5 Things to Ask Before You Move Into a City Apartment

Posted in: I'm Moving, Loading & Unloading Guides, Moving Day

So you’re all set to move into your new downtown apartment! Congratulations! You’ve got your life loaded up and your old life is in the rear view mirror of a U-Haul. Nothing to do now but set up the new pad and get your new life in the city rolling!


There’s more to moving into a new apartment building than just picking up your key and having your buddy hold the elevator. City buildings likely come with a whole list of rules and regulations for moving in, so whether you are moving by yourself or hiring movers to do it for you, it’s wise to contact your building manager ahead of time for the complete run-down. With that in mind, here’s a list of five questions that should top your moving day FAQ.

#1. Your move in date is more specific than just a 24-hour window


Because of traffic, noise ordinances and more, there are often specific hours and days the management will allow you to use freight elevator or haul all your stuff up and down the halls. You may have to move in on a Saturday, or you may have to get it done on a weekday when everyone else in the building is at work. Be warned that sometimes you may only be given the space of just a few hours to get all your stuff in.

#2. Know where the move-in truck is allowed to park


Moving can be tricky if your building is in the middle of the city. If you have to unload your truck at the curb out front, ask the building manager about hours, time limits and permits. You’re not the first person to ever move in, so they should know the deal.

Also, if there’s a loading dock or a service entrance around back, you’ll need to ask about access. You may have to reserve a block of time to park and use the freight elevator and sometimes may even have to reserve a person from building management if their policy requires it. This is one to nail down ahead of time so you don’t end up driving around all day just to get started.

#3. Your apartment building probably has an unloading policy, so ask


Some building policies require you to unload everything onto a staging area at the service entrance and get your truck away from the dock. Others prohibit items being left sitting anywhere, to adhere to fire codes or to maintain clear egress. You may also be required to have someone remain with your truck and/or your belongings at all times. (Of course, you may want to do this anyway.) The amount of stuff you have might also come into play. Relate this information before your piles of boxes and furniture start tumbling off the edge of the loading dock.

#4. What sort of floor protection does the apartment require? Also, what’s floor protection?


Most apartment complexes have policies on what equipment you need to get your stuff inside. For instance, hardwood or marble flooring present in the lobby or the hallways may necessitate the use of Masonite, a kind of wooden hardboard movers sometimes use. If this is the case, you’ll need to have one available to you. The building might keep some on hand, or sometimes a mover will have one. Management may also require additional protection in doorways and stairwells. 

Ask ahead of time, and work with your landlord (and your movers, if you’ve hired some) to make certain that you’re totally covered.

#5. Are your movers insured? Some complexes require they are 


Many buildings in a big city require one, so make sure you ask – and then communicate this to your movers. Seriously, don’t wait! Your movers will need time to get a COI form from the building management office and return it with proof of insurance from their own insurance company. You don’t want to hold up your big day due to paperwork.

Bonus tip: Where can you throw your boxes away?


Ask your building manager if they have a method for disposing of boxes and debris. They may not allow you to toss all that cardboard and paper in the dumpsters or pile it up in the recycling room. They may, however, let you know what other options exist. Or if you are lightning fast with the unpack, your movers might take those boxes off your hands for you.

Moving into a new apartment in the city is an exciting, hectic, crazy deal. Knowing what to expect in advance can help you keep it all on the good side of crazy!


  1. Hattie Cox

    Very valuable info. Thank you for sharing this blog, so that the others know this also. Keep it up.

Comments are closed.


I'm Moving

Moving? Thinking about moving? Whether your move is off in the distance or you already have one foot out the door, you'll learn about everything you should expect through our useful how-to's, cool articles and much more. It's all specially curated for you in our "I'm Moving" section.

I'm a Mover

For rookies or veterans alike, our "I'm a Mover" section is filled with extensive industry news, crucial protips and in-depth guides written by industry professionals. Sharing our decade of moving knowledge is just one way we help keep our professional movers at the top of their game.