Moving out of your rented home

Given your formal notice on a property? Here are some tips to help you avoid any problems with your move

One of the biggest concerns tenants will have when they give notice on their rented property is “will I get all of my deposit back?” Deposit amounts paid on moving into a rented flat or house can commonly be £1k plus for new tenants. This money is used to protect the landlord against any possible future financial loss - through damage caused or unpaid rent, for example.

So how can you do your best to make sure your move goes without a hitch? Here are some essential things to remember during the final weeks of your tenancy notice period.


1. Dig out your tenancy agreement and any other associated paperwork

Now’s the time to re-examine all your old tenancy paperwork for any conditions or requirements relating to your imminent moving out.  

What is mandatory when it comes to cleaning, for example? Does your contract require you to hire cleaning professionals so that your rental is left as spotless as possible?

If so, you’ll need to ensure you request quotes and book a company to do this for you in good time. If you leave it until the last week, it’s possible that these services are all booked up on the date you need them to visit.

If you get caught out by this and fail to provide evidence of a professional cleaning service having carried out work on your rented house or flat, you will likely incur cleaning costs from the landlord or letting agent – and this will be deducted from your rental deposit.

Also take a look at your inventory checklist (if you have one) and check that all listed items are present, correct and aren’t damaged. Also check the current condition of items and walls, ceilings etc against what was recorded when you moved in.

Making sure that everything is where you found it when you move out means that you’re far more likely to receive all of your deposit back, and you’ll have the confidence to challenge any unjustified attempts to deduct fees.


2. Take a look around

You may have been living in your rented property for a number of years and stopped noticing the condition of certain things like walls, fixtures and fittings. Spend a bit of time having a look around and making a list of any damage or deterioration that you see – whether it’s big or small. Does anything need repairing before you move out?

Whilst ‘wear and tear’ is to be expected within properties that are being lived in full-time, anything more notable, like a broken hook, a missing side table or a few smashed plates may be noted and knocked off your refundable deposit amount.

See what you can fix or replace in advance of your final day at the property. Some things can be easily sorted - and for less cash than it otherwise might cost you if you fail to rectify things before moving day. So, if you have caused any accidental damage to any items of furniture for example, then do make the effort to get repairs done professionally. 


3. Ensure your final rent payment is received in full

Sounds obvious, but the non-payment of rent is one of the main reasons that tenants can end up losing a chunk of their deposit money.  
Even if you’ve had a standing order set up for yonks and there’s never been a problem, doublecheck that your last rental payment is due to reach your landlord or letting agent on time and there won’t be any problems with it clearing by the date it needs to.


4. Get your supplier and moving admin in order

It goes without saying that a move out of anywhere warrants communication to a number of places to inform and update them.  
This includes energy suppliers, local healthcare organisations like your doctor’s surgery, TV Licensing and financial institutions like your bank or building society. These days, you can communicate a change of address quite easily by updating your details online under each company or organisational account.

For energy and telecoms suppliers in particular, make sure you contact them in good time so that they can prepare a final bill for you.  
You should also consider setting up a redirection account with Royal Mail for your post (bear in mind that you should allow at least 10 days for your request to be processed and for your post to begin being redirected).

Finally, leave a forwarding address with your landlord or letting agent, just in case.