Agents and landlords will soon be knocking on your door for your end of tenancy inspections. To ensure your deposit is returned to you safe and sound, we’re here to give you our top tips to get your house (and housemates) ready for inspections.
If you're moving out of your current student home at the end of this month, you’ll need to ensure you’ve cleaned, tidied and removed any unwanted rubbish. We’ve got the intel and know-how to ensure you pass with flying colours and retain your deposit.
Unless specific inspection dates are outlined in your contract, your landlord or agent should give you at least 24 hours notice. This should give you plenty of time to ensure the property is up to standard and your deposit is safely returned. If you’ve agreed that your house will be inspected whilst you’re out, try and anticipate any problems. Do all you can to solve them prior to inspection, but if this isn't possible, make your landlord aware of the issues.
Here are our top 5 tips when getting ready for your inspection.
Remember when you first moved in and your home looked all shiny and new? This is how you’ll also be expected to leave it.
One of the top things to concentrate on is the overall cleanliness of the property. Spend time having a spring clean, and make sure to pay particular attention to the bathrooms and kitchens. The oven and fridge should be cleaned properly too.
Each housemate is responsible for their own room, although if one person in the group doesn’t pull their weight, the entire deposit could suffer the consequences. Encourage your housemates to clean their rooms and get everyone involved in cleaning communal areas.
Although house parties are a laugh at the time, the damage you could potentially wake up to isn’t quite as fun. If there is any damage made to the property or items belonging to the landlord, you’ll be left to foot the bill.
Take a look around the property to ensure everything is in the same condition as when you moved in, and compare any damage to the inventory you should have logged at the start of your tenancy.
If you have used any blue tack or nails to hang up revision notes, posters, etc. make sure these are all removed prior to the inspection. Although this could leave behind some damage, and you may be liable to foot the bill, try to make it less noticeable.
Tip: Blue tack and nails are generally one to avoid all together, however white tack shouldn’t leave as much of a mark. Be careful when removing tack to avoid the paint coming off as wall. A noticeboard is a fail proof way to ensure no marks are left behind.
3. Missing items
The most important, and most common, missing items are house keys. You’ll have to return these to the landlord or agent before the end of your tenancy. If you’ve agreed for the inspection to take place after you’ve moved out, ensure the keys to the property and bedrooms are left in an obvious place. If not, you could find yourself with a bill for replacement locks.
Tenants are also responsible for replacing any light broken light bulbs, which were working when you first moved into the property.
4. Recycle it or bin it
You might have spent all day cleaning, and you can finally see your face in the cooker, but that won’t be any good if there are hoards of rubbish bags outside. You’ll need to ensure these fit into your black bin, or if this fails, take it to a tip.
Recycling not only reduces the amount of waste you’ll need to fit into the black bin, but it also ticks big boxes for the environment. Donating decent-quality items to charity will also reduce the amount of waste you have to get rid of, plus you’ll feel a glow inside for your good deed!
Some councils will allow for extra rubbish collections during June to help students moving house. This includes Sheffield’s Red Sack Scheme. If you live on certain roads, you can leave your red sacks on the pavement anytime before 30th June and they'll be collected. If you’re on another road, leave the sacks out on your usual collection day, and these will also be disposed of.
Check with your student union, as most have a donation scheme and partner with local companies and charities to help reuse food, clothing and other recyclable items.
5. Swap it or make a few pennies
Found a few things you don’t want any more, but are just too good to throw out? Get together with your housemates to swap any unwanted clothes or kitchen utensils. This is much easier than taking it elsewhere, and you could end up with something you love!
If there’s anything still left over, sell the clothing on eBay and larger items on Gumtree for local collection. You could end up making a few pennies – which could even be enough to cover the deposit or part of the rent in your new place.
All being well with the inspection, you can expect your deposit back within a couple of weeks, so be mindful you’ll need to pay the deposit and first rent payment of any new property prior to this.
If you’re still waiting for your deposit after a fortnight, check with your landlord and check the Deposit Protection website to find out where you stand.