For U.S. military and civilian personnel moving out of Germany post-Permanent Change of Station (PCS), one crucial task is the cancellation of utilities for their long-term rental. This blog offers a step-by-step guide to help ensure a smooth and efficient process.
Step 1: Identify Your Utility Providers
Start by listing all the utility services you’re subscribed to, such as electricity, gas, water, internet, and cable. Typically, these details are outlined in your rental agreement or utility bills.
Step 2: Check Contract Terms and Notice Periods
Read Your Contracts: Review the terms of your utility contracts. Look for details about the notice period required for cancellation and any early termination fees.
Notice Period: Most utilities in Germany require a notice period, often ranging from a few days to a week to complete the termination process
Step 3: Notify Your Providers
Written Notice: Send a written cancellation notice to each utility provider. This can usually be done via email or a letter.
Include Essential Details: Your notice should include your name, current address, contract number, and the desired date of termination (aligned with your move-out date).
You can also visit each utility company in person during opening hours.
Step 4: Provide Final Meter Readings
- Schedule Readings: Before leaving your rental, you should perform a final walkthrough property inspection with your landlord, realtor and or property manager. Not only will property be inspected for damages, but final meter readings will be recorded and provided to you.
- Record Readings: It’s a good practice to also take a photo of the meter readings for your records.
Step 5: Pay Final Bills
- Clear Dues: Ensure that all final bills are paid. Keep copies of the payment confirmations as proof of settlement.
Step 6: Cancel Recurring Payments
- Bank Instructions: If you’ve set up automatic payments, inform your bank to stop these once the final bills are paid.
Step 7: Forwarding Address
- Provide a Forwarding Address: Give the utility companies a forwarding address (perhaps a stateside address or APO) for the final bill or any correspondence.
Step 8: Internet and Cable Cancellation
- Special Considerations: Internet and cable contracts might have specific cancellation processes. Check if you need to return any equipment, like routers or modems.
Step 9: Confirmation of Cancellation
- Request Confirmation: Ask each utility provider to send you a confirmation of the cancellation and the final bill.
Step 10: Liaise with Your Landlord
- Inform Your Landlord: Notify your landlord about the utility cancellations.
Canceling utilities in Germany requires careful planning and adherence to contractual terms. By following these steps, you can ensure a hassle-free process as you transition from your rental. Remember, timely communication and keeping records are key to a successful utility cancellation post-PCS.