Moving out of your student accommodation

Moving out of your student accommodation

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Moving out of your student accommodation

When you are starting to think about leaving your accommodation and getting your deposit back, read our handy guide. We have created it to help you through what can be a stressful process as smoothly as possible.

1. Start when you move in

Our most important piece of advice on moving out is to start planning for it when you move into your new place.

Before you agree to move in you need to check the tenancy agreement you are asked to sign carefully, partly to understand what you are required to do when you leave. A good example of this is that some landlords will want the property professionally cleaned or all picture hooks to be removed when you leave.

If you don’t read the agreement and take the correct action you may end up being charged.

Equally important is an inventory. The landlord, agent or property manager should provide you with one when you move in. This will clearly show the condition of the property when you started to live there. The inventory is essential to try an avoid disputes around damage when you leave.

Tip:

Consider inviting the landlord around to view the property and identify any thing they consider to be an issue.

2. Moving out

If you are living in a shared property its probably a good idea to start planning for moving a few weeks in advance, after all there will be a few people to co-ordinate!

The starting point will be to check key documents:
  1. Tenancy agreement
  2. Inventory

These will give you a clear idea of what your responsibilities are and exactly what the place you have lived in was like at the start of the year.

Doing this will help you identify potential issues as early as possible. This gives you a chance to fix them, either yourself or by contacting the landlord if needed. Fixing issues yourself is likely to be much cheaper, while providing early notice to the landlord will give you an opportunity to discuss potential solutions, rather than getting written notification once you have left.

A woman in headscarf is sat at a desk looking over documents
Tip:

If you are not given an inventory you can create one yourself and send it to the landlord. Ideally this would include photos for maximum clarity.

3. Damage

The main thing that will eat into your tenancy deposit is any damage that you or your housemates have done to the property.

Its important to remember that some damage will result from simply living in the property. A good example is that a carpet will wear in an entrance hall, just because people walk on it. This is known as ‘wear and tear’ and a landlord is not able to charge you for it.

Damage is something that is caused by the people living in the property. It can either be deliberate or accidental. Sometimes damage can be caused by neglect or negligence. As an example, accidental damage would happen is someone dropped a cigarette or spilled coffee on a carpet. In this case the landlord would be able to charge for a repair.

Tip:

A good inventory can help avoid disputes over any damage that has been caused while you have lived there.

4. Before you leave

Make sure you do everything required in the tenancy agreement you signed all those months ago. You can even address and fix any smaller areas of damage and bring any bigger issues to the attention of the landlord, so that you can agree a solution.

With the big issues resolved, you should then make sure that you take a final meter reading. Take a photo of the meters as well and provide contact details for the suppliers to send a final bill.

Finally, remove anything that should not be there – that includes making sure the fridge, freezer and cupboards in the kitchen are empty as well as cleaned to the standard required in the tenancy agreement. If you are throwing things away do so responsibly and a way that is considerate to your neighbours – don’t just pile up bags of rubbish outside the house!

Pre tenancy check out you might want to give the place a thorough clean but may not have the time. You can find and contact local independent rated cleaners for free at www.maid.co.uk.

Tip:

Take some photos of the property on the day you leave.

A female student is holding a mobile phone up high, taking a photo of a dining room space

5. Dealing with disputes

If you have followed our guidance, there should not be any disputes with the landlord over the return of your tenancy deposit. However, if there is, here are a few things to be aware of.

If the landlord wants to charge you for anything, they will need to put this in writing. If you don’t agree either with the damage or the cost the landlord wants to charge you can dispute that with them directly.

In this case the ideal outcome is that you can come to an agreement and move on. However, if you can’t then you might need to use a dispute resolution service.

When the landlord takes a deposit from you, in most cases they are legally required to protect the deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme. They are also required to tell you which scheme they have used. Each scheme has a dispute resolution service, that can assist in resolving disputes.

Tip:

If you are dealing with a letting agent, they are legally required to provide you with the landlord’s contact details if you request them.

6. Moving your things

Most students normally ask friends or Mum and Dad to help with moving their things at the end of tenancy but there are some really handy services like Man and Van The App which enable you to get cheap quotes from local independent rated drivers, then book and pay online. For more information visit www.manandvan.app.

A Man and Van driver is stood next to his van giving thumbs up to the camera

7. Your new home!

The next time you need to find student accommodation and start searching on www.accommodationforstudents.com remember to check any tenancy agreements you are required to sign and to ask for an inventory when you move in!

A male student is carrying a cardboard box containing folders, books and a cushion up the stairs

Article last updated: 14th June 2022