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With so many things to do during the moving process, forgetting tasks can happen quickly. Whether you are writing things down or not, proper planning and preparation are essential to a successful move. Often we forget to handle one of the most critical aspects like disconnecting utilities from your old home and connecting them to your new place. Through proper planning, you enjoy the comfort of your new home without being left in the dark.
When you are relocating, cancelling and starting utilities can be a touchy situation. It is one of the few bills that attach your name and social security card numbers to your account. One wrong move and can negatively affect your credit.
Here are some tips that can help make your move more comfortable for you and your family:
Understanding the terms and agreement of the utility contract you signed will give you a clear idea of when you should contact the utility company to disconnect. If you are aware of the terms, there are no surprises, and you can plan around it financially. If you are not sure what you should do, you can always reference the utility company FAQ page on their website or call directly for details on disconnecting.
If you are calling, it’s a good idea to contact them at least two to four weeks in advance. Letting them know in advance allows you to square any unpaid bills, handle possible termination fees, and schedule a final reading of water, gas, electric, and meters. Last-minute notices can lead to late notification charges that you won’t be made aware of that can affect your credit and prevent you from turning on utilities in your new home. Conversely, if you deposit with any of the companies, you should get this money back before leaving.
Tip: For reassurance, schedule your utilities to be turned off the day after you move out if you need extra time to complete your move.
On move-in day, you will want to confirm utilities are turned off in the old home and active in the new house. Although it could be a very hectic day, if you can get your electric, gas, cable and internet up on the same day, life will be much easier moving forward with your move.
If you use the same utility company in your new home like one your old, communicate with them that you would like to transfer services instead of starting a new account. You will avoid paying termination fees or security deposits. Most utility companies allow you to handle transfers, disconnections, and reconnection services online. Proper timing of utility disconnection can make the difference between a tough and smooth move.
Tip: Know the date for when utilities are due. You could be paying for a month of service you won’t be using.