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Cohabitating To-Do: Set Up Utilities


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We're in the market of practical information, we've shared how to change your name and understanding getting a Green Card for your partner - so when ForRent.com sent over an Ultimate Checklist For Setting Up Utilities - we jumped on this useful information as well. Before you take this plunge you might want to take a look at five things to discuss with your parter before you get married.

Traditional couples are still known to wait until after they’ve said “I Do” to move in together, but whether you are traditional or not, at some point before or after marriage you will have to take the leap into cohabitating. It’s thrilling to think about how you will decorate and what living under the same roof will truly feel like for the both of you, but there are some practicalities that come with ditching your own space for one place together. Before you can worry about whose coffee table you will keep and what posters you won’t be hanging, here is what you need to know about the not-so-fun stuff — utilities.

Internet/Phone/Cable


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Internet is as much of a must-have in today’s world as heating and water, maybe even more so to some folks. Weeks before you move, you need to find out if you can transfer your own service, or if the new place is only set up for a specific type of Internet, or provider. Doing this in advance gives you plenty of time to have the technician come out and get your service all hooked up the very same day you move. The same suggestions apply to cable and phone. Although landlines are less popular now, they are always a smart idea for couples looking to start a family. A home phone is a home base. Research whether you want a traditional landline or VoiP services, and if bundling all three of these services together will save you and your partner some cash.

Gas/Electric


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Before you begin making the calls, determine what your heat source is for the new living space and research what companies service the area. If you have choices, call around and source the best deal. Consider equal billing for less surprises. Set up or transfer services with the area’s electric/hydro company as well.

Water/Sewer


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If you are renting, chances are high that your water will be included. Often cities insist on keeping the water service under the name of the owner of the property.

Do you own your new place? Take a look at the city’s website, where you should find the name and number for the water utilities. Call well in advance to set up this service so you are not stuck without water on move day! Find specific major cities utility departments and costs here.

As a side note: Keep track of potential water bylaws the city may have. There may be some restrictions on when you can/can’t water your lawn or flower beds.

Setting up utilities always takes a little more preparation than you’ve likely thought about. Give yourself time to call and book appointments so you’re not left for weeks without necessities. Some appointments may require you to be present, so make sure to book them during times you or your loved one can be at home. Utility companies often check out your credit score before offering you service. Take time to research both of your current credit standings and if one is better than the other, use that person for the utility. Also, be sure to cancel previous services if you’re moving from your own apartment into a shared space. While you’re at it — forward all your mail!