new tenant earlier than expected.
While this is not a cost everyone will encounter, you should refer to your residential tenancy agreement for the specific terms if you do find yourself in this situation.
Cleaning and repairs
When vacating the property, you need to leave it in a clean state, ready for a new tenant to move in. Whether you choose to hire a professional cleaner or stock up on your own cleaning supplies for a DIY job, you will need to account for this cost either way.
Furthermore, you will need to ensure all repairs that you are responsible for have been fixed prior to moving out. So you may need to pay for that window you cracked or have any stained carpets professionally cleaned.
Don’t forget that you will need to cancel utilities such as gas, electricity and internet in the old home, and organise for and pay the final reading. There may also be fees for setting these utilities up in the new home too.
Bond for new home
While you can look forward to getting the rental bond back from your original property, don’t forget you’ll now need to pay for the bond on your new place. While it’s generally a straight forward process, keep in mind that you might need to set aside some extra money to cover the bond on your new home until the first one is refunded to you.
Paying first few weeks of rent upfront on new place
When signing the lease on your new home you may also need to pay a holding deposit and/ or a few weeks rent in advance in addition to the rental bond, so be prepared for that lump payment. This amount generally varies from state to state and even depends on the type of tenancy. You should check with your real estate agent or state consumer affairs office for clarification.
Unless you have a ute or truck of your own, you are likely going to need to hire one or pay for a removalist to do the job for you, or at least transport any larger items.
This is one of the most significant costs you will need to account for when changing rental properties. If you don’t have many items to be moved you could see if you can book on to the end of another load to cut down costs, or shop around for a smaller, independent service. There is usually an optional insurance fee to protect your goods while in transport, so this is another extra cost you should consider.
Also be aware that if you have any large or bulky items, such as a piano or large fish tank, this can be an extra cost. You might also be charged more if either property is in a difficult to access location, with a lot of steps for example.
While you may plan to keep the exact same furniture and simply move it from the old place to the new, no two homes are completely alike and a few extra pieces are sometimes required. It’s also easy to get sucked into buying a few new furniture items – even if it’s just some new cushions on the lounge.
If you have a couple of weeks between moving out of the old place and into the new, you may need somewhere to store your furniture. You will need to consider the costs of storing this. Similarly, if your new place doesn’t have as much storage space as your old one, will you need to keep any items in storage permanently?
Cardboard boxes are an absolute necessity when moving and something which can surprisingly hike up costs. Depending on the type and size you get, they cost you around $3 per box. If it’s a big move and you need quite a lot, you can see how this will quickly add to the cost of moving.
You can try to eliminate at least some of this cost by grabbing some free boxes from your local Bunnings or grocery store. Check what days deliveries are usually made so you can pick some up before they get crushed.
There’s a good reason most people stick to take out when they first move into a new home. Who really feels like cooking after a long day of moving, and finding and unpacking all the kitchen utensils to do so? And it’s never a bad idea to treat your moving team to some Thai or pizza at the end of moving day to say thank you.
While initially pizza may not seem like a crucial cost to account for when moving, it most definitely is.