What to do when you leave your rented home

Find out what you can do to avoid problems when your tenancy ends.

Access for viewings before you move out

Your landlord should always give you advance notice if they want access to your home so that new tenants can view the property.

Viewings should only take place at reasonable times of day.

Check what your tenancy agreement says about access for viewings.

You don't have to allow viewings if they aren't mentioned in your contract. You could say that they must only take place at certain times.

If you refuse viewings and your agreement says you must allow access, you might find it difficult to get a reference or have problems with getting your deposit back.

Virtual viewings

You can use a mobile phone, laptop or tablet to do a 'virtual' viewing so new tenants don't have to enter your home.

This could be a good option if you have concerns about coronavirus or need to self isolate.

You, your landlord or letting agent can carry out a virtual viewing. It usually involves a walkthrough video of your home so new tenants can see what the property is like. 

Most people will still want to view a home in person before they sign up for a tenancy.

Lisa explains how to prepare to view a home virtually. [Video length: 01:02]

Move out on time

Your right to live in the property ends if you end your periodic or rolling tenancy by giving valid notice.

If you can’t move out on time, try and negotiate with your landlord to agree a new end date. They'll probably ask you to keep paying rent until you're able to leave.

If you agreed a surrender with your landlord or agent, make sure you follow the agreed terms.

Keep a copy of your notice or surrender agreement.

If you want to leave when your fixed term tenancy ends, you'll need to leave by the last day of the fixed term or you could still be liable for rent

Leave the property in a good condition

You should leave the property in a similar condition to when you moved in.

Your landlord shouldn't charge you for normal wear and tear.

Keep evidence that you left the property in a good condition. For example:

  • photos

  • records of any repair problems

  • inventories and check out reports

Charges for cleaning

You need to clean the property to the same standard as it was when you moved in.

Your tenancy agreement might say you must pay for professional cleaning before you move. You may be able to challenge this if the property wasn't professionally cleaned before you moved in.

Try to confirm whether your landlord expects you to get a professional cleaner before you leave to avoid deductions from your deposit.

Check out inspections

Your landlord or agent might want to inspect the property shortly before you move out or on the day you leave.

The appointment should be at a convenient time and you can't be charged a fee for it.

Contact utility suppliers and the council

Take final meter readings on the day you move out and pay any bills so you can close the accounts.

Provide suppliers with your forwarding address.

You don't have to show your landlord proof that bills have been paid, but it might help you get your deposit back

Get your deposit back

Ask your landlord or agent to when they plan to return your deposit.

If you have an assured shorthold tenancy your deposit should be protected. You can raise a dispute with the scheme if you disagree with any deductions.

Make sure your rent's up to date

Make sure you have proof of rent payments you've made to your landlord or letting agent.

If you have any rent arrears, write to your landlord to agree a repayment plan.

Last updated: 8 December 2021

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