A guide to what to do and when.
This guide and moving out planner will help you to prepare for moving out of your accommodation. By following our moving out planner you can increase your chances of getting your deposit back in full.
For more information please download The Moving out Guide.
When will you move out?
Many students decide to move out of their property before the contract ends – so it is useful to know when everybody is planning on leaving. Once you know the last day the property will be occupied follow our moving out planner and work towards this date.
Ending a contract
Most students sign a fixed term contract which means that as long as they vacate the property by the last day of the fixed term period the contract should naturally come to an end without having to give notice. However, we would advise that tenants notify their landlords/agents of their moving out date (preferably in writing or via email), so that arrangements can be made to carry out inspections of the property etc.
Deposits and deposit protection
Is your deposit registered in one of the three Tenancy Deposit Schemes? Most tenants’ deposits should be, so check your emails for confirmation of deposit registration. Or ask your landlord or agent for details of the deposit registration if you can’t find this information. The deposit schemes offer a free “alternative dispute resolution” service if you can’t agree on the amount of deposit to be returned. Find out more about deposit protection on the Student Union website.
Tenants are responsible for ensuring the property is left in the same condition it was received in, excepting for reasonable “fair, wear and tear”. Ideally, when you moved into the property you took date-stamped photos, checked the inventory (if one was provided) and reported any concerns. It is a good idea to take photos of the condition of the property when you move out, so you have your own evidence of the state of the property should any disputes arise.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning costs are one of the most common charges that landlords look to claim for at the end of the tenancy. Where the property has not been left in a clean state, professional cleaning charges can run to hundreds of pounds, particularly for large properties. Ensure that you thoroughly clean the property to avoid these unnecessary charges (see cleaning checklist).
You are responsible for bills from the date your tenancy starts until the tenancy ends. On the day you vacate your property don’t forget to take meter readings. Contact utility suppliers to close your account, provide the final meter readings and a forwarding address for final bills to be sent. It is a good idea to take dated photos of the meter readings in case of any errors or disputes. If you forget to take meter readings then the final bills may be estimated. This could mean you pay more for gas, electricity and water (where there is a water meter) than what was actually used.
Once your final bill has been paid; you can send copies to the landlord - as proof the bills have been paid in full. This can speed things up in terms of getting your deposit refunded and may be a requirement of your contract. Contact Students’ Union Advice if your landlord withholds your deposit because you haven’t provided proof of payment.
If you have a TV license, you may be able to get a refund if you don’t need your licence during the summer holidays.
Storage and Belongings
You have started packing your things and somehow your belongings appear to have at least doubled since moving into the house last September! You can’t fit everything into your brother’s small hatchback and get it all home.
Don’t leave anything behind unless agreed with your landlord/agent, as you can be charged for storage and removal costs.
Look out for information on Pack for Good collection points - (on campus June - September).
If you have any bulky waste, contact your local council who will often arrange a free collection.
You could see if it is possible to store your belongings in your new house, depending on when the tenancy starts. If your tenancy starts around the same time as your current one ends you could move your belongings into the new property, once you have collected the keys. If your tenancy has started, even if you pay half rent over the summer then you have a legal right to access the property, although the landlord may be entitled to charge more rent if you wanted to live at the property.
However, if the start date of your tenancy is September and you have paid a ‘retainer’ you may not be able to store items at the property and it may not be advisable to do so, even if the landlord agreed.
Things to consider
Most landlords will agree to allow you to store your belongings at the property but you should consider the following before doing so:
Advise the landlord or agent that you will be storing your belongings at the property;
Make sure that belongings are properly packed and labelled stating the owner’s details including a telephone number and the period of the tenancy, and also that they are not to be removed!
Check your contents insurance – will your belongings be insured if the property is not occupied for a period of time?
If your contract does not start until September and you are unable to take you belongings home then you may want to consider using a self-storage service in Nottingham, some of whom may offer special deals for students.
Returning the keys on time to the landlord or agent is important; because otherwise you may be charged for replacement keys and/or replacement locks, or even charged rent. Ideally return the keys to the landlord or agent in person and get a written receipt. If you are unable to return the keys in person, ask the landlord or agent how they should be returned - you may be able to return them using a secure delivery service. We would not recommend posting the keys though the door of your rented house.
If you have any queries about moving out of your student accommodation, please contact Students' Union Advice
Directgov: Information about tenancies, deposits and rents in private renting
Request a TV licence refund
Nottingham City Council - Bulky Waste Removal
Bristish Heart Foundation Find a Pack for Good collection point