Post contributed by Sarah Gibbons, Society and Citizenship Officer, University of Sussex Students Union.
As the summer comes closer and essays and exams start to finish, lots of students will be thinking about moving out. If you have a fixed term agreement, you’ve agreed to rent your house or flat for a certain period of time. If you want to move out close to or on the day that the fixed term agreement runs out, you generally don’t have to give notice to your landlord or letting agency.
Planning your move out day will help you to get your deposit back. It is much easier if you start to clean and clear the house earlier rather than doing it all last minute. In the long run it may also save you some money. There are also plenty of other thing to think about before you leave and while you’re moving out:
- Make sure your rent payments are fully up to date.
- Pay all the utility bills and contact the utility companies to inform them that you are leaving.
- Take the final meter readings on the last day of the contract period and give a forwarding address for the final bill.
- Leave the home in the condition it was in when you arrived. If you don’t, the landlord or letting agency may charge you to have it cleaned.
- Defrost the freezer and clean the fridge (as well as empty them).
- Ensure all rubbish has been removed – there are lots of options of where things can go, whether that’s recycling, charity shops or to a local skip if they really can’t be used again.
- It’s worth putting out the majority of your rubbish in the leading weeks before your move out as it might be that the refuse collectors will refuse large amounts of rubbish in one go – which could lead to a charge for rubbish clearance.
- Take pictures of the house once you’ve cleaned and removed your belongings just in case there are any disputes over the condition the house has been left in.
- Check contact details for each of your housemates if you are going your separate ways in case you need to finalise anything once you have moved out.
Your deposit should be repaid to you within 28 days. The landlord or agent must provide you with details of any deductions. Remember that the landlord cannot make a deduction from your deposit for fair wear and tear. Unfortunately the recovery of deposits is a common point of tension between tenants and their landlords so make sure you know your rights in this area. There lots of information about deposits on the ‘Moving Out’ section of this website so check that out for all the details.
Top tip: In the last weeks of your tenancy it is important that everyone does their fair share of work. Avoid the situation of 1 or 2 people doing all the work by not leaving cleaning to the last day when people may have already left, work out in advance who will clean what and avoid any end of year arguments!