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How to make moving out of your student house stress free.


By Simon Thompson
 
     

Moving out of your student house can seem like a stressful process. Whether youíre moving to another property or are at the end of your university career, there are a few steps that you can take to make the big move that bit less chaotic. Then you can focus on enjoying the last few weeks with your housemates before the summer arrives!

Maintaining good communication with your Landlord

Hopefully you will have been in regular contact with you landlord throughout the year, but now is the key time to make sure that you are both on the same page. Get all your rent paid on time, sort your bills and ensure all financial lose ends are dealt with before you vacate the property. Itís also worth having a quick meeting with your landlord a couple of weeks before you leave to run through exactly what they expect of you and how they want the property to be left. This way, you are less likely to face the dreaded deposit drama that often comes from simple misunderstandings.

Arranging a move out date

Adhering to the advice above, arranging a move-out date with your landlord is very important. It will help you to plan when you will clean your room and the house with your housemates. As tempting as it might be to say yes to every night out, leaving yourself time to properly clear out and clean everything will serve you well in the long run. Plus, a break from the boozing never did anyone any harm!

Take pictures

Ideally, as soon as you moved into the property you will have taken pictures of each room, especially if there were any bits of damage that needed to be noted on the inventory. Whilst having an inventory with your landlord is extremely useful, always try and make sure you take pictures as well, just in case anything gets missed in the walkaround.

If you have told your landlord about any damages and they havenít fixed them by the time youíve moved out, take pictures of those as well. Combined with written evidence (emails or text messages) you will then be able to prove that you took every precaution to ensure the property was returned to the landlord in the best possible condition. If you donít have any outstanding damages in your house then itís still worth taking pictures anyway. If the landlord comes back to you after youíve moved out demanding fees for cleaning or repairs that you feel are unfair, you will have photos to back you up.

Inform your landlord of any damages before you leave

It can be tempting to leave things that arenít urgent to fix (like carpet rips, door handles) but it is very important that you let your landlord know about any mishaps in the house before you leave. Preferably give them a week or two before your move-out date to fix the problem, as you can then argue that you gave them a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem.

Damages/repairs that fall under the responsibility of the landlord include: the structure and interior of the property; electrical wiring; water tanks; boilers; radiators; showers; baths; sinks; pipework and toilets.

Damage/repairs that are your responsibility to solve are: lightbulbs; dripping taps; bleeding radiators and changing a fuse.

Sorting all of these little niggly bits will help to prevent you being charged for repairs from your deposit.

Clean the house (thoroughly)!

No one is expecting the house to be as new when you leave. In fact, legally you are entitled to fair wear and tear from living in a property for a year. However, this does not mean that you should go lax on the cleaning now youíre on the final hurdle. Any mess from the hob, dirty dishes, hairy plugholes and dust needs to go. Mop the floors and clear your walls of any blue tack because these are key things that students face deductions from their deposits for every year. As mentioned, the house does not need to be perfect. In fact, chances are that your student house was far from perfection when you moved in. Just make sure that itís as clean as you can possibly make it and is liveable for the next tenants.

Donít leave anything behind.

Like giving the house a good spring clean, make sure that you remove

everything from the property after youíve left. And we mean everything. There are horror stories of students losing parts of their deposits for leaving loo roll behind (even though, letís face it,

thatís very helpful for the next tenantsÖ). Most landlords wonít be this petty but itís better to save your skin than pay for it later.

Deposit Ė if it all goes wrong.

If the worst-case scenario arises and you donít get all your deposit back, you are entitled to challenge this. If at the end of your tenancy there is a dispute about the return of your deposit, then you can use the dispute resolution service provided by the tenancy deposit scheme your landlord has used to protect the scheme. For further advice, read this dispute guide.

 
 
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