Find out what you need to do when moving out of a property, including notifying your landlord of your intention to leave, cleaning the premises and handing back keys.
Give notice to your landlord or letting agent
Check your tenancy agreement for how much notice you have to give your landlord or letting agent to let them know you will not be staying in your property when the tenancy ends. You will need to give notice in writing of your intention to leave the tenancy at the end of the term, the landlord or agent may give you a deadline to confirm this.
Most tenancy agreements will have a fixed term, which will then move on to a periodic tenancy after this has ended. Check your agreement to see what notice you need to give the landlord to end the tenancy.
In most student properties, if you have not signed a new fixed term agreement for the following academic year, the landlord will issue you a Section 21 notice for you to leave at the expiration of the fixed term.
If you have any questions regarding required notice, make sure to ask your agent or landlord in writing.
You and your housemates must clean the property and remove any rubbish. The rubbish must be disposed of properly in the correct bin to ensure it is collected at the end of the tenancy. Make sure your rubbish fits in your household bins and you don’t leave any excess rubbish outside of your property or on the paths outside the property.
You could think about donating unwanted items to charity or taking additional rubbish to the tip or recycling plant. For example, bulky waste can be taken to the tip or collected. If you have any furniture that you bought but can’t take home, you can avoid unwanted removal fees from your landlord and donate it to the British Heart Foundation. In addition to this, local recycling cooperative Shabitat will also accept donations.
Small items or small appliances
If you’ve got any smaller items such as books, clothes, or small appliances that you no longer need you can drop them off at one of the British Heart Foundation drop boxes around campus during the move out period. Donation points are located at all on-campus accommodation reception areas, as well as Kings Road accommodation reception. This supports our sustainability goal to reduce our carbon footprint and to minimise waste sent to landfill.
If you have any unwanted, in-date sealed food such as tinned or dried items you can donate them to a local food bank. There is a donation point within the campus Co-op, as well as in most major supermarkets. You can get more information about donating to a foodbank from the Trussell Trust.
If any rubbish is left inside or outside of the property at the end of the tenancy, you could be charged by the landlord for its removal.
Important: When cleaning the property, refer to the inventory throughout and ensure that the condition of each item matches the condition listed on the inventory. The agent or landlord will use the inventory and check out report to determine any deductions from your deposit.
Clear the garden
If maintaining the garden is your responsibility make sure you leave the garden how you found it. This may include cutting the grass, cutting back any overgrowth and cleaning any rubbish from the garden. If you can’t do this yourself you may want to hire a gardener. Your landlord may take money out of the deposit for the garden to be cleared, if you do not do so and it is a tenant responsibility in your tenancy agreement.
Complete a check out inventory
On the day you move out your landlord or letting agent should have arranged for an inventory clerk to come and take a check out report. You should ask to be present when this is done. It is important that you ensure the following, prior to check out:
- the house is cleaned (ensure that carpets and appliances are also cleaned if required)
- the garden is tidied (including grass cut and paths cleared if this is required)
- rubbish is removed
- broken or missing items are replaced or reported (these will likely be deducted from your deposit)
- damage is repaired or reported to the landlord or agency prior to check out (again any damage may result in a deduction from your deposit).
You can take your own record of how you left the property, and take your own photos. Your landlord or letting agent cannot make deposit deductions for fair wear and tear.
Take final meter readings
Don’t forget to take the final meter readings for gas, electricity and water. Give these readings to your utility supplier and ask for a final bill to be sent to a forwarding address or via email.
Hand back your keys
Ask your landlord or agent when and where they would like you to return your keys. It may state in your tenancy agreement what time you need to leave your property and where to return your keys. Landlords and agents can take money out of your deposit to replace lost or unreturned keys.
If you are leaving early, arrange to give your keys back directly to the landlord or agent.
This avoids losing or misplacing them and getting charged for replacement keys.
Important: If you are on a joint tenancy, it is important to nominate a member of the house to act as point of contact with the landlord or agent regarding your joint deposit, deposit protection enquiries and the final bills.
Renewing your tenancy
If you and your housemates decide you don’t want to move out of your property, you can ask your landlord or letting agent if you can stay on and agree on terms to renew your tenancy. You will be given new paperwork relating to the new tenancy if this is agreed.