Moving in Russia

10 things to do before moving out of your apartment in Russia

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If you're moving in Russia, here are 10 things to check before moving house, from forwarding your mail to changing your registered details.

Moving home can be stressful wherever you are, but even more so when you are in a foreign country. Use these top 10 tips for ensuring your move in Russia goes smoothly.

1. Give notice to your landlord
When you signed on the dotted line to lease your apartment, you would have received a written contract, which would be registered with the Federal Registration Service (www.rosregistr.ru). This will be in Russian, although you may have received an English translation of the document. The amount of notice you are required to give will be detailed in the agreement. Let your landlord or rental agency know in plenty of time before you plan to move out.

2. Organise payment of utility bills
In Russia, it is typical for bills to be paid by the landlord and the cost added to the rent each month, so you may not have to worry about finalising utilities. However there may be additional bills that you are required to pay yourself. Confirm the details of these and ensure that you have requested a final bill before moving.

3. Cancel your telephone and television subscriptions
If you have a telephone line, broadband or a satellite television subscription, you will need to cancel them and abide by the termination terms detailed in your contracts for each service.

4. Arrange for post forwarding
It can be difficult, or even impossible, to return to your old address to collect mail. So it is advisable to arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address. The Russian postal system can be a bit hit and miss in terms of the time it takes for letters and parcels to be delivered, so using a mail delivery service is advisable.

5. Update your driving licence
If you have a Russian driver’s licence or an International Driving Permit registered to your address in Moscow, you will need to inform the GIBDD (the Moscow Road Police) of your move. Head to one of the local offices to update your details or cancel the licence completely if you are leaving the country.

6. Update your vehicle registration
In much the same way as for updating your driver’s licence, you will need to change the details on any vehicle you have registered in Russia. This can only be done at the GIBDD office located on Radialnaya Street in Moscow. It can pay to have a translator with you to help make changing your details run smoothly. If applicable, investigate whether you are permitted to export your vehicle to a different country, as it is not always allowed.

7. Inform your doctor and dentist
If you have registered with a dentist and doctor in Russia, whether they are with a local company or are one of the English-speaking options available, you should inform them that you are moving address or leaving Moscow altogether.

8. Leave the property In good order
Included in your lease agreement with your landlord, there is likely to be a clause concerning the condition of the property. You will be expected to leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. This may mean making minor repairs prior to leaving in order to ensure you get your deposit back.

9. Get your rental deposit back
If you have been renting your home, you will need to get your deposit back from the landlord or rental agency. The standard deposit in Russia is one month’s rent and this will be paid back to you at the end of your agreement, providing the property is in the same condition as when you moved in.

10. Ensure all of your belongings are with you
It might sound a more suitable comment at the end of a flight or train journey, but you should ensure that all of your belongings have been collected before handing the keys back to the landlord or agent. Once you have exited the property and handed over the keys, you may find it difficult to get anything back that you have left behind.

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