Every year in the U.S., more than 40 million people move. Atlas is one of the most called upon movers to help people go new places.
Like everyone who moves, you have concerns—especially if this is your first apartment move. We want to make your apartment move stress-free. You'll find answers to common questions about apartment moving in this guide, including an apartment-moving checklist. Follow these pointers when you move with Atlas, and expect your move to be trouble-free. (If your question isn't listed, just ask. Your Atlas agent will give you the answer and put you at ease.)
If you're moving to a college or university community, summer offers the biggest selection of apartments. However, because school is out, summer is the most popular moving season. This may mean you have fewer service options available.
In urban areas, the best time to move varies. People tend to stay put during the November and December holiday season, so you may see fewer apartment choices then. On the other hand, you may have a better chance at nice places that become available only toward the end of the year.
Late April is usually a good time to move. You can beat the busy summer season, and the weather is typically moderate.
Ultimately, the best time for your move depends on several things; some are beyond your control. Talk to your local Atlas agent. You'll get good advice and inside knowledge about the community you are moving into.
From basic living to upscale extras, apartments offer lots of choices. You're wise to start looking early. Once you determine the area you'd like to live in, visit several locations and do some "comparison shopping."
The Atlas Apartment Comparison Checklist (pdf) tells why you need these things. Print a copy for each complex you visit and record your findings. But don't stop there—knock on doors and introduce yourself. Are the neighbors friendly? What do they think about the way the complex is managed? What do they say about noise?
Once you find the apartment you want, be ready to act. Have your checkbook, proof of income, references, and credit report on hand. When you meet with the manager, be punctual, neat, and friendly. The good impression you make will work in your favor.
|Bringing a few items along on your inspections will be very helpful. Download the "Apartment Comparison Checklist" to find out how these items can help.|
If you are disabled, you may find accessible apartments on popular websites, such as: ApartmentGuide.com, Apartments.com, ForRent.com, MyNewPlace.com, Rentals.com. Specify "disability access" or "handicap access" to locate places that can accommodate you.
A lease is a legally binding, written agreement between you (lessee) and the landlord (lessor). It is usually a standard form. However, it may be amended by writing changes on the document; both you and the landlord must initial to show you agree.
Read the lease carefully. It should describe the condition of each room in detail. Note any damage or items in disrepair. Get the landlord to agree, in writing, to make repairs before you sign or pay a deposit.
If you don't understand something in the lease, ask what it means. Never sign a lease with blanks to be filled in later. If you have doubts about anything, talk to an attorney.
And never settle for an oral agreement. If it isn't in writing, you have no proof to support you in a dispute.
If you rent month-to-month, notify your landlord in writing at least 30 days before you move. If your lease is up, you don't have to give advance notice—but it's a nice courtesy. The landlord will need to find another renter. Besides, a good relationship with your landlord always works in your favor. This is especially true when you vacate and expect a timely return of your security deposit.
A security deposit may equate to one month's rent or more. As a rule, you should get it back within 30 days after you vacate.
The landlord is not allowed to deduct for normal wear and tear, nor refuse to refund without a reason. Sometimes damage can occur when moving out. If you use a reputable mover, you won't have to worry. Your Atlas agent, for example, carries insurance in the unlikely event your apartment is damaged in the moving process.
You can find professional movers by searching online or in the Yellow Pages. For your convenience, Atlas offers a geographic listing of all Atlas agents on our Find an Agent page. We hope you'll choose Atlas; we've worked hard to build a reputation consumers trust. And we're proud to carry the ProMover designation—the industry's recognized seal of integrity. Whatever company you choose, contact your mover at least six weeks before you intend to vacate.
With Atlas, you get a free written estimate up front that shows how much your move will cost. And we never stop thinking of new and better ways to help you go new places. For practical advice and easy-to-use, money-saving tips, see How to Stretch Your Moving Budget. If your move is job-related, find out about tax deductions here: How To Deduct Moving From Your Taxes.
Follow these proven tips for a smooth move.
All your planning and preparation have paid off. You're already starting to feel at home. You have some settling in to do, but it will be easy. You trusted Atlas to help you go new places, and you made a smooth move.