How to Set Up Utilities in a Rental Home

by Steffi Cook | Updated: Apr 10, 2019

When you get to your new rental home, you don’t want to move in just to find that the electricity or water doesn’t work. We take most utilities for granted until they aren’t working. You don’t want that experience added to the stress of moving. Once you know where you’re going, here’s what you need to do to make sure that you've correctly set up utilities ahead of time.

Figuring out what utilities you need

The first thing is knowing exactly what you need to get set up. There may be utilities handled by your landlord and included in the rent, which you should already know about from discussing things with them. If you’re missing this information, talk to them to find out what’s included in the lease and what you need to get set up on your own. Also, ask for recommendations for the utilities you need to set up yourself. They should be able to point you to the relevant options for internet service, electricity, water, and other utilities. If you have more than one option for a particular utility, you’ll want to take the time to shop around a bit.

Make sure all of these are accounted for (provided by your landlord, not required, or you know where to find a provider):

  • Electricity
  • Natural gas
  • Trash collection
  • Water/sewer
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Phone
  • Alarm/security system

The information you need

Make sure that you have:

  • A list of the utilities you need
  • The providers you can use
  • Your new address, including unit number
  • The date you’re moving in

With this, you’ll be able to get prices and set up service with any of the necessary providers. This is the best time to compare prices. It’s a lot harder to get a better deal later, when you’d have to cancel one service to get a new one going. Do the work now so you can start saving money sooner.

Setting things up

Once you know who to go to, setting up your utilities should be pretty simple. You can contact them over the phone or set things up online.

The important thing to do here is to make sure that you’re working well ahead of time. Some places can set things up the next day, but don’t take that chance. Two weeks’ notice should be good, though it doesn’t hurt to get started even earlier.

Don’t forget the old place

With all the excitement about moving into a new place, you have to make sure that the old one is taken care of. You don’t want to still be paying for service at an old home while you’re living in your new one. You can go through the same phone or online process to cancel service that you did to set up the new one. Give them when you’re moving out and your current address, pay any outstanding balances, and it should go smoothly from one place to another.

One last thing: make sure that you return any equipment related to your old utilities. You don’t want to be caught off-guard by a sudden charge for that old cable modem/Wi-Fi router you forgot about that’s sitting in your closet. This is an easy thing to overlook, but you should be able to take it back to a service center or even ship it back. It’s not difficult to do but is easy to forget and can be a costly mistake.

Follow all of this, and you should go smoothly from your old home to new, without any interruptions in your utilities.

Categories: Renters

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