Moving out of any house is a chore if you want to ensure your deposit lands firmly back in your pocket, however with housemates and a year of student partying to contend with it’s extra important to ensure you leave the property in a suitable way for the next tenants.
With this simple check list of tips and tricks you’ll have your deposit back in no time.
It goes without saying that your landlord doesn’t want to inspect the house and find mouldy bits of food in the fridge or a dirty loo, but here are some things you may overlook when sorting out the cleaning duties.
- Clean insides of cupboards and shelves
- Clean kitchen appliances including inside the fridge and oven
- Clean inside of the kitchen and bathroom bins
- Empty the freezer and any ice cube trays
- Move any furniture to clean behind and underneath
- Remove any cello tape or blue tack from the walls and cupboards
- Shake door mats outside and wash with warm, soapy water
- Empty the hoover and throw away the mop once cleaning is complete.
Ensure each housemate is responsible for cleaning their own room to a satisfactory standard. It might be a good idea to get the lead tenant to check each room to ensure each person is pulling their weight.
Organise a day as close to move out day as possible when all housemates are around to clean communal areas including kitchen, bathrooms, living areas and any rubbish from the garden.
TIP: As you are leaving for the last time, spray air freshener throughout every room and Zoflora on the soft furnishings to leave a lasting scent that will put your landlord in the right mood as soon as they walk through the door.
If you read our blog on Moving into your new student pad, it’s time to dig out that snag list and see if any damage has occurred as a result of you and your housemates. Try to repair as much as much as you can, ensuring all lightbulbs are working, blue tack marks have been removed from the wall and door & cupboard handles are firmly in place!
If you leave the property in a worse condition than you found it, you risk having some, or all of your deposit held back to pay for the repairs.
Did your landlord provide you with that much loved microwave? Best not take it with you. Was a mattress topper already in place for your comfort? Time to say an emotional goodbye to that, as well.
Not only is it important to leave behind the things kindly provided, you also shouldn’t lumber your landlord with that battered coffee table you insisted on buying in the sale.
You’ll be amazed how much stuff you’ll accumulate over a year of student living, so sort out your belongings and see what you can sell to make a bit of extra cash, what clothes and brick-a-brac a local charity shop can benefit from and what needs throwing.
As most student tenancy’s run for a whole year, it’s likely new students will be moving in very soon after you’ve vacated the property, therefore they’re not going to want to find a year’s worth of rubbish stacked up in the back yard when you’ve been too lazy or forgetful to put it out on bin day. It’s also a good idea to check if your local area has any extra rubbish collections around student change over time that you can make use of.
Oh, and perhaps take that traffic cone back to it’s rightful owner…
Tip: Start clearing rubbish a few weeks prior to move out date so you can catch the recycling and domestic bin collection dates, saving you a trip to the tip.
Rent and utility payments
It’s pretty obvious that if one of your housemates are in arrears with their rent the deposit will not be coming your way any time soon. Check that everyone has paid their fair share of the rent to avoid any issues later down the line.
If you manage your own utilities, you’ll need to ensure you’re paid up with each provider prior to vacating the property. However, if your bills are managed hassle-free with a provider like UniHomes, you’ll have no issues as long as each direct debit has been collected from each housemate.
Everyone’s been in the position of leaving a house key at home with the parents or loosing it on night out. However, if you’ve been relying on your housemates to let you in for a week or two then it’s something you need to get sorted prior to move out date. It’s time to be honest and up front with your agent or landlord and ask them to get you a new key cut, so this doesn’t come off your whole house deposit.
Be sure to check the rules around where you should leave or drop off individual bedroom keys and keys for exterior doors, as each agent or landlord will have different rules.
Remember: all landlords and agents have a duty to securely store your deposit in one of three Tenancy Deposit Protection schemes, so if you have any kind of issue or delay you can check the status of your money on one of these sites: