Moving out of any house is a chore, and it can be hard to make sure your deposit lands firmly back in your pocket.
With messy housemates, a year of partying, and not long 'til moving day, it's important to leave the property how you found it.
With this simple checklist you’ll have your deposit back in no time.
It goes without saying that your landlord doesn’t want to find mouldy bits of food in the fridge, or a dirty loo to deal with. So, apart from the obvious, here are some things you might overlook when sorting out the cleaning duties.
- Clean the insides of cupboards and shelves
- Clean kitchen appliances, including the fridge and oven
- Clean inside the kitchen and bathroom bins
- Empty the freezer and any ice cube trays
- Move any furniture and clean behind and underneath them
- Remove any cellotape 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
Make sure 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 the communal areas. This includes the kitchen, bathrooms, living areas, and any rubbish from the garden.
TIP: As you're leaving for the last time, spray air freshener in every room, and Zoflora on the soft furnishings, to 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, then it’s time to dig out that snag list and see if any damage has happened since you moved in. Try to repair as much as you can, and make sure 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 these things, but you also shouldn’t leave your landlord with that battered coffee table you insisted on buying in the sale.
You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you’ll accumulate over a year of student living. Sort out your belongings, and see what you can sell to make a bit of extra cash. Consider which clothes and brick-a-brac a local charity shop can benefit from, and get rid of what needs throwing.
As most student tenancies run for a whole year, it’s likely that new students will be moving in very soon after you’ve left the property. So, they’re not going to want to find a year’s worth of rubbish stacked up in the back yard. So, get rid of what rubbish you can, and it’s also a good idea to check if your local area has any extra rubbish collections going on (they often do).
Tip: Start clearing rubbish a few weeks prior to your move out date, so you can catch the recycling and domestic bin collection dates.
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.
We've all done it. We're all guilty of leaving a house key at home with the parents, or loosing it on night out. But if you’ve been relying on your housemates to let you in for a week or two, then this is something you need to get sorted prior to moving out. It’s time to be honest and up front with your agent or landlord, and ask them to get you a new key cut. Otherwise, this'll come off your whole house deposit.
Be sure to check the rules around where you should leave/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 issues/delays, you can check the status of your money on one of these sites: