Moving house checklist: What to know before you go
Tips for a smooth move and a better deal on essential services.
Here are our top tips to make sure your power, insurance, phone and internet are up and running when you move house. It’s also a great time to review your providers, so you don’t take your big bills with you.
You can redirect your electricity connection to your new address online via your provider’s website. Or call or email your provider. It’s best to do this as soon as your moving dates are confirmed, or at least two weeks before you move.
How to get the cheapest power
If you’d like to compare your current provider with the competition to make sure you’re getting the best deal, visit Powerswitch.
With so many offers on the market and prices changing all the time, it pays to check regularly and make sure you’re not paying more for power than you should. Last year, households could save an average of $385 when they checked Powerswitch.
From there, you can also change your provider if you decide that’s the best move.
If you don’t have a current electricity provider and need to sign up before you move, you can also do this through Powerswitch. You can compare providers to find the best fit and then sign up with your chosen provider.
In most cases you need to organise having an electricity provider at least a week before your move-in date, though it’s best to aim for two (or more) weeks beforehand.
Most electricity providers also provide gas services. Whether you are switching electricity providers via Powerswitch, redirecting your connection or starting with a new provider, you can arrange your gas connection at the same time.
If you are using electric or gas heating, make sure you will have electrical connection and/or gas for this. You can use our electric heater buying guide to find the right heater for you.
If your new home has a woodburner or fireplace, try arranging local wood delivery. For tips on what to consider when buying firewood, check out our firewood buying guide.
House and contents insurance
Whether you’re a renter or homeowner, you’ll need to let your contents and/or house insurer know when you are moving. It’s best to do this as soon as you know your moving dates.
If you want to switch insurance providers, check out our house and contents insurance buying guide.
When moving your belongings, transit insurance covers losses and/or damage to your goods, as well as incidental storage costs. Ensure you know exactly what is covered because policies can vary depending on the items, distance travelled, method of transport and so on.
You can arrange transit insurance through several options:
Contents insurance: Some contents insurance plans cover transit, but not all do. And for those that do cover transit, they don’t necessarily cover the loading and unloading of goods from the vehicle.
Removalist/mover’s insurance: If your contents insurance doesn’t cover your belongings in transit, check to see if it is available through your moving company (if applicable). If you’re moving overseas, the shipping, freight or cargo company you choose might offer transit cover of some sort.
Transit/moving insurance: Some specialised moving and storage providers outside these options may offer transit cover that best fit your situation. Ensure you read the fine print, and it helps to contact the provider directly to fully understand the policy’s coverage. Any items covered by existing contents insurance won’t be included in these additional policies.
Storage insurance: If you will be storing some of your goods, it helps to have insurance for these. Ensure you know the details of your coverage, because different policies have different allowances. These depend on the amount you are storing, what you are storing and how long for.
Internet and phone
Connecting to fibre
Fibre is the most reliable and fastest internet connection. If your new home isn’t hooked up to fibre, you will need to check with your current internet provider whether you can upgrade.
It’s usually free to install fibre – for a limited time, while the Government works to put everyone on the network. You will need to ensure the installation date is on or after your move-in date, or once ownership of the property has transferred. If you’re renting, you’ll need the landlord’s permission.
When you move you take your modem with you, along with accompanying cords. Your modem will be plugged into the wall or your installed ONT (Optical Network Terminal). If you don’t have a modem, your provider will send you one or it will direct you to where to purchase one, with recommendations.
Once you’ve moved residence and fibre has been installed, simply plug your modem into your new ONT and it should be ready to go.
Contact your broadband provider (one to two weeks in advance) and let it know where you’re moving to, the move-in date, and whether you’d like to keep your current plan or change to a different option.
Unplug your modem and take it with you when you move, along with the cables. Plug it in at your new place, and it should be ready to go. If you’re unsure what to do, you can request an installation through your provider.
Check that your mobile service provider can keep you connected and in range of service at your new address. If it’s unable to, you’ll need to switch providers. If you’re having problems choosing a new plan, check out our guide on how to choose the right mobile plan.
If you want a landline home phone at your new property, you need to get in contact with your current provider. Consider abandoning the landline home phone and simply using your mobile instead because this technology is outdated and prone to disconnection.
Alternatively, you can keep your home phone and number, but it will be plugged into your modem instead.
Installed TV boxes/satellites
Tell your TV service provider where you’re moving to, and when. Sky TV and Freeview are the sorts of services which need to be redirected, depending on your address. You may also need to have your satellite, or a new satellite, installed at your new address.
Water and sewerage systems
In most urban areas, the water and sewerage systems are managed by the council and nothing needs to be done on your end. However, in some rural areas water needs to be filtered, installed or ordered. And for most rural properties, owners are responsible for sewage treatment.
The best way to know if you need to arrange anything in relation to water and sewage is by visiting your new local council website or calling the council. It will let you know if something is needed and advise you on what to do next (if anything).
If you pay for water now, or have it delivered, you need to be in touch with your current council or water provider and advise you’re moving. Calling works best, but a council might require written proof of an address change – though it can help you with this if you call or email first.
Try to give as much notice as you can with these arrangements, so you have water at your property when you move there and you aren’t paying for water once you move out. Aim for two to three weeks in advance.
Recycling and rubbish
To arrange recycling and rubbish bins for your new address, check with the previous tenants/owners whether they have bins and what the collection details are. Or check the local council website for information on how rubbish and recycling collection works and where to buy bins (if applicable).
If you need to get a resident’s parking permit or purchase street parking, visit your council website for how to register and apply.
Once you’ve sorted out the moving date, booking furniture removal is the next step, whether that’s a mate with a trailer or a removal company.
If you have kids or pets, or both, you may find it easier to arrange care for them to free you up to crack on with lugging boxes.
Notify address change
You can do this through NZ Post for a fee, starting at $17 nationally and $56 internationally. However, this is only temporarily (a maximum of 12 months) until you change your address across your accounts and memberships.
Consider changing how your bills are delivered and receive them via email, rather than the post.
Here’s a list of people, places and organisations who may need to know you’re moving:
Your bank and credit card companies
Electoral Commission (see vote.nz)
Motor Vehicle Register and Driver Licence Register
Ministry of Social Development
Hire purchase and/or finance companies
Local and regional councils
Clubs and organisations
Friends and relatives
Magazine and newspaper subscriptions, etc
Doctor, dentist, accountant, lawyer, school, employer etc.
Here's a list of what you may need to transfer/redirect/replace:
Water (rural supply)
Childcare and/or schooling
Children’s school records (if applicable)
Newspaper, magazine subscriptions
Home services (cleaners, gardeners, etc.)
Place of worship
Finishing a tenancy?
If you’re ending a periodic tenancy (with no fixed end date) a tenant must give at least 28 days’ notice to end the tenancy, unless the landlord agrees to a shorter time. If that’s the case, make sure you get the agreement in writing.
If you’re on a fixed-term tenancy, for example 12 months, you can’t end it earlier without with landlord’s permission. However, you may be able to sublet it. A law change in February 2021 means landlords must consider all requests from tenants to sublet the property.
Before moving day, arrange a time for a final property inspection with your landlord.
On moving day, remove all your belongings from the property, make sure the property is clean and tidy, and remove any rubbish. With your landlord, have a final property inspection.
If you have any issues getting your bond back, or would like more information about your tenancy rights, get in touch with Tenancy Services (0800 836 262).
Are you paying too much for power?
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