How to time a move between rental apartments

I know how stressful it can be to move out and come up with a plan on how to time a move between rental apartments perfectly. This of course is situational but, from personal experience, you can do it right if you start and plan early on.

To efficiently time a move between rental apartments, the process should start about 2 months before your current lease ends. In these 2 months you should call, text, conduct viewings with landlords to find the next apartment. Additionally, all paperwork and applications should be submitted. This will help you time the move accordingly and avoid paying double on rent for the same month.

Of course, every move will be situational, but from my experience, this is what has worked best for me. You may need to rent a truck or hire movers. In some cases, you can have family and friends help you move as well. You will need to factor their schedules into account when moving out. Be upfront and be direct when you have a date to move out.

How to time a move between rental apartments in 2 months

How to time a move between rental apartments

If you decided to move out of your current apartment, you should start looking at online apartment listings approximately 2 months before your lease ends. These 2 months will give you a good amount of time to look for an apartment. Therefore, it will eliminate the rush to find a new place.

This process should be stress-less as possible. I’ve noticed when I give myself a 2-month cushion, it keeps me levelheaded when deciding where I want to move. Reason being, I’m in no pressure to move in an instant. I can take a step back and allow myself to reflect on the property I viewed and the landlord I’m in communication with.

Breakdown on what to do in the 2 months

Now I will go into detail on what you should be doing in these 2 months. In the first month, you should hound and call every listing that you find suitable. This means, text, call, email, and schedule viewings with the landlord or agent. Make sure to tell the landlord/agent when your movie-in date is. 

A tip from me: You will run into listings that have 360 degrees views or plenty of photos. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go view it in person. These photos are edited and change the perspective of how the apartment actually looks. Also, I’ve came across a lot of photos that are from a staged unit that doesn’t show the actual unit at all. Therefore, make sure to look at it in person!

On the final month, you should continue looking for apartments even if you have applied for some. Make sure to submit your paperwork and application to have the background check process started. This usually take a couple of days to process and for you to get a response. This doesn’t mean stop looking at more apartments. You are in contention with other potential tenants so you need to be ready to move on to the next if you don’t get it.

Once you know that your application is approved and have been granted a lease, make sure to read it all! You want to make sure you are comfortable with the rules on the lease. Don’t feel pressured to sign it immediately. It’s okay to take a couple of days and read it over a few times to be certain.

As soon as you sign the lease, start getting ready for the move! This entails scheduling movers, renting a truck, and scheduling family or friends that will gladly give you a hand. You should be setting all of this up a week before your move at a minimum.

What you should expect when timing a move between rental apartments

When I’m figuring out how to time a move between rental apartments, I make sure I try avoid paying double or extra rent.

You don’t want to overlap your old lease with your new lease, and it can be tricky when you need a couple of days to move. For example, if my lease ends on June 31st and my move in date is July 1st, it seems confusing to move out on July 1st, when my old lease already ended the day before right?

Therefore, you can talk to your new landlord and ask them if you can move a couple days before your lease starts. I’ve never ran into an issue where a landlord has told me I can’t do this. This is expected as you will need some time to move in.

Alternatively, you can also speak to your old landlord instead and ask them if you can stay for a couple more days so you can move out. See if they are okay with you having 2 days to move out after your lease ends as its pretty reasonable.

Most landlords will accommodate this but there was one instance where my ex-landlord wanted me to pay for the few extra days. I reluctantly paid, but it has only happened once. Be prepared for such situation.

My Final thoughts

How to time a move between rental apartments

I had a friend who had to move forcefully which led him to overlap his leases by 2 weeks. Some people can afford to do this, but I don’t see why it is okay to do this. Yes, it’s easier and it may eliminate issues by just paying, but you can avoid it if you plan this correctly.

You can always ask the landlord to start on the 15th instead of the 1st. This will help you avoid this issue. Remember you have 2 landlords in this situation, so you can ask both and see if one obliges.

Overall, the problem my friend encountered was because of poor planning.  He should have started earlier instead of waiting last minute, which would have made him avoid paying 2 extra weeks.