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Your Guide to Moving Flats and Apartment Removals

Rhydian Ball
Written by Rhydian Ball
26th January 2018 (Last updated on Thursday 30th August 2018)

As the population grows and the government and housing developers come up with more innovative ways to fit people into housing, living in a flat or apartment is becoming increasingly common. But this isn’t just for practical and political reasons, apartments are also growing in popularity due to their comparatively lower living costs and availability in popular areas in cities.

When it comes to moving there are a number of nuances, challenges for removal companies and potential issues that should be considered in order to make moving out of your apartment a lot smoother. To lower the risk of overseeing any of these areas Compare My Move have put together this guide to apartment moving with tips and areas which should be considered. 

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Things to consider when moving flat or apartment

Parking Stairs Access Timing Furniture Damage Repair Additional Storage Security Rental Considerations Thirsty Work Book a Reputable Removal Company

Parking

With many apartments buildings parking can be a luxury and not always an option for tenants. With good access to public transport and amenities within walking distance this is not always an issue with living in an apartment. However, this situation can produce some challenges when moving. 

Movers will usually use a large van or truck (or indeed a few of either/each) in order to transport your belongings on moving day. Getting these vehicles as close as possible to the building will speed up the moving process and make it less energy intensive for the movers. 

Help your removals company to arrange parking for their vehicles, either through providing private parking, arranging parking permits or researching the easiest and closest place that they will be able to park up. Asking them how many vehicles they intend to bring will help you plan this element of the move with ease.  

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Stairs

If you live in an apartment, the likelihood is you don’t live on the ground floor and therefore stairs are going to be an issue on moving day. By letting your removals business know how many flights of stairs and the width of the stairwells, they will be able to plan for any potential issues and mitigate these by arranging for the proper kit to be available. It's worth noting that the number of flights the removals staff have to climb and may influence your removals costs.

It is also good to make any neighbours aware of your moving plans and informing them that you may be blocking immediate access to the stairs throughout the day. The same goes if you plan to excessively use any lifts in the building to move kit out of your apartment. 

Access

Access within the building through the stair well and corridors may only be the start of your access considerations when it comes to moving. It is important to understand other elements such as access between where the moving vehicles are parked and the front door that may also throw up some issues to be remedied.

For example if there are any narrow alleyways, gates or parked cars on this stretch it is key to inform the moving company and offer some thoughts on how these obstacles can be overcome. 

Equally considering other alternatives for access such as back entrances may help to speed up removal and make it less labour intensive. Your removal company can advise you on the best option during the home removals survey.

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Timing

Although situation usually dictates the time of year that you are moving home, trying to avoid seasons such as Christmas and the Summer holidays can save you both time and money when moving. These are peak times for movers and removal companies alike, will usually cost a premium and may be difficult to find an appropriate moving spot that fits in with your schedule. 

When moving from an apartment it is also important to choose a good time in terms of which day and what time of the day to move. If you consider the fact that many other people live in your apartment building, many of whom will be travelling to and from work at specific times and also will be more active in the building during evenings and weekends, it is best to avoid these times to limit potential chaos in the stairwells.

A good time to start your move is usually immediately after rush hour in the morning to leave you plenty of time to get stuff done before the rush hour in the evening.

Of course moving times are also often dictated by the removal company, so working with them to find an appropriate time is the key to success. 

Furniture

If you take a quick look around your apartment it will quickly become apparent which items are going to be most problematic when it comes to moving day. Large items of furniture including beds (especially double of kind sized beds), sofas, book cases and wardrobes, as well as slightly more unusual items such as exercise equipment, desks and large coffee tables can all be a big challenge on moving day. 

Breaking down/dismantling some of the larger items of furniture in your apartment will allow the movers to quickly maneuver these items into the moving vehicles a lot more easily than if they were to move them whole. In some cases it may even be impossible to move full items of furniture on occasions where their dimensions are larger than the smallest part of the route of the building. 

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Damage Repair

Moving a large amount of kit out of an apartment is hard work and can often lead to scuffs, chips and scratches being made to the environment such as on stairwells, banisters and door ways.

As part of the moving process you may want to ensure that all damage made is fixed before moving out, whether that is filling in any cracks or chips or painting over any scratches.

This is especially true of the common areas such as stairwells where in extreme cases the freeholder or management company may seek compensation for any damage made during your move. This is also important within the apartment, especially when you have been renting as any repairs required may be deducted from your deposit.  

Additional Storage

Due to the nature of apartment living, many apartments often come with some additional external storage such as bike sheds, bin sheds or simply some general storage options. These storage units can slowly but surely build in their contents over the years even though many times you will not realise that this is the case. 

These can often be overlooked when it comes to the whirlwind of moving out of an apartment. Ensure that you schedule and leave enough time to check these spaces before you move and pack up any contents that you want to take with you. It is also a good idea to bag up, skip or sell anything that is unneeded in the move to leave it clear for the next owner. Ensure that the keys for these units are also left so that the new tenant can access them easily.  

Who knows, you may even discover a forgotten gem. 

Security

True of any move, but especially important when it comes to moving out of an apartment where a number of people have access to your front door. Ensure your door is locked during any period during the move when you are not inside the apartment or will soon be returning. 

It is also important to close and lock any windows and the front door upon vacating the apartment to ensure that the space is protected for the next tenant. When leaving ensuring that everything is turned off such as electrical sockets, heating and anything else that may cause potential risks is a good way to make leave your mind at ease. 

Rental Considerations

When renting there are a few additional issues to take into consideration when moving. This is due to the nature of your deposit and the fact that the letting agent will likely deducted any amount needed to put the apartment back to its original state once you have moved. 

As mentioned previously, it is worth checking around to ensure that any damaged such as scuffs, chips and scratches are filled and repainted. It is also worth doing a deep clean and even potentially getting in a professional cleaning company to make sure the flat is left spotless and make sure any problem areas such as carpet stains are dealt with in order to make sure that you receive your deposit back in full. 

Thirsty Work

As with any hard labor, moving all your kit up and down flights of stairs is physically draining and thirsty work. With this in mind ensuring that you (if you are helping) and the moving company have access to tea, coffee and water will help limit fatigue and ultimately make the process a lot smoother. 

This is a small thought, but goes a long way to show you understand the additional physical demands of moving out of an apartments. 

Book a Reputable Removal Company

In this guide we have covered off a number of potential issues and considerations that should be made when moving out of an apartment building. Many of these are arguably common sense and take small mitigations in order to remedy them. You can however, limit any risks by booking a reputable removals company through Compare My Move.

Working through this guide to ensure that all elements are covered and will ensure that your moving day will go as smoothly as physically possible.