What to do when leaving a property
- 31st August 2023
- Renting Property News
Make moving out of your rental property as stress-free as possible
You’ve checked your tenancy terms, given the relevant notice and are moving out. But while all you may be thinking about is where you are headed next, there are several things you need to do before you start unpacking in your new home.
The main thing to remember is you can never start planning early enough – don’t leave everything until the day before, or you may get caught out. Here are some more tips on what to do when leaving your current rental property.
Check for damage
How much of your deposit you receive back will be impacted by the condition you leave the property in, so check for any damage and make repairs if appropriate. While you won’t be charged for normal wear and tear, other instances of damage could impact the amount returned. It may be that you can claim money back for repairs or redecoration you have done on the landlord’s behalf, but this needs to be pre-agreed first.
Clean, clean and clean again (or call in the professionals)
When you move out, you are expected to leave the property in a similar condition to when you moved in. While donning the Marigolds and running the vacuum around may appear to have got rid of the worst of the grime, if you’d rather leave it to the professional cleaners many offer end-of-tenancy deep cleans that allow you to focus on your move instead.
Ensure rental payments are settled
Any outstanding rental payments must be settled before you move out, but also remember to cancel direct debits for future payments, so you aren’t trying to reclaim money back later.
Cancel utilities and take final readings
If you have been responsible for bills in your property, then speak to your agent or landlord early about cancelling utilities such as gas and electricity, as well as your liability for council tax. Some services, such as your TV license, should be easily transferred to your new property. Taking photos of meters on the day you move out can help to verify readings to settle final bills.
Booking in your removal van or agreeing with friends and family ahead of time will prevent delays and make the move to your new property much smoother.
Keep hold of evidence
Photographs or videos of the condition of the property can be helpful when arranging the return of your deposit. As well as these, also hold on to inventory reports or records of repairs until your deposit is returned and everything is sorted.
Check when you’ll get your deposit back
If you are moving into a new rental, you’ll also need a deposit for that property, so understanding how quickly you’ll get your deposit back, and arranging to cover it if there’s an overlap, is key. Note that it typically takes 10 days for a deposit return or confirmation of deductions to be made. Providing account details for the deposit return early, will ensure a quicker process.
Arrange your change of address
If you don’t want to leave a forwarding address, or don’t want to rely on post being forwarded, then arrange your change of address early. Royal Mail offers a redirection service for personal mail from £36 for three months if you want longer to sort it out and don’t mind paying.
Know your rights
For any problems, such as needing to dispute charges made that reduce your deposit, then the government-approved Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme offers a free dispute resolution service which can be initiated by both landlord or tenant. In the future, as part of the Renters (Reform) Bill, a new single Ombudsman will be in force. In the meantime, private sector letting and management agents have to be members of government-approved redress schemes such as The Property Ombudsman or The Property Redress Scheme.
Hand your keys back
Finally, as moving day approaches, arrange to return the keys to the agent or landlord, never pass them on to a new tenant yourself.
Here at ludlowthompson we know that moving is stressful enough. We’re here to help to ensure that your move to and from your rental property is as stress-free as possible. Chat to an expert at your local branch today, to find out more.
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