Moving out of any property is going to be stressful, but as a tenant, there are a few additional things you need to consider before you hand over the keys.
There are a number of things that fall under the tenants responsibility rather than the landlord’s when moving out of a rental property – and it is crucial to get them right to ensure you get your deposit back in full.
Our end of tenancy checklist for tenants below provides an overview of everything you need to do before moving out of your rental property, along with some top tips on how to make the process run more smoothly.
Use this moving house checklist for renting to ensure you don’t miss a thing and that you’ve fulfilled all your responsibilities as a tenant. Losing out on your deposit is simply not worth it.
Before we get onto the nitty gritty of what you need to do before moving out of your rental property, let’s find out a bit more about how a tenancy ends.
A rental property can be surrendered by the tenants under the following circumstances:
You need to contact your landlord at least two months before moving out to notify them that you want to end your tenancy agreement.
If you’re on a fixed-term tenancy, you should read through your tenancy agreement to check what terms are outlined, especially if you’re ending the tenancy early. You might have to pay your rent until the end of your agreement, unless your landlord is happy to end it early.
Alternatively, for periodic tenancies, you will usually have to serve one month’s notice before moving out.
Cleaning is the number one reason for tenancy deposit disputes so don’t skimp on the deep clean before moving out.
Remember – in light of the Tenant Fees Act, your landlord cannot demand you use a professional cleaning company. If you’re feeling brave, you can whip out the marigolds and get stuck in all by yourself.
However, if you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty, it might be a good idea to arrange for a professional to do the cleaning for you. Make sure you keep in receipts from the cleaning company to use as evidence should a deposit dispute arise.
You will need to inspect the property using your move-in inventory to see if any damage has been done during your tenancy. You should also make notes and take photos of any problems that arise during your residence.
Make sure you then fix any decorative damage, such as small holes caused by picture hooks or screws. If you’ve painted any walls a different colour without the consent of the landlord, you will need to return them to their original colour. You’ll also need to replace any light bulbs that have gone if they were working when you first moved in.
Find out which items are deductible from your deposit, and which are the responsibility of your landlord. Even if your deposit is protected by the TDP, your landlord can still take some money to cover the costs of any destruction.
Much like when you move into a rental property, an inventory should be completed when you move out. This will be used by the landlord as evidence should anything be different from the original check-in report.
Your landlord should contact you to arrange the inventory check-out. Normally, this will take place a couple of days prior to or on move out day.
If you believe any of your landlord’s maintenance costs are too high, we would advise getting your own repair estimates to use as evidence. If your landlord hasn’t arranged a check-in or check-out inventory, they will struggle to dispute any deposit deductions with the tenancy deposit scheme.
It is vital that you properly check that the property is locked up and all keys are returned. Usually, you will be required to give the keys back by the move out date – but double check with your landlord and clearly label them with your name and the address.
It might be worthwhile asking your landlord for a written confirmation of their return. If you don’t return your keys by the specified date, your landlord may deduct the cost of replacing the locks from your deposit.
Don’t forget to take final meter readings on the last day of your tenancy. Once you’ve settled the end of your tenancy with your landlord, you will need to notify your utility companies and find out how to cancel or transfer your service to your new address.
At least two months before you move out, you should contact the following to complete your utilities change of address:
You should also make arrangements for your post to be redirected at least two weeks prior to moving out of the rental property – it is not the landlord’s or future tenant’s responsibility to forward your post on to your new address.
This is super important to avoid any personal or sensitive information ending up in the wrong hands. If this happens, you could be at risk of identity theft.
We’ve put a handy checklist together to help you keep on top of all the companies and services you need to notify when moving house.
And there you have it – the complete end of tenancy checklist for tenants.
If you’re moving out of a rental property soon, make sure you follow all the above steps properly. If you don’t, you might find that your landlord disputes your deposit.
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