Moving Days Guide - Tenant Resource Center

Your Guide to Madison Moving Day 2015

Have questions about Moving Day after reading this guide? Our staff will be available to answer your questions at the following times:

  • Saturday, August 15th: Schenk's Corners Block Party from 11am - 5pm
  • Monday-Friday: Main Office - 1202 Williamson St from 9am - 6pm
  • Monday-Tuesday: Campus Office - 333 East Campus Mall, 3rd Floor from 11am-3pm
  • Wednesday-Thursday: Campus Office - 333 East Campus Mall, 3rd Floor from 2pm-5pm
  • Phone: 608-257-0006
  • Email: [email protected]

Here in Madison, we're quickly approaching the chaos of our Moving Days (aka Hippie Christmas aka Day of Chaos aka August 15). Given that there's a lot going on this weekend, we've made up a useful guide for what you can do with moving day garbage, events where you can find the Tenant Resource Center, and some other FAQs for moving day.

Toss it! What To Do With Moving Day Garbage

Moving day means that there are SO MANY WAYS to get rid of stuff around Madison, including things that you normally have to pay to get the city to dispose of (tv's, appliances). Here's a list of all the ways you can get all of it gone, as well as the other things (road closures, etc) you should be thinking about if you're moving this week.

August 14:

  • 9am - 6pm: TRC office is open for walk-ins at 1202 Williamson St, Madison, WI
  • 10am - 2pm: Donation Stations Open (locations in this map and below)
  • All day: Garbage crews hit the streets (info on garbage below). Pickup starts at 7am.
  • All day: Alliant Energy Center will be hosting Wisconsin State Barrel Racing Finals

August 15:

  • 6 am-2 pm: the Dane County Farmer's Market will be around the Capitol Square
  • 10am: Out Run Asthma 5k will be in the area North of University Ave, along Observatory Drive. More info here.
  • 11am-5pm: TRC Staff available at Schenk's Corners Block Party, at at the intersection of Atwood and Winnebago in Madison. You can come and talk to a staff member if you have housing counseling questions.
  • 12pm - 4pm: DoIT Tech Stores will accept electronic recycling (only computers, monitors, small appliances and batteries) at 333 East Campus Mall.
  • 4pm - midnight: WOOFS Pride block party will be on King Street between Main and Doty/Webster.
  • All day: Garbage crews hit the streets (info on garbage below). Pickup starts at 7am.
  • All day: Alliant Energy Center will be hosting Wisconsin State Barrel Racing Finals

August 16:

  • All day: Garbage crews hit the streets (info on garbage below). Pickup starts at 7am. There will be a special Sunday pickup in the downtown area on August 16 where the City will pick up refuse, recycling, and large items.
  • All day: Alliant Energy Center will be hosting Wisconsin State Barrel Racing Finals

August 17:

  • All day: Garbage crews hit the streets (info on garbage below). Pickup starts at 7am

For more information on moving day garbage, visit our blog article.

Join Us for Schenk's Corners Block Party

On Saturday, August 15th, the Atwood neighborhood will host the third annual Schenk's Corners Block Party. This year, the event is sponsored by WORT, Alchemy Cafe, Ideal Bar, Green Owl Cafe, Thorps, Lakeside Press, and the Tenant Resource Center (THATS US!).

Join us for great live music, great food, and drinks!

Tenant Resource Center staff will also be available to answer your moving day questions and provide information about your rental rights and responsibilities. We hope to see you there!

For more information, visit the event website.

Moving Day FAQs

Here in Madison, the Day of Chaos (aka Moving Day aka Hippie Christmas aka August 15) is approaching! It's coming up this Saturday, where people compete for scarce moving trucks, scrounge for places to sleep for the night because their lease ended August 15 and their new lease doesn't start until August 16, and pick up large furniture items left for dead on the street because there wasn't space in the truck (hopefully while being very very careful about not taking home bedbugs).

Since the TRC is closed on weekends, we won't have staff in the office. However, you can find us around town! We'll have a table at Schenk's Corners Block Party from 11am - 5pm.

It's usually faster to figure things out yourself, though, so here are answers to the usual questions that come up when folks are moving.

"I want to pick up a gorgeous piece of furniture that's free on the sidewalk. How do I know if it has bedbugs?"

Bedbugs are a big deal! They are very difficult to detect, and if you end up with bedbugs in your apartment, it can cost thousands of dollars to get rid of them. If you are picking up a piece of furniture, it's a good idea to look it over really, really well and see if you can find the little bugs. Bedbug eggs can stay dormant for up to a year, so it's possible that you won't see the suckers, even though the eggs are there. Bedbugs leave rust colored droppings, and tend to make furniture smell musty. If you bring it home, clean the object well, and if you are able to get it really hot, often that will kill bedbugs. More info on bedbugs is here.

Tip: If you had bedbugs in your apartment, and now you are throwing away furniture, please spraypaint or mark the furniture to show that it had bedbugs. The rest of the city will thank you.

"My landlord is charging me for carpet cleaning. What do I do?"

Your landlord cannot charge you for normal maintenance, and also cannot charge you for normal wear and tear. However, sometimes tenants do damage the carpet, or leave it dirty beyond normal wear and tear, and they can be charged for cleaning related to that damage. More info on carpet cleaning hereMore info on normal wear and tear here.

"My new apartment is so dirty/in need of repair! Is my lease void? Could I clean/fix it and get paid back?"

No, probably your lease is not void. The contract is likely still in effect, and it is the landlord's responsibility to maintain the rental unit and to keep it in a reasonable state of repair. When the landlord rents out a unit, there is an implied warranty of habitability (see notes at the end of this law), which means that it should be livable when tenants move in.

However, getting the landlord to clean the unit can be tricky, as can trying to get important repairs made quickly. It can also be difficult to try and clean or fix the problem yourself, hoping for reimbursement. Here's what we recommend:

"I wasn't done moving, but my landlord threw my stuff out! What do I do?"

Before you do anything else, document what was tossed! Write an email, or a letter, and make sure you note down everything you know was thrown out. If you are able to recover it (look in the garbage bins), great, but if not, you'll be glad you wrote it down. 

Your second step should be looking through your most recent lease. As of March 2012, it is legal for landlords to write their own rules into the lease about disposing of property you leave behind. If there is nothing in your lease about it, then they have to store ALL property and, within 10 days, they have to tell you where it is, along with any charges, and give you 30 days’ notice if they will throw it out. You can be required to pay the moving and storing costs in order to get it back. Medical equipment and prescription medication must be stored for 7 days and returned promptly upon request– no matter what. More info on property left behind here.

If your landlord incorrectly (according the law and lease) threw away your belongings, and you were not able to get them back, then you might be able to sue to be compensated for your stuff.Small Claims Court tips are here

"I'm afraid my landlord is going to take my security deposit. How do I make sure that I get it back?"

We talked about this last week! All our suggestions are here:

Tip: Avoid this problem in the future by doing a really good job of filling out your check-in form, and make sure to take photos, if you are able. Doing so when you move in means that you will be able to prove, at the end of your lease, the damage that you did or did not do.

For more detailed information on Moving In/Out, see our Press Release on Moving Day Logistics.

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