Moving out of your place can be an emotional roller coaster between the excitement of moving to a new home and the stress of forgetting to complete a task which might cost you a sizeable portion of your tenancy deposit.
Did you know: In the UK, on average, 29% of renters lose their deposit each year.
In order to relieve your anxiety and help you go over every important step of the end of tenancy process, we’ve rounded up an expert-approved list of tips and advice to help you do everything right.
Plan your house move in advance
Before you begin planning your moving out, check your tenancy agreement for any clauses with information about what you should and shouldn’t do when leaving the property. This will ensure you’ve done everything in your power to secure your deposit in full.
Begin making a plan as soon as you can so time doesn’t pressure you.
Think of how much time you’ll need to:
- Inform all authorities and institutions of your change of address and postcode;
- Have your belongings packed and moved;
- Have the property thoroughly cleaned inside and out;
- Have all the rubbish and unnecessary items cleared according to your local waste management requirements;
- Leave time for any last-minute tasks that might pop up such as repair or a re-clean.
Also, draft out what expenses you might have, think of which tasks you can do on your own and which require professional help.
Now that you have a rough estimate of how much time and money it would take you to move house, let’s delve into each step in more details:
Moving all your belongings to your new home
Organizing and packing your clothes, furniture, tech and other belongings can be a tiresome task. Here are a few tips to help you optimize:
- Inspect the so-called inventory checklist – your landlord or agency surely has made one at the start of your tenancy, listing everything that is in the property before you moved in. Keep this list in mind so you don’t accidentally move anything that is not yours;
- Replace and repair – take care of anything broken, that will save you the extra money you’ll have to pay if you leave that to the landlord/agency. You should know that you budget from your deposit cannot be deducted due to general wear and tear of appliances or houseware, consult with your landlord or specialized authorities if you have doubts about that;
- Declutter – decide what you want to keep and which belongings can be disposed of. Think of the ways you will dispose of the items – landfill, recycle, reuse? For example, the process of disposing of white goods and garden waste is very different;
- Organize and sort – separate each type of item such as clothes, pictures, porcelain or glass items to be packed accordingly. Are there any items that would need a liability and insurance coverage?
- Take your time – If your belongings are a lot, don’t try to pack them in a day, that will stress you out too much. Create a ‘packing quota’ for yourself so you have energy and feel good about the job you did each day.
- Move belongings – think of whether you can transport your belongings yourself or you want to use a moving company.
Remove and dispose of all garbage
When moving house, you might need to clear a lot of rubbish, garden waste, old furniture, clothes and who knows what else. Each type of waste might require a special clearance method and you might want to hire a professional clearance company such as JunkBunk.
Here are all the types of waste you should consider clearing:
- Domestic waste such as food and packaging, paper, bottles, cans, plastics etc.
- Old furniture in your home, cellar, shed or other areas
- Garden waste such as branches, grass, leaves, dirt, weed and other
- Old or broken appliances such as brown (consumer electronics), gray (computers, laptops) and white goods (home appliances such as fridges, microwaves, ovens, boilers etc);
Clean the property from top to bottom
Leaving your home tidy and clean is a must and a landlord will look at every detail when inspecting each room before confirming the condition of the property. Check whether your tenancy agreement states that the property should be cleaned by a professional company or you can do that yourself. Often times, landlords require a job completion form or a receipt from a cleaning company to show that the property has been deep cleaned.
There is no better cleaning advice than one given by professionals in the field. We asked the experts from the End of tenancy cleaning company, in order to gather a comprehensive list of cleaning tasks to help you ensure the successful deep clean of your property:
What to extra clean in the kitchen?
- Thoroughly clean the interior of the oven, microwave, toaster, fridge and other kitchen appliances;
- Clean the grout of tiles on the floor, wall or counter;
- Extra polish any metal and chrome faucets, taps, hobs;
- Clean all drawers and cupboards inside out, look for any cobwebs or leftover food or stains;
- Remove any limescale, mildew or mould that may have accumulated over time.
Cleaning tips for the bathroom
Similar to the kitchen, the bathroom may need some extra elbow grease to have it cleaned from top to bottom. If you plan to do it yourself, here are a few things you shouldn’t miss:
- Descale the shower tray, hose, valve, sink drain and other surfaces which get in regular contact with water;
- Wipe the dust and water drops of shower tray, mirrors and furnishings;
- Sanitize and wipe the toilet seat and bowl;
- Clean the bathtub hair catcher;
- Clean the grout between tiles if there are any marks or stains from soap scum, mildew or mould.
Bedrooms, living rooms, hallways
Surely you know those areas should be cleaned properly, so here are a few easy-to-forget places that you might not include in a standard cleaning:
- Dust below beds, behind and under wardrobes, sofas, dressers, cabinets, tables and other furniture;
- Remove dust and cobwebs from lighting fixtures, sockets, blinds, curtains, radiators etc. Your landlord may require a re-clean if he/she sees any cobweb or dust;
- Vacuum all rugs, carpets and upholstery. Make sure to follow the instructions on their labels for the best results;
Cleaning the outside of the property
If there is a backyard, a garden or any other outside areas, check with your landlord what condition they should be in. Here are a few regular tasks that are required to leave the outside of the property ready for the move out:
- Check whether there are any scratches or marks on the walls, fences, borders;
- Fix and repair any external lighting or decoration that was in proper condition at the time you moved in
- Organize and clean the shed, garage or other outside structures;
- Finally, is there any gardening work to be done such as cutting shrubs, hedges, branches, grass or other plants.
Make an informal meeting with your landlord
Whenever you can, it is advisable to ask your landlord to visit the property so you can discuss the moving out process and clarify what should be done before leaving.
This will straighten up any last-minute ‘hiccups’ that may cost you a portion of your tenancy deposit. Go through the property and point out any questions you have and if any issues arise, try to resolve them in an honest and humane manner.
Final tips for a successful moving out
After you’ve met with your landlord, there might be some extra repair work at the property that you need to do such as fill up holes from hanged paintings on the wall or fix a piece of furniture or an appliance. Plan how you’re going to do those tasks in the most time and money-efficient manner.
Make sure to keep track of all documentation, especially any check-out photos or correspondence.
Next, a nice way to show good will is to leave a note with any last minute instructions such as how to use or switch on any appliances, how to open windows and doors, where you left any extra keys etc. so the next tenant knows this property has been in good hands.
Finally, re-check your cleaning, packing and moving checklists to see if there is anything you might’ve missed.