Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Live in Iceland: Moving apartments

My current landlord gave me notice that I have to move out of my apartment around a month ago, and was quite flexible about when I actually moved out. By law, the notice period by either party is usually three months. And it is a nice amount of leeway to find a new apartment, especially at this time of year when university is starting again and the good ones are snapped up almost immediately. So having a landlord who is happy for you to move out as soon as you can, can make it a little easier and cheaper, not having to pay two rents at the same time in the worst case.

As it is nice to know what needs to be done as part of this process, and to have a record of it for next time, I thought I would write it up here. On the agenda today was to transfer my telephone and internet connections to the new apartment. My telephone connection is through Siminn and my internet provider is Hive.

So first I called Siminn. Apparently you need to know the old phone number for the apartment you are moving to, so that they can reconnect your existing number there without sending a technician over which would incur charges (the salesgirl rattled off numbers like 7000ISK for the base fee and possibly 5000ISK more). I had a number I believed was the right one. However, the lease uses a different definition of which floor the apartment is on than what Siminn had for the phone number, so there was some confusion about whether the number was right.

After calling my landlady back, and discussing this I just decided to have faith that getting connected to the same place as her old number was sufficient. So I called Siminn again and went through the process, the salesman I got this time seemed unconcerned with the difference in floor numbers for the apartment. The process of transferring a phone number is supposed to take 1-3 working days. However, he then asked me if I had an internet connection and arranged for it to move with the phone number. He also mentioned that transferring the internet connection would take 1-5 working days. Excellent, that simplifies things a lot! Now I don't need to call Hive.

I hope however that the difference in floor numbering isn't a problem.

The lack of a cellphone is a big inconvenience in this day and age. A workplace isn't guaranteed to have phone system (given that all other employees have cellphones and are owners anyway so can use them for work business) like my current job or it might have a computerised phone system which is awkward to use like my last job. But something I have found with both my bank and now Siminn, is that they are more than happy to use an email address as a point of contact, in the absence of a cell phone. Communicating an email address over the phone however is sometimes not that easy. But as I get incoming emails pretty much instantaneously, it is a good way of making sure I am contactable. In the situation of not having a cell phone, it does make me wonder how people got by with just normal telephones before cell phones became common -- it just seems such an inconvenience to have to make sure you are in your apartment in case a call comes.


  1. Nice feat is a 3 months free mail forwarding done by the Post Office. All you need to do is go down to the post office and fill out a form stating that you are changing your address.

    The post office will then forward all your mail coming to your old address to your new one.

    Also, going to Hagstofa and changing your residence address is something most people forget these days.

  2. I did the 3 month post forwarding this afternoon. It can be done online (which saves me having to bother working around their opening hours) and paid by credit card. I only stumbled over the link by going to their site map in their english section.

    I assume that this is what you mean by Hagstofa - Thjodskra. It seems to be the go to place for changing your address. But a friend of mine swears he had to go to several different places, at least four to get his name changed everywhere it counts.

  3. The link to the online mail forwarding is here. It remains to be seen whether it worked, will have to ask my landlord to send me an email if any post still arrives there.