The trouble with moving apartments

Warning: what you are about to read is a rant based on my frustrations when renting and moving apartments. In the Western World the system can be a lot better. Fortunately there are some companies facilitating this. But first, my rant.

Prior to buying my flat I spent eight years renting apartments. I've estimated that over the course of my renting life I've probably put around £70,000 into the hands of landlords. Often times the properties have not been properly maintained and the landlord virtually non-existent. At its worst we had toilet that wasn't working and a management agency that refused to send someone to repair it. It wasn't until we threatened to contact the Environmental Agency over hygiene issues that the landlord finally agreed to resolve the problem.

Moving pains

In addition to receiving poor service from management agents and landlords there is the small issue of moving. You've got the cost of having to move. Furthermore, aside from having to physically shift your stuff from one apartment to the next you then have the annoyance of having to update every private company and government agency with your new address.

I've often said that there must be a way for an innovative company to centralise this process such that to update your key personal details you need only to update one single database that distributes the information to all other agencies and companies. Unfortunately there is the small issue of privacy over personal data, potentially enabling easier identity theft, strict company security and the lack of obvious means to monetise the idea. Aside from all of those issues, it would be a great idea!

The issue with searching

Even before the actual move you have the pressure of searching for your next property. We've all been in that situation. The lease is running out and you have literally weeks to find an apartment, otherwise you'll go homeless, or worse, have to move back home (joking!).

One obvious method is to go to the area that you want to move to and visit letting agents. The problem with this is that you're going to be limited to the selection of properties available for viewing on the day that you visit. Furthermore, you run the risk of having to rely on the letting agent's good faith that they show you their best apartments, rather than try to rid themselves of the harder to shift properties. Additionally, you have no idea as to what sort of amenities your apartment is near to or what it's like at night etc.

The online search solution

As I mentioned at the beginning there are some websites out there that will help with some of your moving pains. They may not be able to switch over your addresses, nor help out with the physical move. However, they will allow you to explore lots of apartments and areas online, quickly and efficiently. Companies such as, and (US specialist) are online property search websites.

Online property search companies have their own specialisms. For example, rightmove will tell you all about the distance from local transport services and abodo even has details as to whether the neighbourhood is pet friendly. So, if you're nearing the end of your lease, then don't waste time visiting letting agents. Hop online instead.

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