Preparing to Move

Moving into Your New Home

How much will moving cost? Moving can be expensive. If you don’t have too many belongings, it can be done without much cost. You may have family or friends who can help you move things. If you have furniture, you may need to rent a truck to move it or hire a moving company. Moving companies will also pack your belongings for an extra cost. Below are website links to some moving services. This is not a complete list. It’s best to talk with family and friends to see if they have used a mover in the past that they can recommend. It’s also best to talk with 2-3 moving companies and get a free estimate of the cost to move you. Moving Help for People with Disabilities.


Bekins has been in the moving industry for nearly 130 years. In this blog post they offer some helpful tips for people with disabilities who are planning to hire a moving company.

Learn More


U-Haul is a widely-used moving and truck rental company that offers packing and unpacking services, loading and unloading services, home cleaning and specialty item moving along with regular truck or van rental.

Learn More

Budget Truck

This moving and truck rental company also offers loading and unloading assistance.

Learn More

Penske Truck Rental

This moving and truck rental company offers towing equipment for transporting vehicles, ordering moving boxes and supplies, offering self-storage rentals from the Penske website, and has packing and loading services.

Learn More

Expenses to Consider When Moving

Security Deposit

This is usually equal to one month’s rent, but it can vary, so it is important to ask about the security deposit to make sure there are no surprises when you’re ready to move in.



Utilities include your gas, electric, water and sewer services. There are also other common services that the landlord may require you to pay for, such as garbage and recycling pickup. You will need to arrange for electric and gas series and may or may not need to arrange to pay for water and sewer. Internet and cable services are not considered utilities. You will have to arrange for them yourself.

People with low income can often qualify for financial assistance to pay for their gas electric bills. The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) is a federally-funded year-round assistance program for qualifying households. The program provides bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, as well as weatherization and home repairs.



Cable outlets, also known as coaxial outlets, are common fixtures in most modern homes. If you live in and apartment building, it may already be wired for cable and Internet. You just have to call your Internet provider and have the service turned on. Older homes may not have coaxial cable outlets. When this is the case, you will need to have them installed. On average, the costs are between $130-290 for the parts and installation.

Cable and internet service companies may charge an installation fee for new customers and charge a location change fee for existing customers. It’s good to check with the cable company you will use to see if there are any fees.

In Maryland, there are programs that will help lo-income people with paying internet or smartphone fees:

FCC Broadband Benefit

FCC Affordable Connectivity Program

Montgomery Program Emergency Broadband Benefit

First Month’s Rent

You will need to pay your first month rent when you sign your lease. If you are renting with a subsidy, you will be responsible for your portion of the full rent, which is usually 30% of the income for your household.

Resources for Obtaining Furniture

New vs. SecondHand

When thinking about furnishing your home, you could either choose new furniture or secondhand furniture. While many furniture stores will ship large items such as couches and beds to your home, there is a significant cost to new furniture. You may consider secondhand furniture – furniture in good condition at retail shops like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Habitat ReStore, or other thrift and secondhand boutique stores.

Resources for Donated Furniture:

The Furniture Bank Network

The Furniture Bank Network is a directory of registered charities, nonprofits and social enterprises designed to provide gently used household furnishings to individuals and families in need, at little or no cost.


Charlotte’s Web – Hyattsville

A Wider Circle – Silver Spring

Montgomery County Furniture Resources

Other Preparations


We’ve all done it – either locked our keys in our home when we leave or lost our keys. What will you do if you don’t have your keys? It’s important to think about this possibility ahead of time. You may want to give a second set of keys to a trusted family member or friend. In apartment communities that use a key fob to enter the building, you may want to ask for an additional fob for your trusted person who has your extra key. The landlord may perform a criminal background check on the trusted person. This makes sense in communities where everyone must pass a criminal background screening to live in the community.

Changing Your Address

There are many organizations and people who need to learn your new address. The first place to start is the U.S. Post Office. When you move, let them know about your temporary or permanent move on their website by filling out a change of address form. This allows for your mail to be forwarded to your new place from your previous address. For a permanent move, USPS can forward First Class mail for 12 months and periodicals for 60 days, but does not forward packages.

Useful Links:

Official USPS® Change-of-Address Form
Mail Forwarding Options – USPS
Change of Address Checklist: Who to Notify When You Move |


Moving is a lot of work. It is also often an exciting time. Tips for planning your move are listed below:

Giving Notice When Moving

If you are renting and plan to move from your current home to a new one, you will need to let the landlord know in advance. You should give as much notice as possible. In most places, you are required to give 2 months’ notice. For example, if you are moving on June 1, you will need to let the landlord know by April 1.

The landlord will want to inspect the unit either right before or right after you move. Be sure to fix anything that is not part of normal deterioration and clean the unit thoroughly. This will help to ensure that you can get all of your security deposit back. It is best to be with the landlord when they inspect the unit after you have removed your belongings to make sure you are only charged for repairs that are your responsibility under your lease.

Notifying Utilities

When you move, you will need to notify utility companies so they can turn the utilities off at your current home and turn them on at your new home. If you are moving to a different county that has a different utility company, you may need to pay a deposit again.

A list of possible utilities you will need to change includes:

  1. Electricity (Power)
  2. Water and sewage
  3. Gas
  4. Internet
  5. Cable TV
  6. Telephone
  7. Trash/Waste Removal
  8. Recycling
  9. Home Security

It’s best to give advance notice to your current utility companies at least three weeks before your move date to ensure that you get service on the dates you need.

When to Disconnect Utilities When Moving

Your best option is to schedule the disconnection of your current utilities one day after you move out of the home and then arrange for connection at the new place one day before you move in.

If you have trouble arranging the transfer or change of all your utilities before your move date, it’s good to prioritize water and electricity set up so you will have these essentials in your new home.

Getting Your Security Deposit Back

In Maryland, the landlord must return a tenant’s security deposit plus interest, less any damages rightfully withheld, within 45 days after the tenancy ends.

Information about security deposits from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office can be found at the link below. The Maryland Attorney General’s website also has great information on tenant’s rights and avoiding disputes with landlords.



The landlord must put the security deposit in an escrow account. When returning security deposits of $50 or more, the landlord must include simple interest. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has a Rental Security Deposit Calculator on the bottom of the page on its website.

Security deposit disputes often involve misunderstandings about when the landlord is entitled to keep the security deposit and disagreements about whether the tenant caused damage to the rental unit.

If the landlord withholds any part of your security deposit, they must send you a written list of damages, with a statement of what it cost to repair the damages, by First Class mail to your last known address within 45 days after you move out. If the landlord fails to do this, they lose the right to withhold any part of the security deposit.

You have the right to be present when the landlord inspects your rental unit for damages at the end of your lease, if you notify the landlord by certified mail at least 15 days prior to moving of your intention to move, the date of moving and your new address. The landlord must then notify you by certified mail of the time and date of the inspection. The inspection must be within five days before or five days after your move-out date. The landlord must disclose these rights to you in writing when you pay the security deposit. If not, the landlord forfeits the right to withhold any part of the security deposit for damages.

Security Deposit and Eviction

Your rights and duties are different if you have been evicted for breach of the lease or have left the rented property before the lease ended. Under these circumstances, you should send a written notice to the landlord by first-class mail within 45 days of being evicted or leaving the property. This notice must advise the landlord of your new address and request the return of your deposit. Once the landlord receives the written request, they must take certain steps.

The landlord must send you a list of damages to the rental unit and costs incurred to repair them by First Class mail within 45 days. If the landlord fails to send you a list of damages, they forfeit the right to withhold the security deposit.

The security deposit, plus interest, less any damages rightfully withheld, must be returned within 45 days of your notice.

Get Our Newsletter!