Your contractual tenancy will come to an end when either you or your landlord has given the appropriate notice, or if you actually move out at the end of the fixed term. Your landlord should advise you of his intentions in writing as per the terms of the Tenancy Agreement for terminating the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, or when instigating any release clause.
Below are a few helpful hints to help you check out smoothly at the end of the tenancy:
- As soon as you receive notification from your landlord that the tenancy will be terminated (this should normally be no less than 2 months notice) you should start looking for somewhere else to live.
- At least 2 weeks before you are due to move, contact the Mail to re-direct your mail. If you are not yet sure what your new address will be you should have your mail re-directed to a family, friend or work address.
- Make a list of all the people you will need to advise of your new address – not forgetting, insurance companies, banks, your employer, credit card companies, doctor, and dentist. To save time, write one letter and photocopy it.
- Make sure you have a copy of the Inventory and Schedule of Condition supplied by your landlord at the beginning of your tenancy. You will need to refer to this throughout the check out process.
- When packing and preparing to leave the property remember to place furniture and other items in the rooms in which they are listed on the inventory.
- Arrange for the cleaning of the property to begin a couple of days before you leave, and then after all of your belongings have been removed. All carpets should be professionally cleaned. Leave all flooring, linen, curtains, windows, blinds and paint work clean.
- Don’t forget to cancel your Standing Order for the rent, but only do this after your last month’s rent has been paid.
- Advise all utility companies of your moving out date, forwarding address and any meter readings, where applicable.
- If you have any hired or rented items at the property that you are not taking with you ensure that they are returned or collected from the property before you vacate.
- Arrange a convenient time to meet the landlord at the property on your last day so he can be present to ‘check you out’ of the property and give you a receipt for all returned keys.
- Make a note of any last minute meter readings, where relevant.
- Give the landlord your forwarding address in case any mail needs to be sent to you, and for the return of your deposit.
- As per the terms and conditions of the Tenancy Agreement your landlord has approximately 30 days after you vacate the property to return the deposit. Remember, the return of the deposit can be delayed if any work is required as it takes time for contractors to carry out and invoice the work.
- If your landlord has made deductions from your deposit you are entitled to request a breakdown of the charges. Try to keep things as amicable as possible to avoid the situation getting unnecessarily out of hand.
Keep in mind the possibility that in the future you may need a reference from your landlord. It is best to leave the property as close as possible to the condition in which you found it and give no cause for complaint. The last impression you make on your landlord can often be even more important than the first one!