Moving out: A guide for tenants

Residential Sales and Lettings Agent Kivells, which has offices in Devon and Cornwall, shares top tips for tenants vacating a property.

Pack in plenty of time – Don’t leave packing until the last minute because it can take a lot longer than you think. Label all your boxes so you know what’s inside to make it easier when unpacking at your new home. If you are using a removal company, make sure they are a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR) or the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS) and book them well in advance.

Cleaning – When you leave a rental property you need to ensure it is left as clean and tidy as you found it. In the stress of moving, places often forgotten about by tenants are the oven, white goods and lightshades. Have a good check around the property before you leave and check your tenancy agreement to see if there are any specific terms on how the property should be left. For example, some agents require carpets to be professionally cleaned before new tenants arrive.

Garden – The garden also needs to be left in the same condition you found it. Ensure you give the grass a good cut and pull out any weeds. Dispose of any garden waste and make sure any garden tools or mowers are left behind for the next tenant.

Cancel your standing order for your monthly rent – Remember to cancel your standing order for your monthly rent to the estate agent or landlord. It should be easy to get any over-payment back from your agent but it’s best to cancel this in advance. Remember that by law, your landlord must agree to pay your deposit into one of the three government backed protection schemes when you become their tenant. Learn more about these schemes here and read our expert guide on how to ensure you keep your rental deposit with 10 top tips.

Check the inventory – Hopefully you were provided with a detailed inventory at the beginning of your tenancy so you should revert back to it to ensure all items remain in the property.

Mail – Redirect your mail so that you receive it at your new address. You can’t be sure the next tenant will forward it on.

Meter readings – It’s important to take a picture of your meters when you leave so you know exactly how much gas and electricity to pay for when you inform your utility providers. You should also ensure your council tax is up to date and check if you are due a refund.

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