What to do when you leave your rented home

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

Viewings

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.

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
  • 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 23 Aug 2019 | © Shelter

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