July 27, 2018

Handing Back Your Rental Property in Six Easy Steps

You’re moving on – a new home, a new start! But whether you’re just moving to another rental property down the road or stepping onto the property ladder somewhere new, remember that moving house is still cited as one of the top three most stressful life events.


To help take the trauma out of moving, it’s important to ensure that arrangements with your landlord or agents won’t scupper your plans for a smooth transition from old home to new. In order to achieve this, there are a few steps you need to follow once you’ve given notice of your intention to leave to your landlord.

  1. Dig out your rental agreement and deposit paperwork. Keep these safe until you’ve received your deposit back, as you might need to refer to them in case there is a dispute.


2. Agree final amounts with the landlord or agent and get this confirmed in writing. Agreeing who owes who what and when it will be paid will help prevent any financial surprises on moving day. Ensure you know what your final rent payments are and whether the landlord is going to give you any deduction for repairs and decoration that you have carried out. (Whether you’re entitled to this will ultimately depend on what your rental agreement says.)


3. Agree with your landlord or agent how, how much, and on what date the deposit will be returned to you. You will probably need to arrange a handover, and the landlord or agent will want to carry out an inspection of the property to check for any damage before they return the deposit to you. If you are pre-empting any disputes with the landlord about wear and tear or damage, take photographs of the property in the condition you left it on moving day – you won’t have access to the property once you’ve handed in your key!


4. Call all of your utility services in advance – gas, electric, telephone and internet provider, water, TV licence and council tax – to notify them of your moving date and your new address. Many of them will be able to simply transfer your account to the new property.


5. Check the arrangements for handing back keys. The keys will usually need to be deposited with the estate agent or landlord directly and not handed to new tenants.


6. And finally, if you’ve been a good tenant, don’t forget to ask for a reference that states that you are a reliable tenant and have always paid on time – you might need this next time you want to rent a property!


Following the steps above will help to ensure that getting your deposit back is as trouble-free as possible, that you leave on good terms with your landlord and the estate agent, and that you don’t damage your credit rating in the process.

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