An effective moving policy helps associations avoid the costs of repairing building entrances and common areas, as well as other significant fees, after residents move in or out of condos. Boston property managers at Mediate Management Company recommend associations create moving policies before the summer months and certainly prior to the heaviest day of student rental turnover, September 1st.
As part of the moving process, furniture, boxes and odd-shaped items must be maneuvered and may collide with doors, walls, floors and fixtures if extra care isn’t exercised. People tend to prop doors open during moves for convenience and perhaps to help avoid scraping doors. Unfortunately, as they attempt to move their belongings, they may inadvertently allow the entry of an uninvited person or animal slipping through an unwatched doorway.
Aside from the bumps and scrapes, people rushing on their moving day tend to leave trash in units, hallways or on the curb, even if it’s not a trash day. This can result in trash disposal fees if the waste isn’t properly disposed of, and in worse situations, trash left in basements of buildings can attract vermin. Within days, people moving in also have a large number of cardboard boxes to dispose of and need to flatten them down for recycling to avoid fees.
A moving policy protects the association from moving costs by maintaining order and helping to ensure buildings are cared for during moves. In some condos, a majority of units are rented and the building operates much like an apartment building with a high rental turnover. Rules and guidelines, when applied to moving activities, help facilitate moves while protecting the building and the association from unwanted costs.
The following moving policy is an example intended to provide specific rules used to guide moving activities:
- The Property Manager must be provided with a seven (7) day written notice of the scheduled move date and time. This notice can be submitted via mail, email or fax. Any special moving arrangements must be made prior to the seven (7) day notice.
- All moving activity must be scheduled and performed during the following times: Monday-Saturday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. If you need to conduct your move outside of these days and hours, please contact Management to request approval of your move day and time.
- The respective unit owner(s) will be required to pay a fee of $100 each time a new owner/tenant moves into the building. A check must be made payable to The Condominium Trust and included with the seven (7) day notification. The memo line on the check should indicate “moving fee”. The $100 fee covers both the move in and the move out for an individual owner/tenant.
- The $100 moving fee is non-refundable. Any damage or debris-removal that exceeds the $100 fee will be repaired or removed by the Trust at the unit owner’s expense.
- Moving companies are required to provide a Certificate of Insurance.
- Maintaining the safety of the residents of the Condo is a primary concern of its Board. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the owner/tenant to ensure that the doors to The Condo are properly secured during the entire course of the move. Doors shall not be propped open for any reason, unless the owner/tenant can provide someone to watch said door. Likewise, at the close of the move, it is the owner’s/tenant’s responsibility to ensure that all doors have been properly closed and secured.
- Items that do not fit in the unit or that the owner/tenant no longer wants are NOT to be stored in the common areas/basement of the building. These items will need to be disposed of by the owner/tenant at his/her own expense.
- A copy of the Condominium Rules and Regulations should be attached and provided to all owners/tenants. They must adhere to the Rules and Regulations for the building or applicable fees for non-compliance will be applied.
Some associations struggle to find a source of income to pay for damages and fees associated with moving and look to raise association fees. A better way is to create a financial incentive for residents to care for the Condominium during their move. A moving policy, by asking individuals who create costs to bear those costs, serves to align incentives among the people moving and the unit owners and Trustees.
Moving policies come in many different shapes and sizes, with varying amounts charged for reimbursable and non-reimbursable deposits or fees. If unit owners prefer, they can charge these costs back to their tenants and incorporate these charges into their leases. If the sample policy above does not seem to fit the needs of your association, feel free to take a look at these examples to help shape your association’s policy.