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Moving out: checklist for the first apartment

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Bye bye Hotel of Mom and Dad – and into your own four walls: freedom calls! Moving out of your parents' house is an important step in life, but moving also involves costs and obligations. Our checklist will help make the move into the first home of your own or shared flat a smooth one.

Finally moving out into your own place!

Many young adults can hardly imagine moving out of their parents' house or apartment and standing on their own two feet. That's because it was really cozy at home, doing washing, cooking meals, cleaning, shopping, waste disposal - your parents did all or some of this and much more. Also, anyone living with their parents normally has nothing to do with insurance and other paper mountains involved with a property. Even if they're already over 18. They probably have no idea what living alone is really like if they've only ever lived at home with their parents. However, it's healthy and understandable that young people want to move out sooner or later into their own place. Into their first apartment - small but beautiful, as it's their own space! Or into a large old house shared with friends, work or study colleagues. Or into a cute apartment together with their boyfriend or girlfriend. To make sure that moving into your own first home doesn't involve nasty surprises, our checklist can help with six useful tips.

1. The rental guarantee: a lot of money doing nothing

The rental guarantee offers the landlord security in case you can no longer pay the rent or the apartment is damaged when you move out. Normally you have to pay two to four months' rent into an escrow account to cover this. And the money is tied until you move out. If you don't have this amount of money available, there is an alternative: rental guarantee insurance. It takes over if the landlord has justified claims for damage or rental arrears. 

Your landlord or landlady has not (yet) repaid the rent deposit? On MyRight you will find a template for repaying the rent deposit.

2. Administrative aspects: so you don't lose touch

You should contact suppliers a few weeks before moving in to ensure that the internet and TV are connected on time. Also remember to register with Serafe , as you have to pay radio and TV fees once you've started your own household. If you're living in a shared property, expenses like these can be shared. Other agencies that need your new address are your health insurance fund, residents' registration office, driver and vehicle licensing office, employer, banks and cellphone provider. Tip: you can simply set up a redirection order so that your mail doesn't continue to arrive at your parents' home.

3. The list of defects: it pays to be fussy

The previous tenant has finally moved out and the day of your move has arrived. But before you start moving in with your belongings with the help of your friends, the landlord or administrator has to carry out the official handover of the apartment. Stay alert during this meeting: check all the rooms carefully and make sure all visible defects are noted on the handover report. Otherwise, when you move out, you may be forced to pay for damage that you didn't cause yourself. For example, is there a crack in the bathroom washbasin or are there water stains in the kitchen that haven't been listed in the report? 

The meter readings for electricity, gas and water should also be included in the report. If you discover any additional defects after moving in, you can send a list of these to the landlord in a registered letter within ten days of receiving the keys and they will be added to the report. Here's a sample handover report from MyRight with more useful tips.

4. The furnishings: go shopping with purpose

You've arrived - you're now in your own place! You've survived the move and the excitement of this special day slowly subsides. A mattress, the number of a pizza delivery service and a beer in the fridge are sufficient for the first night. The next morning, you realize that you still need a few things to make your new abode feel cozy and convenient. Your best approach is to go from room to room: What furniture do you need in the lounge, what appliances in the kitchen, what equipment for the bathroom? If sharing with roommates, what's already available? Checklists on the internet such as these ones here are a good starting point.

Before you go shopping, it helps to think about a budget beforehand: how much money do you want to spend on basic furnishings for your own apartment? Secondhand furniture from a shop, Ricardo, or Tutti & co. are great to get you started. You should also have an idea of the dimensions of your new place - the floor plan of your apartment can help you with this. The loveliest kitchen table is no use if it doesn't fit the available space …

5. Household contents insurance: from your sofa to your racing bike

New furniture, a big TV, a nice sofa – after your move, your apartment fills up, and the value of your personal possessions increases. It's already worth taking out household contents insurance when you move in. This pays benefits if, for example, your valuable jewelry is stolen in a break-in, if the apartment burns down, or if the basement is flooded. If you're sharing with roommates or have cheap secondhand furniture, you can only insure your personal belongings – for example, sports equipment such as skiing or snowboard gear, an expensive racing bike, or electronic appliances such as laptops, cellphones and digital cameras. 

6. Personal liability: for bigger and smaller mishaps

There's one insurance that you need when you leave home and that's  personal liability: it pays benefits if you accidentally cause damage to others if, for example, you cause damage to a friend's car while parking , or if you're on your bike and collide with a pedestrian who subsequently invoices you for expensive medical treatment. In extreme cases, such claims can run into millions.

Personal liability insurance also makes sense for tenants, as it covers damage you cause to the rental apartment or house if, for example, a pan falls onto the ceramic stove and leaves a crack, if the awning gets broken during a party, or if a perfume bottle damages the washbasin. At the latest when you move out and do the final inspection with your landlord, you'll be glad you're properly insured. The insurance also helps you defend yourself against unjustified claims.

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