Honourable and personal residential letting experts

Before leaving

What happens if I want to leave the property when tenancy ends?

We need at least two months’ written notice from all tenants (email is fine) that you do not wish to renew the tenancy, along with the reasons why. We will then agree with your landlord what they would like us to do with the property. Usually this means we will start marketing the property to find further tenants.

What if I want to leave the property early, before the tenancy ends?

Most of our tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancies, which means that both you and your landlord make a firm commitment for the term of the tenancy. This means you can only leave the tenancy early if both you and your landlord agree.

Unless there are specific issues we would usually recommend to landlords that they should agree to release tenants from the tenancy once replacement tenants have been found. In this case the early departing tenants pay any extra costs their landlord may face and the rent to the day before the new tenants start, i.e. making sure the landlord is no worse off than they would have been if the tenancy lasted the full term.

What happens once the tenancy is going to end?

Once notice has been served (i.e. either you have told us you want to leave or your landlord has told you they want you to leave) we will write to confirm the notice and the date of the last day of your tenancy. You will need to make sure you vacate the property on or before this date.

We will arrange a check-out meeting, usually on the last day of your tenancy.

See our section on ‘What will I need to do before check-out’.

What happens if I change my mind and want to stay in the property after giving my notice?

Sometimes your circumstances may change and you may want to stay in the property. The important thing is to let us know as soon as possible. If you let us know quickly then your landlord may agree to you staying. However the later you leave this the more likely you are to be responsible for any abortive charges including advertising and marketing costs incurred, and the refund of tenancy start and referencing fees for any new tenants (if applicable).

We would also need to consider the impact on any people who had agreed to move into the property, who may be homeless as a result of your change of mind.

Therefore, if you can, let us know as soon as possible.

What will I need to do before I check out?

It is important to allow enough time to ensure the property is returned in a condition which is no worse than that shown on the inventory, other than allowing for reasonable wear and tear.

Essentially if something can be cleaned off, it is not wear and tear.

Our tenancy agreements require that the carpets are professionally cleaned at the end of your tenancy and that the property is at least as clean as shown on the inventory from the start of the tenancy.

Most of the deductions we make from deposits are where this has not happened, e.g. carpets have not been professionally cleaned or there is other cleaning to be done such as ovens and removing limescale.

To prevent this we offer a check-out cleaning service which means you do not have to do any cleaning or worry about whether the home is clean enough when you leave! All you have to do is remove your belongings and leave the rest to us.

 

 

If you are thinking of doing your own cleaning at the end of your tenancy then please see our guidance videos to help you decide whether to do the work yourself, or use our check-out cleaning service

Checking out of the property

What will happen during check out?

We will arrange a convenient time to carry out this procedure which normally takes about an hour. We will go around the property together noting any items which are not the same as they are shown on the inventory.

Please note that once we have completed this meeting and you have checked-out you will not be able to re-enter the property, so any cleaning or remedial works must take place before.

We will then take meter readings with you and take the keys back, at which point we take responsibility for the property.

After the Check-out meeting we will  assess the costs for addressing the issues identified, eg replacing missing items, repairs, compensation for damage, cleaning etc. We then explain and agree these costs with both you and your landlord.

What costs am I liable for during or at the end of the tenancy?

  • Any unpaid rent or charges
  • Any Maxine Lester charges shown in your Terms of Business
  • Unpaid Council Tax and utility bills to the last day of your tenancy. To avoid your landlord meeting these at the end of your tenancy we retain £250 of your deposit to cover these bills until you prove these bills have been paid, or the utility company is holding you responsible.
  • Any damage to the property, fixtures and fittings or appliances.
  • Cleaning to return the property to the same standard as shown in the inventory agreed at the start of the tenancy
  • Cleaning all carpets by professional cleaning company at the end of the tenancy (rental of a carpet machine is not acceptable, and you will be charged for a professional clean)

What happens if I do not leave the property when I should?

If you do not leave when you are scheduled to, apart from the fact you are likely to be denying someone else a home they expect to be able to move into, you are likely to then be subject to legal proceedings, ultimately resulting in bailiffs evicting you and a County Court Judgement against you for any unpaid costs.

What happens to my deposit after I leave the property?

After we complete the check-out visit we will identify whether there are costs which need to be met from your deposit. We will then aim to agree these costs with you and your landlord as soon as possible, returning the balance of your deposit to you.
Our aim is to return all of your deposit to you, as that is a sign you have looked after your landlord’s property.

Other than the identified cost we retain £250 of the deposit to cover the cost of unpaid utility bills. Once we have copies of your final utility bills, proving your landlord is not at risk of being left with these bills, then we release this £250 retention. Except for one or two instances a year all tenants get their bills to us and get their full £250 returned.

How much do you normally deduct from tenants deposits?

In 2015 we returned the full deposit to 31% of our tenants.

The average deduction from the 61% of our tenants who had deductions was just £157, of which £58 was for cleaning. Where people used our checkout cleaning service there were no deductions for cleaning.

On average we concluded all deposit discussions in 7.2 days.