Time to move out of your accommodation? Here are the main things to start thinking about…
Everybody wants to get all their deposit back - however, in order to do this, you must have paid all your rent and leave the property in the same condition as it was when you moved in (allowing for reasonable wear and tear). If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and your deposit is protected, you should receive your deposit back within 10 days of leaving (provided there are no problems).
Getting ready to move out
- Look at your contract and inventory to check what will be expected.
- Work out what has got to be done to get the accommodation up to standard.
- Go through the inventory and decide if anything is missing or damaged that you could be charged for.
- Start getting rid of unwanted stuff early, to avoid having too much rubbish when you leave:
- Make sure you know your rubbish and recycling collection days.
- If there are things that can be donated to charity, organise it!
- Follow the landlord/agent’s ‘check out’ procedure if they have one.
- Take photographs to show the condition you are leaving the accommodation in.
- Make sure everyone removes all of their belongings.
- Notify the utility companies that you are leaving and give them final meter readings.
- Redirect your post and/or notify everyone of your change of address.
- Have one of you present when the final check is done by the landlord/agent.
- Check that the landlord/agent has the correct contact and bank detailsin case there are any problems or so the deposit can be paid back.
If the landlord/agent delays paying the deposit or you can’t agree on the amount of deductions:
- Ask the landlord/agent for full details of any deductions that are proposed, including any relevant receipts. Make sure any communication about this is done in writing (text or e-mail) so that you have a record of your conversation should it be needed at a later date.
- Keep up the pressure on the landlord/agent - keep a record of all the contact you have with them and clearly explain why you don’t accept the deductions.
- Check how quickly you have to notify your deposit protection scheme about a dispute over the deposit, and don’t miss the deadline!
Remember: if the landlord has failed to protect your deposit and/or failed to provide you with prescribed information within 30 days of you paying your deposit, you can claim for up to 3 times its amount… this is a useful bargaining point!
Checklist of things to clean/sort before moving out:
- All personal possessions have been removed.
- All surfaces have been cleaned, including paintwork and window sills.
- All communal areas and individual rooms have been vacuumed.
- All posters and blu-tack/pins etc have been removed from the walls, and any damage made good.
- All furniture has been returned to its original position.
- All rubbish has been removed and cleared from the property:
- Your landlord will charge you for removing rubbish – one bag of rubbish might cost you as much as £100 for the landlord to remove!
- Any curtains are hung properly on their hooks.
- The kitchen has been properly cleaned:
- The cooker and oven have been cleaned.
- The fridge/freezer is empty of food, the freezer is defrosted, its shelves cleaned and it has been switched off with the door left open.
- All cupboards are empty of food and wiped clean.
- The bathrooms have been properly cleaned:
- The toilet, sink and bath/shower have been cleaned.
- All toiletries have been removed.
- All keys are returned.
If at any point during the process of moving out and getting your deposit back you need help or advice, please contact the SU Advice Centre.
>> To download a copy of the Moving Out Factsheet as a PDF, click here. <<