Find out what you can do to avoid problems when your tenancy ends.
Move out on time
Your right to live in the property ends when your notice expires if you have a periodic tenancy.
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
Your landlord should always give you notice in advance if they want to access your home so that new tenants can view the property.
Viewings should only take place at reasonable times of day.
If you don't want to allow viewings while you're still living there, check what your tenancy agreement says.
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.
Your tenancy agreement may say you should let your landlord in for viewings. If you refuse you might find it difficult to get a reference or have problems with getting your deposit back.
Anyone who comes to your home should follow social distancing guidelines. Physical viewings of your home should be delayed if you're showing symptoms of coronavirus or self isolating.
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.
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.
Prepare for a virtual viewing
Lisa has some top tips for preparing to view a home virtually. [Video length: 01:02]
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:
- inventories and check out reports
- records of any repair problems
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.
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
Check if you have to pay fees
Most fees for tenants are now banned, but if your tenancy started before 1 June 2019 you might still have to pay for things like check out inspections if:
- your tenancy began before this date
- the fees are mentioned in your original contract
Get your deposit back
Ask your landlord or agent to inspect the property when you leave. Check when they plan to return the money.
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 10 July 2020 | © Shelter
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