Move Out Smoothly with this End-of-Tenancy Checklist

Move Out Smoothly with this End-of-Tenancy Checklist

Move Out Smoothly with this End-of-Tenancy Checklist

Leaving a rental property can feel stressful, but with good planning and a clear understanding of your responsibilities, you can ensure a smooth handover and maximize your chances of getting your full deposit back.

Here’s a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the end-of-tenancy process:

Giving Notice and Checking the Agreement:

  • Notice Period: Review your tenancy agreement to determine the required notice period for ending the tenancy. It’s usually a fixed number of weeks or months. Inform your landlord or letting agent in writing well within this timeframe to avoid any penalties.
  • Agreement Review: Reread your tenancy agreement. This document outlines your cleaning and maintenance responsibilities during your stay and at the end of the tenancy. It will specify what constitutes “normal wear and tear” versus damage for which you might be liable.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Deep Clean: This is crucial. Aim for a professional-grade clean. Scrub floors, surfaces, and appliances. Pay special attention to areas that get easily overlooked, like oven interiors, extractor fans, and behind furniture.
  • Floors: Thoroughly mop or vacuum all floors, removing dust, dirt, and debris.
  • Kitchen: Deep clean the oven, hob, extractor fan, and fridge. Defrost the fridge and wipe down shelves and drawers. Don’t forget to clean the sink and backsplash.
  • Bathroom: Clean bathtubs, showers, toilets, sinks, and tiles. Remove any mold or mildew. Ensure mirrors are sparkling and chrome fixtures shine.
  • General Tasks: Dust all surfaces, including skirting boards, window sills, light fixtures, and shelves. Clean windows and remove cobwebs.
  • Touch-up Painting: Address minor scuffs or holes in walls that go beyond “normal wear and tear.” Use paint that matches the existing color scheme.

Repairs and Replacements:

  • Minor Fixes: For small damage you caused beyond reasonable wear and tear, consider fixing them yourself before you move out. This could include patching up small holes in walls or replacing broken light switches.
  • Broken Items: If any appliances or fixtures malfunctioned during your tenancy and weren’t repaired despite informing the landlord, refer back to your tenancy agreement to determine who is responsible for replacement.

Documentation and Communication:

  • Inventory Check-Out: If you have a move-in inventory report detailing the property’s condition at the start of your tenancy, use it for a final check-out alongside your landlord or agent. Note any discrepancies or existing damage not mentioned in the initial report. Take photos or videos as documentation.
  • Final Meter Readings: Record the meter readings for electricity, gas, and water on your move-out day. This ensures you’re only billed for the utility usage during your tenancy.
  • Returning Keys: Return all keys to the property on the designated date, as specified in your tenancy agreement. Get written confirmation of receipt from your landlord or agent.

Additional Considerations:

  • Professional Cleaning: While a thorough DIY cleaning is generally sufficient, consider hiring professional cleaners if the property is particularly large or you lack the time or resources for a deep clean.
  • End-of-Tenancy Cleaning Services: Letting agencies sometimes offer end-of-tenancy cleaning services as an add-on to your tenancy agreement. Carefully compare costs with independent cleaning companies before deciding.
  • Communicate Early: If you anticipate any challenges meeting your cleaning or repair obligations due to unforeseen circumstances, communicate openly with your landlord as soon as possible.

By following these steps and planning ahead, you can ensure a smooth end to your tenancy and increase your chances of getting your full deposit returned. Remember, maintaining a good relationship with your landlord throughout your tenancy goes a long way, even at the moving-out stage.