Moving Out Time – the landlord’s perspective

Post by Gary Waller: Southern Landlords Association

As a landlord I use a professional inventory company to document the property before the tenant moves in.  The tenant then goes through the property with me and confirms that the inventory accurately describes the property. This goes a long way to resolving any later issues.

When it comes to moving out there are a few things to do that make everyone’s lives easier, saves misunderstanding on both sides and saves any argument over the deposit.

The landlord wants the property back in the same state that is was in before the tenant moved in, while the tenant wants their deposit back, quickly.  The biggest source of complaint is cleaning.  I let mainly to the student market and it is very, very time consuming to clean a whole house after people having been there for two years and not cleaned along the way.

What normally happens in a student house is that if you have five students in the house then four of them will vacate a few days early, leaving one poor fellow with two years of grime and rubbish to clean on their own. As a landlord you can then only hope that their parents turn up and help with the cleaning.

So a few cleaning pointers

  • If you have put photos on the walls and it has left tiny pieces of blu-tack, pick them off.
  • Get rid of the rubbish: as a landlord I cannot take my van up the tip and if rubbish has to be removed I have to pay to have it taken away commercially.
  • Clean the oven, the fridge, the freezer, and the appliances.
  • Don’t leave anything: I don’t want your old TV, broken bike, bits of furniture, beer fridge. As a landlord I have to pay to get rid of them.
  • Hoover, including drawers, cupboards, skirting boards, bed etc.
  • Do not try and Hoover up metal beer tops – they are the perfect size for blocking the Hoover pipe.

With my tenants, some weeks before they move out I offer them the choice of cleaning the property themselves or either me or them engaging a cleaning company.  If I use a cleaning company then I pass the bill straight through to the tenants, they can either pay it directly or have it taken from their deposit.


If there has been damage to the property beyond fair wear and tear then discuss it with the landlord or letting agent before you move out. It will save time in the landlord having to get quotes once you have moved out.

Informing the services

On the day your tenancy ends, read the gas, electric and water meters either with the landlord or the check out agent.  Make sure that you inform the service suppliers, give them your forwarding address.

  • Inform the landlord who the gas and electric suppliers are, (if you have changed them).
  • Cancel the broadband / phone and make sure that the router is returned before you move out.
  • Cancel the TV licence – you might get some money back for complete months.
  • Inform the council that you have moved out (council tax).
  • Redirect your post.
  • Return the Keys to the landlord or agent.
  • Leave the landlord a forwarding address.


The landlord has to return a deposit within 10 days of the end of the tenancy.  At the end of a tenancy I have a second inventory check done and then carry out any cleaning that needs doing, then any damage above wear and tear needs to be priced. At that point I email the tenant to let them know if I am making any deductions. Make it easier for the landlord by doing the cleaning.


Generally things all run smoothly. Moving out just needs a little thought and planning.

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