Things to do at the End of Your Tenancy
We all know the initial process of renting a property involves an abundance of steps and confusing paperwork. However, we may not consider what the end of a tenancy requires of us. There are some things you need to do when you are moving out of your student house that you may not have considered throughout your tenancy. Here’s a guide to help make the process as seamless as possible and help you avoid any additional charges.
Pack and Clean
Make sure to gather all your belongings in boxes, suitcases, and bags. When it comes to cleaning your house, it can feel like a daunting task. But, for you to receive your security deposit back it’s important to leave the house as clean as possible. If you are sharing a property with other students, you are all jointly responsible for the cleanliness of the house. Generally speaking, communal areas are the responsibility of all tenants while the bedrooms fall on the individual.
Remember, what the landlord wants is for the property to be in an acceptable condition to hand over to the next tenants who will be moving in.
Make sure all bills are paid and up to date. You don’t want to have debt collectors chasing you for any payments that were accidentally left unfulfilled. The easiest way to ensure everything is properly taken care of is to ring up your utility providers a few weeks before the end of your tenancy and inform them of your move-out date. On the final day, send the meter readings to ensure the usage didn’t exceed your previously agreed upon amount.
Speak with the landlords, or perhaps the new tenants, about whether they will send your new post on or keep it for you. If they prefer to do neither, you need to redirect it through the Post Office . Similarly, let anybody who regularly writes to you know of your new address.
If you are living in a house where everybody is classified as a full-time student, you are exempt from paying any council tax. Depending on the city you reside in, the process of filing exemption for council tax may be different. Ask your landlord what they require from you and when. Ensure that you have read up on when and where you need to send any forms or proof of student status. Here are some helpful links for some cities:
If you are unsure of the requirements in your area, search ‘Council tax student exemption’ followed by the name of your city.
Here is a condensed timeline to keep in mind:
Three Weeks Before Move Out
- Make sure everybody understands the importance of leaving the property clean and tidy. Emphasise the security deposit – everybody wants their full deposit back!
- Ring utility services and inform them of your move-out date.
- Ask your landlord for the final inspection checklist – this will allow you to ensure every area they require to be cleaned is spotless and up to standard.
- Determine who will clean each section of the property outside of their own rooms. This includes bathrooms, the kitchen, corridors, stairs, living room, etc. Don’t forget appliances such as the hobs and oven. These can take longer as you often need to let cleaning fluid sit overnight.
- Create a cleaning checklist that can be left in one of the communal areas.
- Begin cleaning process.
- Double-check all areas of the property before the final move-out and reclean certain areas if they are not up to standard.
- Take photos of everything. You should have done this when you moved in as well. This will help you dispute any unfair claims should you need to.
- Send final meter readings to your providers.
- Move out your belongings, take the bins out, turn the lights off and return your keys.