Moving Checklist: Support for relocation


The new lease is signed and you're itching to move out of your old apartment sooner rather than later? We don’t want to dampen your excitement about your new home, but before moving, there are still a few important hurdles to overcome: especially regarding the apartment handover.

By preparing well for your apartment handover, you can save a lot of time and money. Delaying tasks connected with the handover can become very expensive very quickly. 

After signing the new lease, different stages of moving must be planned. In all this chaos, it's easy to quickly lose track of things. With our moving checklist, you can plan your move to the finest detail and prepare the individual moving stages optimally.

Download the Moving Checklist: before moving day
Download the Moving Checklist: while moving​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Download the Moving Checklist: after the move


2-3 months before moving day: Terminate the lease on the apartment

We begin with the most important task: punctual termination, thereby starting the moving process.

The termination must reach the landlord on time. The most important thing here is not the date on the postage stamp, but when the landlord receives the termination. So, the termination should reach the management company or the owner of the house on the final working day before the beginning of the notice period at the latest. 

The date on which the contract can be terminated is stipulated in the lease. If nothing is stipulated in the lease, the contractual date for an ordinary termination normally applies, which can differentiate to some extent from canton to canton. In many cantons, the dates for an ordinary termination are at the end of March and the end of September. 

Caution regarding termination outside these dates: The tenant must find a solvent new tenant - otherwise, the rental payments must be continued until the ordinary termination date. 

The exact moving dates should also be set with the old and the new landlords. As soon as the moving dates are fixed, you can submit your “moving days” to your employer.

1 month before moving out: Clean the apartment yourself or hire a professional cleaning service?

Now you need to decide whether you are going to clean the apartment yourself or if you are going to rely on a cleaning service. Those who choose to clean the apartment themselves need to plan enough time to do so.

Those who would prefer to commission the support of a cleaning service should contact several cleaning companies a month before moving, to be able to compare quotes so that you can avoid an expensive, last-minute “big clean”.

Make sure that the contract with the cleaning service includes an acceptance guarantee. If the cleaning proves to be insufficient during the handover, you must not pay extra for subsequent cleaning if you possess an acceptance guarantee. Otherwise, you run the risk of a doubly hefty bill if, during the apartment handover, the apartment is not found to be sufficiently clean by the landlord.

Keep on top of the tedious administrative tasks, so you can focus on more time-consuming activities such as cleaning and packing in the coming weeks:

  • De-registration and registration of the new address with the local authorities
  • Arrange for the change of address and mail forwarding at the post office
  • Inform your bank, health insurance, employer etc. in writing of the change in address

2-3 weeks before: Declutter and dispose of waste​​​​​​​

Before moving, you should make use of the opportunity to declutter, to get rid of anything unnecessary. A new apartment is the perfect chance to clean out everything properly! Don’t wait too long – at the latest, 2 weeks before moving, you should have cleared out the apartment, the loft and the cellar.

Be self-critical and ask yourself which furniture, clothes, decorations and household appliances you really need in the new apartment. Does it offer added value? Yes - Then you can keep it. No? Then get rid of it.

There are many possibilities to dispose of anything you no longer need: sell it, gift it, give it to someone or dispose of it professionally.

Carry out small repairs that you have to pay for as a tenant. Small repairs include, for example, oiling hinges, tightening loose screws on a socket or unblocking the washbasins. 

Get enough cardboard boxes, moving boxes or reusable boxes in good time. Moving house becomes much more efficient if you pack everything neatly in cardboard boxes.

Up to 1 week before moving: Administrative tasks​​​​​​​

  • De-registration and registration of the new address with the local authorities
  • Arrange for the change of address and mail forwarding at the post office
  • Inform your bank, health insurance, employer etc. in writing of the change in address.

Try to finish the administrative tasks by 1 weekbefore moving at the latest, so that you can concentrate on time-consuming activities such as cleaning and packing.

1 week before moving house: Pack​​​​​​​

Now you can start packing the first items, such as books and pictures. You can also pack and disassemble furniture and clothes that you don’t use every day. 

You should pack systematically: Heaver things at the bottom, lighter things on top. Label or number the moving boxes. This makes allocation and clearing out a lot easier.

Tip: The amount of time required for packing is often underestimated. You should anticipate a half to a whole day per room.

Make sure that you have almost completely packed 3-4 days before moving. 

Up to 2 days before moving: The big pre-move-out clean

Often the tenant is unsure of just how thorough the apartment must be cleaned before moving out, because what a landlord deems “clean” can vary widely from case to case. 

Provided nothing else is stipulated in the rent agreement, the apartment must be thoroughly cleaned and handed over in a clean condition. In addition to the thorough cleaning – including windows, window frames, blinds, etc. – it is particularly important to ensure that the kitchen and bathroom are pristinely cleaned. 

As long as you have defined an acceptance guarantee in the contract with the cleaning service, you are on the safe side. Should your landlord deem the apartment not sufficiently clean - you can deploy the cleaning service a second time without additional costs. 

Alongside the cleaning, there are also small cosmetic repairs to be done to the old apartment, such as, e.g. replacing light bulbs, toothbrush holders or missing sheets.

Have you changed something in the apartment? Painted a wall blue or removed the worn fitted carpet? Then you must put everything back into its original state, as long as nothing else has been agreed. 

In general: With the exception of normal wear and tear, the tenant must give the apartment back in the same condition in which he/she received it.

On the moving day​​​​​​​

The moving house planning is finally over and now it’s down to business: the old apartment is handed over to the landlord and then the boxes have to be moved. 

Important: Keep calm because, despite meticulous planning, the moving day is guaranteed to be stressful. Try to get up early to have a decent breakfast and fuel up for the day. Then you need to provide enough food so that the movers are provided with meals throughout the day.

Date of the apartment handover​​​​​​​

In principle, the tenant must hand over the apartment on the final day of the lease during normal business hours. Often in leasing contracts, the following day - so the 1st day of the following month - is agreed as the return day. 

If the date is not explicitly regulated, the tenant and landlord must agree on an appropriate date. In order to avoid ambiguity, you should fix a date for the handover as soon as possible.


The tenant is not legally obligated to be present when the apartment is inspected. It is, however, recommended to carry out the inspection in the presence of both parties, as the tenant could otherwise be blamed for damage for which they were not responsible.

The apartment handover protocol - an absolute must-have​​​​​​​

When moving in and out, the tenant and landlord should reach an agreement in an apartment handover protocolor a takeover report, respectively. The protocol serves to help parties be aware of any damages to the rented property and, above all else, the repair of said damages. It is important that any defects are noted precisely and extensively in the orotocol. Even minor details (such as scratches in the parquet floor or chipped corners) and disagreements should be stated. These can be documented by means of photos.

Tip: Only sign the apartment handover report if you have reached an agreement with the landlord on the state of the apartment. As soon as the apartment handover protocol is signed, the tenant bears liability for fixing the damage – even if they are not legally obligated to do so.

Find everything you need to know about the handover report here.

After moving​​​​​​​

Even after moving, there are still a few things on the list that need to be taken care of. If need be, there may still be tasks from the above stages that couldn’t be done due to time constraints. 

Now, at the latest, the change of address notification for the mail forwarding service should be submitted, as well as informing the local authorities, employer, etc of the change of address. The new apartment needs some work too, such as unpacking, assembling and arranging the furniture, reading electricity and water meters and introducing yourselves to your neighbors.

Then you can finally begin your life in your new home!

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