At this time of year your thoughts might turn to moving on, from your current accommodation as your tenancy agreement comes to an end and you either return home for the summer, or go off to find your first job after graduating. As ending your tenancy is just as important as starting your tenancy, here are some top tips from UK Guarantor for doing so successfully.
UK Guarantor tips for ending a tenancy
In the UK most tenancy agreements or contracts will require you to ensure that the property is left in the same state as when you started the tenancy. There will be an allowance for what is called ‘fair wear and tear’. To complicate matters, there is not a universally agreed definition of fair wear and tear and this can sometimes lead to difficulties at the end of a tenancy, particularly if a landlord or agent tries to deduct money from the tenancy deposit.
What is fair wear and tear?
In essence you should not be charged, at the end of a tenancy, for any deterioration to the premises that has come about through ordinary use of it. For example, a carpet or flooring in the entry way of a busy student house is likely to be become a little worn over the course of a year. With you and your housemates simply entering and leaving the house every day, there is not much chance that it will be in exactly the same condition as the day you moved in. This is fair wear and tear. In contrast, burn marks might be considered negligent and therefore leave you responsible for repair, because it has not come about through ordinary use of the entrance way.
Don’t leave it to the last minute
It is a good idea to get prepared for moving out now, even if you have a couple of months left on your tenancy, particularly in regard to the cleanliness of the room or property. Remember that your landlord is going to want the property to be just as clean as when you moved into it, so this is probably going to mean that you will have to clean to a higher standard that you would normally. A top UK Guarantor tip, is to check your tenancy agreement or contract to ensure that you know what you need to clean and what your responsibilities are.
Starting nice and early will mean you are on top of this and also give you a chance to identify anything that might require fixing. Try inviting your landlord or property manager around before you move out, so that they can highlight anything that might be a problem. If you have broken something, you could then seek the landlord’s permission to fix it before you move out, as it is likely to be much cheaper than the landlord doing it. If you do go down this route, it is vital to get permission from the landlord and also to keep the receipts.
Make sure you get your deposit back
Having taken all of this time to do all of this work, it is a good idea to make sure you have a visual record of your efforts before you move out. This reduced the opportunity for any confusion or issues arising after you have left the property. Take lots of pictures of your lovely clean room or house and then you will have strong evidence that you have kept your side of the contract in the event of any future dispute.
In addition, make sure that you have gathered all of the various documents together when you move out and that you keep them until you deposit is returned. This should include your contract (or tenancy agreement), inventory and any correspondence you have had with the landlord or agent.
In event of a dispute
Once you have moved out, if there is any dispute over the return of your deposit you should be able to use a dispute resolution service, as is in the majority of cases your deposit will be protected in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Your deposit will be protected by that service until any dispute is resolved. In the unlikely event that the dispute resolution service does not resolve the issue it is also possible to take your landlord to court to recover the money, if necessary.
The best way of making sure you have smooth exit and get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy is to make sure that you look after the property while you live in it – making sure it is clean and tidy and that you take care of it while you stay there. Bear this in mind next year and plan ahead – making sure that you have a photographic record of the state of your room for example on the day you have moved in.
www.ukguarantor.com have been supporting students in finding accommodation for over 17 years. For just £299 we can act as a UK based guarantor to international students.