So your tenancy is coming to an end and you need to move out. It can be easy to just take care of your belongings, pack up and leave the property but there are some important steps you need to take to make sure you tie up those loose ends:
Be sure to inform all your utility companies that you are moving out e.g. water, gas and electricity. This ensures they will receive the correct final meter readings and can close the accounts for you when you leave to avoid overcharging you. Some internet/TV providers will ask you to give them a month or more notice to do this, so make sure you check the details in advance. They could also ask you to send their equipment back, as you only rent it for the duration of the contract so make sure you return it using the company’s instructions.
Notify utilities you're leaving
Take last meter readings
For the close of utility accounts, you will need to supply final meter readings. Make sure you take the full reading on the meter and the date that you took it. Some companies can accept a photo of the meter but check with them beforehand.
Once you have moved all your belongings out of the property – and that means ALL as you could be charged for anything you leave behind - be sure to do a full deep clean of everywhere. If the landlord does not think that the property was left ready for someone else to move in, they could retain a cleaning charge from your deposit which means you won’t get all your money back. Be sure to clean everywhere inside and out including the oven and fridge and don’t forget to take the bins out, as you could again be charged if the landlord has to remove your binbags themselves.
Request inventory &
Take stock of everything in the inventory that was there when you moved in. The landlord can deduct money from your deposit for anything that is damaged, broken or missing from the property. Also check that you haven’t left items behind when you leave. You could be charged for the disposal of anything that is left at the property.
Having evidence is important. Take photos of the property when you move out to prove that the place is clean, tidy, and everything on the inventory is accounted for. If you need to dispute any charges taken off the deposit, you will have evidence.
Follow up on your deposit
Your landlord should return the deposit within 10 days of you agreeing the final charges (if any). If you do not get a confirmation after the 10 days, follow it up with the landlord, letting agent, and deposit scheme operator.
Change your address to
your new one
You should change your address just before you move out so you don’t miss any post. Make sure you change the address on any account that charges your bank account and/or delivers to you and don’t forget to change your address with your bank itself!