They say all good things must come to an end, and that’s certainly true of renters who are coming to the end of their tenancy. Memories were made, but it’s time for a new chapter on your renting journey. Before you can go about making your next move, first you need to go through the process of moving out of your current place.
If you find yourself asking the question, “what do I need to do at the end of my tenancy”, we’ve got some good news for you. In this guide, we'll inform you of the moving-out process so you can make sure all your bases are covered.
So, whether you’re a first-time renter or you’ve been in the same home for so long that you’ve forgotten how the move-out process works, read on and find out everything you need to know about moving out and ending your tenancy.
How do I end my tenancy?
Most tenancy agreements are created with an Assured Tenancy Shorthold (AST), which typically runs for 12 months and has a six-month break clause. That break clause means you can give your landlord one month’s notice to leave the property at any time after the six months.
Once the 12 months is up, you can either sign an extension to the AST or leave it to go on a periodic rolling. During the rolling phase of the contract, renters also need to provide one month's notice to the landlord if they wish to leave.
Are there any other ways a tenancy can end?
Most tenancies end when the renter decides to move out, but other scenarios can lead to the end of a tenancy. These include:
- Mutual agreement between the renter and the landlord to end the tenancy early
- By court possession (when the landlord provides an eviction notice, otherwise known as Section 21)
Hopefully, you never have to experience the last bullet point. But it's always good to know your renter rights.
I’ve given my notice. What happens next?
After giving your notice to the landlord, you’ll need to get ready for the move-out date. It’s good to be prepared, as there are a few things you need to go through before checking out and key handover happens.
Make sure you get all the paperwork together, including a copy of your tenancy agreement. It’s worth re-familiarising yourself with the agreement just in case you need to reference it during one of the moving-out stages.
Most ASTs state that out-going renters need to give the property a professional clean when they move out.
If such a requirement is in your tenancy, you’ll need to provide a deep clean. If you feel like getting your scrub on, load up on cleaning supplies and get mopping. Otherwise, it might be worth looking at companies who offer professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services. These services range from £80 to £300 depending on the size of your home.
The AST might include other conditions you need to meet before moving out, such as:
- Taking care of any shared property areas
- Basic gardenings and maintenance repairs
- Repainting (if you were previously allowed to redecorate)
Inventory and check-out
One of the primary aspects of moving out includes going through the inventory during the check-out process. This is where the landlord or agent will go through the original check-in inventory and make sure the property is in the same condition as when you moved in (bar fair wear and tear) and that all the items included with the rental are still in place (furnishings and appliances). The inventory will dictate whether you get your full deposit back (more on that later).
The final part of the process with the property involves handing the keys back to the landlord or agent. Make sure you lock up before leaving, and all copies of the keys are returned. Ideally, you will return the keys in person, but sometimes landlords and agents ask that you post them through the letterbox of the property after locking up.
The final part: getting your deposit back
The landlord or letting agent will return your deposit once check-out is complete. If the property is damage free, all the keys have been returned, and the home has been professionally cleaned, you will receive the full amount of your deposit.
If, however, the landlord feels that you’re responsible for damages, they will withhold some of the deposit. You'll need to agree to the cost of damages before the landlord can officially keep any money and can dispute them if you believe they're unfair. Disputes be settled by the official scheme where the deposit is held, so there should be a fair outcome for all involved.
Look for a new place
That’s it! You’ve moved out, got all of your deposit back (hopefully) and are ready to find your next place. All that’s left to do is head over to Movebubble and search the thousands of properties available, including renter-specific options, and start a new chapter in your next home.