Setting Up Utilities in your New Apartment

Your manager may have given you the phone numbers you need.

But, how do you set up utilities for your apartment? What do you need to know?

Start early

You don’t want to be calling the utility companies the day you move. This may cause a delay in service. The utility company may need to send someone to your apartment to do on-site work. This could take a few days. If they must come to your home someone will need to be there to let them in. You don’t want to be arranging these things while you are focused on moving. Getting it done early will save your sanity when moving day arrives.

Find out exactly what services are your responsibility

Some communities cover portions of the utilities in the complex. Some examples include trash, heat, and water. Find out what is covered by you and what is covered by your landlord. Look at your lease, and if need be call your manager for clarification.

Call your current providers

Once you know the day you are moving, you need to call your current utility providers. Let them know the day you are moving out, so they know the day to shut off your service. The last thing you want is to be paying for utilities you aren’t using. Be sure to provide them with a forwarding address so they can send you a final bill.

The set-up process

When you are setting up utilities in your name there are some things you need to have ready before you call. If you are transferring services with the same utility company, they may just need your new address and move-in date. But, if you are opening a new account they may require your name, phone number, email, new address, social security number or tax ID, and birthday.

***Why do they need such personal information? – The utility company needs your social security or tax ID number and birthday to run a credit check. These companies must do a certain amount of risk management on its customers. If you don’t have stellar credit, it does not mean the utility company will refuse to turn on your service. But, you might be charged a higher deposit to offset the risk. If you have an outstanding balance with your former company, they may require you pay that off before turning on service. Each company is different, so be sure to ask.

Utility set-up fee – Many utility companies require a one-time set-up fee to turn on service. Some will require a refundable deposit too. Depending on the company, you may see this fee on your initial bill or you may have to pay it upfront before services are turned on. It depends on the company you are working with.

When your first bill arrives

When your first bill comes to your apartment, it will have everything you need to set up online bill pay. You will need your account number, the name of the utility provider, and their billing address. If you pay online, you can save yourself the stamp.

Setting up utilities can be a quick and easy process if you know what to expect. Be sure to take care of everything before moving day. The last thing you want is to have to be on the horn with utility company instead of moving your belongings to your new home. Get the set up done early so you can focus on making your new apartment feel like home.

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Bekah SteenbockBekah Steenbock is a freelance writer with a background in real estate and business growth. She is a native Austinite, but has called Seattle, Mankato, Milwaukee, Las Vegas and Atlanta home. Bekah, her husband and their three children love exploring the outdoors in their spare time.

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