1. Give Notice
If you're on a fixed-term tenancy, review your agreement for terms, especially if ending it early. For periodic tenancies, provide one month's notice to your landlord.
2. Deep Clean
Cleaning is crucial for deposit disputes. The Tenant Fees Act prohibits landlords from insisting on professional cleaners. Consider DIY or hire professionals, retaining receipts for proof.
Tip: Remove all rubbish and personal items, ensuring the outdoor bin isn't overloaded.
3. Minor Repairs
Address minor damages, like holes from hooks or screws. Restore painted walls to their original color with the landlord's approval. Replace any working light bulbs.
4. Take Photos
Capture every room, furniture, and appliances after cleaning and repairs, timestamping if possible. This serves as evidence in deposit disputes. Refer to the initial check-in report for comparisons.
5. Check-Out Inventory
Complete an inventory check-out, usually a few days before or on your departure day. Landlords use this as evidence against the initial check-in report. If not arranged, landlords may struggle in deposit disputes.
6. Fair Wear and Tear
Differentiate between damage and fair wear and tear using the agreed-upon inventory from the start of the tenancy.
7. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) Explained
Understand the measures introduced by the government to protect tenancy deposits. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines to ensure compliance.
8. Return the Keys
Ensure the property is securely locked, and return all keys by the specified date. Label keys with your name and address, and consider obtaining written confirmation of their return to avoid potential lock replacement costs.
9. Notify Utility Companies
Take a final meter reading on your last day and notify gas, electricity, and water utility companies. This is essential for finalizing bills and preventing unnecessary charges.
10. Change of Address
Arrange for mail redirection at least two weeks before vacating. It's your responsibility, not the landlord's or the next tenant's, to manage post-forwarding.