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WHAT TO DO AT THE END OF YOUR TENANCY

Moving out of a rented home is never a simple process, and if you’re coming to the end of your tenancy, you might be wondering what to do next.

There are a number of things you need to think about before vacating the property. To help make sure your rented property is in order before you pack up and move onto your new home, we've put together this handy guide.

Getting started

Once you’ve notified your landlord or letting agency that you do not wish to renew your tenancy, you should first make sure you have all your paperwork in order.

Check that you retained a copy of your tenancy agreement and dig out any other written accompanying documents, including your move-in inventory report, a copy of the EPC and the Gas Safety Certificate.

You should have been given these at the beginning of your tenancy, however, if you don’t have them, you can request new copies from your landlord.

If you’re unsure of your responsibilities as a tenant, then check back over your original agreement, where these should be clearly listed.

Notifying companies of your move

You should make arrangements for your post to be redirected at least two weeks prior to vacating the property, as it is not the landlord or future tenant’s responsibility to forward this on.

Make sure you cancel any standing orders to your landlord or letting agency once the tenancy has come to an end, and don’t forget to notify any utility companies and service providers of your move - remembering to provide a final meter reading on moving out day too.

Our handy checklist can help you keep on top of your contacts. We've put together a list of all the companies you should notify when changing address – print it out, pin it up and tick them off.

Do a deep clean

Celaning People

Cleaning is the number one reason for landlord/tenant deposit disputes, so the cleaner and tidier you leave the property, the more likely you are to get your full deposit back.

If you’re feeling brave, crack out the marigolds and get stuck in. If you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty, however, you can always arrange for a professional clean of the property, prior to your check-out appointment. The upholstery, carpets, windows, curtains, appliances, gutters and outdoor areas will all need to be left in the same state as at the start of your tenancy.

All rubbish or personal belongings should be removed, and light bulbs replaced (where necessary). Any decorative damage, such as holes caused by picture hooks etc, must be repaired before the inventory check-out is conducted.

Check-out inventory

Much like when you move into a property, an inventory should also be completed when you move out. This allows your landlord to identify any deterioration in the condition of the property during the tenancy and inspect the general cleanliness.

Your landlord or letting agent will contact you to arrange the inventory check-out, but it usually takes place a couple of days prior, or on the day of departure. However, we recommend taking your own photos of every room and making comprehensive notes of any faults before this.

TOP TIP: when moving into a new rental home, make sure to take pictures of the property’s condition, which you can then refer back to once your tenancy ends.

Your check-in inventory can be a great tool when moving out, so make sure to go through the original report well in advance of your departure and put back any items that have been moved or put into storage during your tenancy. 

Remember to check your tenancy agreement for references to fair wear and tear – this is the process of general wear that landlords must take into account when a tenant leaves a property. Your landlord must make allowances for:

  • the age, quality and condition of any item at the start of the tenancy;
  • the average useful lifespan of the item;
  • the reasonable expected usage of such an item;
  • the number and type of occupants in the property; and
  • the length of tenancy.

If any further maintenance is required at the end of your tenancy, it’s advisable to get your own repair cost estimates and forward them to your landlord in order to kick-start the process of necessary work taking place.

Return your keys

When you leave a property, it is essential that the property is locked up, and all copies of the keys are returned.

Keys are usually required to be given back by the move out date (although we recommend checking this with your landlord) and when you hand them over, make sure they are clearly labelled with your name and the property address.

They are best returned in person; however, some letting agents or landlords may allow you to return them by post. If you do choose to mail the keys to your landlord or agent, you will be responsible should they go awry during delivery.

It’s worthwhile asking your letting agent or landlord for a receipt or written confirmation that they have received the keys, which we would recommend holding on to until you have had your security deposit back.

If you fail to return your keys by the specified date, your landlord or letting agent may deduct the cost of replacing the locks from your deposit.

Get your deposit back

Your Propertymark letting agent or landlord will contact you directly to discuss any estimated costs for damage following the check-out report. In most cases, a full refund of your deposit will be given provided there is no damage to the property.

Where the agent holds the deposit, the agent will need written confirmation from both you and your landlord in order to pay deposit monies to either party. Your tenancy agreement detail provisions relating to the return of the deposit.

For more information on how to avoid deductions, take a look at our guide to getting your deposit back.

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