Moving out of your home can be a stressful and difficult task, there are so many things to remember to do before you need to hand your keys back.
Here at North London Inventories, we have come up with 10 useful tips for you to remember to not only make your move out easier, but also ensure that you have all basis covered.
1. Start packing up a week before you are due to move out
Everyone knows that the more you put it off, the worse it will be when the time comes to hand over those keys! Here at North London Inventories, we have had to carry out Check Outs from time to time whilst the existing tenants are still moving out their items. Imagine the feeling of being able to hand back your keys, knowing that all your items are safe in your new home and the property you are giving back is lovely and clean....you're stress free and excited about your move and seeing what adventures wait! Sounds wonderful right?
2. Get your hands on your inventory
If you haven't already, print out the Inventory you were given at the start of your tenancy and have a walk through each room once the property is empty of all of your items. Make sure everything is as it was at the start of your tenancy, allowing for reasonable wear and tear. This way, you will face fewer problems when discussing the return of your deposit with your Landlord or your Property Manager once they have received a copy of the Check Out.
3. Make sure you give back the correct amount of keys
A little known fact is that if you don't return the exact amount of keys that you were given at the start of the tenancy, then the cost to replace these can be requested to be deducted from your deposit. If you leave the property and do not return any of the keys, you could be held liable for the locks to be changed!
4. Remember to cancel all of your utility providers
With the rush of getting your items packed up and moved out, you might forget to cancel your utility bills. You will have closing bills to pay so make sure that you give your forwarding address and move all of your utilities, if you are moving within the same area, to your new address. Put the utility bills for the property back into either your Landlord's name or your letting agent's name. Make sure the end date for your accounts is the day that you are moving out of the property.
5. Clean! Clean! Clean!
Let's face it, we all think that we are cleaning Gods and Goddesses! I myself think that I am the best oven cleaner in the world, my mother would furiously deny that fact completely. When it comes to the return of your deposit, you want to make sure that the property is left clean for the Check Out to take place. If the property isn't left professionally cleaned, the Landlord can look to deduct the cost for a cleaning company from your deposit. Normally tenants do not get a choice with regards to what company is used. You may find that if you organise professional cleaners and make your own choice as to who to use, you could get yourself a far better deal. Just remember, make sure that this is carried out in good time, so that you have a chance to go through the whole property whilst referring to your inventory, with the cleaner. If they have missed any spots, the cleaners can do it again whilst you're there. You want to get your money's worth, and in the long run, it may result in nothing being deducted for cleaning from your deposit.
6. Did you have permission?
It's something that may not have crossed your mind when doing it. It seems so little, right? I'm referring to anything from putting in picture hooks and nails in the walls, to decorating to spruce the place up and make it more homely. Within your tenancy agreement, there would be a clause that states that under no circumstances are you allowed to make any changes to the property itself unless you have prior permission from the Landlord. This should be in writing. If you didn't have permission to put up that satellite dish, paint the bathroom that lovely duck egg blue colour, or hang up some pictures in the lounge, you must return the property back to when you moved in. That means painting that bathroom wall in the original colour, having the satellite dish professionally removed and the walls made good, and those nails in the walls need to be removed, the holes filled and the decor made good. You could face deposit deductions otherwise.
7. Remove all of your personal items
There's no space for the bookshelf you bought at your new property. You love that bookshelf, but it just can't come with you. Unless you have permission from your Landlord, do not leave it at your property when you leave. You could be charged for it's removal! Anything you have brought in yourself i.e. furniture, appliances and all of the effects that the Landlord hasn't purchased, It's far cheaper for you to remove it yourself and take it to the tip, or organise a charity to come and pick it up before you've moved out.
8. Check out the parking restrictions
If you live in an area where there are parking restrictions, make sure you have the relevant parking permit in advance, in preparation for your move day. No one wants to be hit with a parking fine whilst struggling with boxes and suitcases to add to the stress of moving.
9. Keep to the applicable timescales you have been given
Sometimes there are same day move in's and move out's. If you have been given a set time to have moved out, and give the keys back, do stick to this. This will normally have been given to you in advance so you can plan ahead. Planning ahead reduces stress for you, the new tenants, the landlord and your letting agent.
10. Keep positive!
Moving means a fresh new start! It's great to be able to get off on the right foot from the very beginning. With planning and organisation, moving out can run like a dream for you and your landlord!