Moving out of a rented house

This page does not apply to moving out before the end of your tenancy.  If you want to move out before the end date of your tenancy, click here for guidance. 

Find useful information on moving out of your privately rented accommodation in the Advice Service ‘Moving Out’ booklet:

 

 

Planning your move will help you to get back your deposit at the end of your tenancy. Your landlord can make deductions from your deposit for damage or extra cleaning costs so do not leave the cleaning until the last minute.

If you live in a shared house, try to make sure everyone does their fair share of work. Remember, if you have signed a joint tenancy agreement, everyone is jointly responsible for the whole house.

Make every effort to leave the inside and outside of the premises in a clean and tidy state. You should leave the property and its content in the same condition as it was let to you, allowing for reasonable wear and tear.

Once you have cleaned up try to arrange with your landlord, or agent, to meet to look over the property before you move out. This may give you the chance to re- clean areas the landlord is not happy with and to check over the inventory to make sure items are accounted for. Just before you move out, you should then arrange for a final inventory when the house is empty and all cleaning has been done.

Here are some tips for cleaning up the property: 

Make sure:

  • The cooker is clean, including the oven, shelves and trays.
  • The fridge/freezer is empty of food; the freezer has been defrosted, all shelves are clean and it has been switched off with the door left open.
  • All cupboards are empty of food and wiped clean.
  • All surfaces, including floors, have been cleaned.
  • All communal areas and individual rooms have been vacuumed.
  • The vacuum cleaner is empty.
  • All carpets are  clean and free from stains
  • All rubbish has been removed from the property, and cleared from the yard/back garden.
  • All posters and blu tack/pins/sellotape have been removed and no damage has been caused to walls.
  • All furniture that was in the room at the start of the tenancy has been returned to its correct place. Check furniture for damage too!
  • The curtains are clean and hung properly on their hooks.
  • Paintwork, window sills and skirting boards have been wiped.
  • All windows are cleaned- inside and outside
  • The toilet, sink and bath have been cleaned. Look for any surface cracks as you may be charged for these
  • All toiletries have been removed and cupboards are wiped clean
  • All bins are emptied.

Removal of rubbish

  • Check your local council website to find out when your refuse collection days are.
  • Find out from the local council how you can recycle items and arrange for the removal items other than household waste. 
  • Use the extra bin collections the university arranges for the student areas at the end of term
  • Make sure you remove rubbish from your garden. Changes in legislation mean that if you fail to clear waste from your garden, you could be subject to enforcement action, including a fine and/or criminal record.  

Inventory

  • Use the inventory you compiled when you moved into the property to compare the items and condition at the end of the tenancy. 
  • Check the list of items provided in the inventory when you moved in and make sure these are all in the property. Keep a note of any discrepancies.
  • Make sure you remove any additional items from the property as the landlord may charge you for removing things you have left behind.
  • Make sure every item of furniture is in its original location.
  • Keep evidence of how you have left the property- this could be photographs and/or a video of the rooms. Make sure these are dated.  Pay close attention to areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, paintwork, cooker, carpets.
  • Contact your landlord or letting agent to arrange for them to look around the property to give you chance to re-clean areas and address any issues of damage.
  • Arrange a final inspection/ Check Out inventory with the landlord/agent and make sure you are present. Compare the current condition of the property with the original inventory.
  • If your landlord or letting agent does not carry out an inspection/check out inventory before you leave, do one yourself with a witness and keep photos as evidence.

On the day you move out

Make sure:

  • Remove ALL of your possessions from the property- your landlord may charge to remove items left behind- however small!
  • Finish cleaning and take dated photos of the property.
  • Take final readings from electricity, gas and water meters.
  • Contact TV Licensing to see if you are entitled to claim back any money. You may be entitled to claim back some of the cost if you do not stay in the property for 12 months.
  • It may sound obvious, but DO NOT leave your house or car unlocked at any time when you are moving out.
  • Make sure electrical and gas appliances are turned off, windows and doors are closed and securely locked.
  • If there's a gap between the date you move out of your old property and into your new one, arrange for the storage of your belongings.
  • Inform family, friends and relevant companies or organisations (for example: HMRC; GP; bank ; mobile phone service provider) of your new address.
  • Re-direct post on the Royal Mail website.
  • Discuss the return of your deposit with your landlord, or letting agent, when the Check Out inventory is complete. If you agree over how the deposit should be returned, ask for written confirmation of the amount and when you should expect it returned.
  • Hand back all keys (windows, doors, gates, sheds and garages) to your landlord or agent.

Final Bills

  • Make sure keep a written record of final meter readings of gas, electricity and water (if you have measured water).
  • Make sure you organise how and when all the housemates will pay. Discuss with current housemates how you are going to settle the final utility payments and get the contact details for all tenants to settle the remaining bills.
  • Inform utility companies and other service suppliers that you are moving out.
  • Give the name and address of the person to whom the final bill should be sent.
  • Show a copy of the confirmation email to your landlord or letting agent to prove final household bills will be paid. This should help with the return of your deposit.

Most landlords do not return the deposit until all final bills are paid. However, depending on the wording of your agreement, your landlord cannot usually withhold amounts from your deposit for unpaid bills. The contract for the supply of utilities is usually between the tenant and the supplier unless bills are included in the rent. 

Your deposit

  • It is common for landlords and tenants to disagree over what should be deducted at the end of the tenancy.
  • Getting your deposit back will depend on the condition of the property detailed in the Check Out inventory and bill paying arrangements. Read through the “How to get your deposit back” guidance on the RUSU Advice Service website for further guidance or speak to a RUSU Advice Service Housing Adviser.
  • Your landlord can make reasonable deductions from your deposit for any losses they have suffered as a result of your actions 
  • You may lose some, or all of your deposit if you have caused damage, not left the property in a clean condition or left unpaid rent  
  • Check your tenancy agreement to clarify what you need to do to get your deposit back.

Are you a Lodger?

  • If you live the same house as your landlord, you may be, what is known as a lodger.
  • If you are moving out of your room, you have to tell your landlord and give a reasonable amount of notice.  This is usually a rental period, depending on if you pay your rent monthly or weekly.
  • You will still need to make sure you have left your room in a clean and tidy condition, and not caused damage to the property, in order to get your deposit back.
  • If your landlord has given you a written agreement, the notice period may be different as you may be contractually obliged to some of the terms, including the notice period- provided that they are fair.
  • If your landlord has given you an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement this is the wrong type of agreement. Speak to a Housing Adviser with RUSU Advice Service in these circumstances.

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