Moving out can be exciting. But before you leave mum and dad’s, your share home, or pack up from your previous rental, here are a few upfront expenses worth factoring in. 

The cost of moving house can quickly add up, and whether you’re shifting to an apartment or house locally or interstate, costs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars in addition to your bond and rent in advance. 

To ensure you’re prepped, let’s break down the bigger moving costs – and some of the hidden ones you might not have expected. 

The rental bond & your rent 

In Australia, the rental bond is a cost you must front for your real estate agent before you move into the property. This is normally the equivalent of four weeks’ rent. Depending on the agreement you’ve made, you may be asked to pay the first fortnight of rent upfront (this is what’s called ‘rent in advance’). 

On average, renters will find themselves around $2,700 out of pocket for these two costs combined. The cost could be higher depending on which state or territory you call home. See our article on rental bond costs for more details. 

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Packing costs 

Keeping your valuables protected en route to your new home is key! You’ll need boxes, tape, bubble wrap and even newspaper if you still happen to read the old-fashioned way. 

While you might be lucky enough to score some for free (try your local Buy Nothing group, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree for some scores), quality moving boxes can cost between $2-5. Depending on what you’re moving, you may need around 30-40 boxes of mixed size for an average house. Prepare up to $200 in packing costs. 

Cleaning costs 

Rule #1: If you’re moving out of a rental and want your full rental bond back, your property needs to be in the same/similar condition to how it was when you first picked up the keys. If your property has carpets, your lease may require you to have them professionally cleaned upon vacating. The costs to have this done vary widely across Australia and can also depend on whether there are stains that need attention. Expect carpet cleaning to cost between $150-200. 

Of course, you can always organise a professional end-of-lease cleaner to do a vacate clean, which may increase your odds of getting the full bond back. You should expect to pay between $250-$1,000 for a professional vacate clean, depending on the size of your home. This may seem high, but that money can be well spent when it saves you hours of hard work and all cleaning products come included. Some property managers look favourably to tenants who use professional cleaners but do your research and make sure they have good reviews. 

Planning to clean yourself? Nice work! Remember you’ll need cleaning products, so plan to buy cloths, sponges, cleaning chemicals and more. These items can quickly add up, so expect to budget between $50 to $100. 

Check out our step-by-step guide to end-of-lease cleaning for some great tips. 

Moving costs 

Moving everything you own may require a professional removalist. In most cases, removalists in Australia charge by the hour. Prices vary depending on factors like how much furniture you have, the distance travelled and whether stairs are involved at your destination. You might be able to hire a simple box trailer for about $70 for the day. According to the trade services website hipages, you should expect a total cost of anywhere from $300 to $3,500 (the equivalent of $75-300/hour) for a local move. 

If you can move with the help of family and friends, hiring a small moving van for the day is a great solution. These vans usually come with a tail-lift which makes it much easier to safely load and unload – plus they’ll save your back! The cost to hire a small moving van will be around $100-240 for a day, depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend.  

Remember: If you need to additionally hire a moving trolley, rugs or ropes, expect to add another $50-80 to that cost. 

Can’t rustle up any helpers? Consider hiring from sites like Airtasker. While you’re here, check out our ultimate moving house checklist for tips and tricks in the lead-up to moving day.  

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Connect (and disconnect) your utilities 

Don’t forget your gas and electricity! Arranging to have these services connected and disconnected from your previous rental can be a little time-consuming. Depending on your service provider, you may also be charged a small service fee for this process. 

Hot tip: Remember to organise your disconnection right away, as you’ll remain responsible for that bill if you have the account. 

Why not take the stress out of the experience and use RentConnect? It’s free to use and handles all the connections for you. Check out RentConnect on Rent.com.au for more details.  

What about unexpected moving costs? 

After searching, applying and signing onto your new lease, there’s still a good chance you’re going to run into extra costs you hadn’t factored in.  

You might have gas heaters but discover your new rental property doesn’t have gas installed, meaning you’re up for an electric heater purchase. Ouch. Or, if your new place had built-in robes and your new one doesn’t, you will need to buy a storage solution for your bedroom. 

If it’s your first rental out of home and you’re starting from scratch, you’re going to need the staples. That means everything from pots, pans, cutlery, linen, furniture, whitegoods, cleaning goods and essential groceries. The list goes on! 

The final tally 

So… you’ve probably realised by now that moving isn’t cheap. You can be up for $3,500 to $10,000 worth of total moving costs (as a rough guide), and that’s before you’ve even factored in buying furniture. It’s enough to stretch any budget and can be made even harder if you haven’t received your bond back from your previous rental. 

Luckily, Rent.com.au’s RentBond can help with your moving costs. You could be approved for a RentBond loan of up to $10,000 to help smooth your move. Find out more about RentBond today.  

Rent.com.au

Rent.com.au is Australia's largest company dedicated to renters and is owned and operated by ASX-listed Rent.com.au Limited (RNT:ASX). For over 15 years, Rent.com.au has exclusively focused on making renters' lives easier by making it easier to find a property, secure it, move in and pay rent.

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