UK Easy Rental Advice
Rent a Room
|MOVE OUT - Studio, Flat, Apartment or House|
First and foremost, you must understand that the latest date by which you must leave is the end of term date as stated on your tenancy agreement. For example if the duration of the tenancy is six months and the start date is 15th March 2011, then the latest leaving date will be 14th September 2011. You should give your landlord or agent at least one month's notice, preferably in writing. If you give your landlord too little notice, be prepared to lose part or all of your deposit.
If the landlord has given you notice requiring possession, he will have served this notice in writing at least two months before the end of the term. Once again, the latest leaving date will be the end of term date as stated on your tenancy agreement. You may leave on an earlier date if you wish, but you will be expected to pay rent up until the end of the term.
During this final period it is a good idea to clean and tidy the entire property so that on the leaving date it has been returned to the state it was in when you moved in. Don't leave this job until the very last moment. If you are renting house, or a flat with a garden or yard, you may be responsible for keeping these areas tidy too. Consult your tenancy agreement to find out exactly what your responsibilities are. Do the job properly and hopefully your landlord or agent will have no reason to deduct any cleaning cost from your deposit.
During this final period you should plan the closing down of utility accounts.
If you know your new address you should forward this address to all interested parties.
Never assume that you will be able to return to your old address, after you have moved out, for the purpose of picking up wrongly addressed mail.
On the leaving day you must return all keys to your landlord or agent. If you are renting via a letting agent then the keys must be handed back at the agent's office. If you are renting directly from the landlord, the handover may take place at the property, but not necessarily. So, contact the landlord and confirm these details. If you have lost any room keys the landlord or agent will charge you for replacements. For security reasons, if you have lost your front door key the landlord or agent will be quite within his rights to charge you for replacing the front door lock. These charges will be extracted from your deposit. To avoid disputes and to confirm exactly what keys were supplied at the start of the tenancy, consult the inventory that you signed when arranging the move in.
On the leaving day you should also take gas, electricity and water meter readings (where applicable). You will be closing all utility accounts associated with the property that you are moving out of. These meter readings will be necessary to enable the settling of accounts.
Make sure that the property is clean and tidy and remove all your personal possessions from the building. If you have a lot of personal luggage and/or furniture, make sure that you can remove it as quickly as possible. If necessary book a taxi, a removal service or arrange for a friend, or friends, to help you. It is extremely unlikely that the landlord or agent will allow you to store any personal items in the building after you have left, and if he does, he will certainly want to charge you for this service.
If you have followed all the above advice the landlord or agent, after checking the property for damage and losses, will pay you back your deposit in full. The landlord or agent is legally obliged to make the payment within fourteen days of the moving out date. He is unlikely to make the payment, on the spot, at the time of moving out, as he will need time to check the property for damages and losses. This process could be quite lengthy, particularly in the case of a large house. The payment will usually be made by cheque or by direct transfer into your bank account.
If the landlord can prove that there are damages and/or losses to be paid for, he is entitled to extract an appropriate amount from your deposit.
You may feel that he has made an unfair decision.
This a tricky and complicated area and I suggest that to you check out the section dedicated to this subject for more information.
If English is not your first language, be especially careful to make sure that you understand the process of obtaining your deposit refund.
Don't be shy.
Ask the landlord to repeat and explain anything that you don't understand.
Better to be sure now than sorry later.
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