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6 Things to do before moving into your first rental

By George Hadgelias

You’ve found your perfect rental, but there are still six important things to take care of before the best days of your life can begin. 

Are we having fun yet? Well, that would actually be a “no”; moving into your new rental is going to involve some paperwork, some heavy lifting, and it will more than likely drain your bank account (at least in the early stages).

But despair not, there’s hope on the horizon. Start looking forward to independence and good times with friends in your very own place with our six tips below…

1. Get that pesky paperwork out of the way

It may sound obvious, but have a good read of your new lease before signing it. If you see something you don’t like (or don’t fully understand), work it out with the real estate agent, or run it by your folks to check it out.

Let your flatmates know ASAP how much bond they owe, and get that lodged – how to do this varies state-by-state – a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.

While you’re online, get your electricity, gas (if you need it) and internet connected at the new digs. It’s also worth getting a quote on contents insurance; consider a policy that will cover accidental breakages for extra protection during the move.

2. Figure out who’s doing the heavy lifting

In a perfect world, this would involve one phone call to the removal company to book your preferred date and time.

If your budget doesn’t allow for this sort of extravagance, it’s worth weighing up whether you:

a) enlist a mate with a van (or ute);
b) enlist a mate and hire a van; or
c) just hire the entire package – mate and van.

Whatever you choose, don’t forget to make an appointment with your agent to pick up the keys first.

3. Find missing furniture

We’ve all been there; first night at the new pad, relaxing and enjoying a cold drink, kicking back on a couch made of milk crates pushed up against a wall.

Avoid this rite of passage altogether by making a quick list of the essential furniture and appliances you don’t want to be without on your first night, emailing it to your housemates, and order anything you don’t have now – it can take weeks to order new furniture, even the self-assembly stuff, so be organised.

4. Changing your address

It’s a fact that we all receive a lot less snail mail these days, but it does happen, and there are two schools of thought on how best to deal with it.

Option one is the reactive method, basically “wait and see”. This is ideal if you’ve just moved out of your parent’s home; simply let the mail pile up high, and collect it from Mum and Dad when you go to drop off your washing a month from now. Then simply update your address for any important correspondence.

Option two, the proactive method, is to make a list of those who still use the post and let them know you’ve moved. If this is too much trouble, use mail redirection for the first two months.

5. Stock up the fridge

You know what we’re talking about: random drop-ins. They will happen, and when they do, be fully prepared with a stocked fridge for that impromptu house party.

6. Thinking ahead

Compared to living at home with your folks, renting is always going to slow down your savings, but it’s an important step on the journey to independence nonetheless.

Consider the challenge of managing a budget as an important life lesson and the fast-track to a real world financial education. That’s not to mention the life experiences that can come from living away from home, with friends, that you can’t put a price on.

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