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 residents (email is fine) that you do not wish to renew the tenancy, along with the reasons why. We will then agree with your property owner what they would like us to do with the property. Usually this means we will start marketing the property to find further residents.

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 property owner make a firm legal commitment for the term of the tenancy. This means you can only leave the tenancy early if both you and your property owner agree.

Given the complexities of this, we have a separate page covering what you need to know.

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 property owner 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 below –  ‘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 decide to stay in the property. In this case you will be responsible for all of the abortive charges including advertising and marketing costs incurred since you gave notice. You will also be responsible for the refund of any costs incurred by the property owner as a result of work to find new residents (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, so we can agree with your property owner what they want to do.



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 cleaned to a professional standard 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.

Many of the deductions we make from deposits are where this has not happened, e.g. carpets have not been cleaned to a professional standard 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 noting any items which are not the same as they are shown on the inventory. We will provide you a comprehensive report of our findings showing any areas which differ from the inventory agreed at the start of your tenancy

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

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

After the Check-out visit we will assess the costs for addressing any issues identified, e.g. replacing missing items, repairs, compensation for damage, cleaning etc. We then explain and agree these costs with both you and your property owner.

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

  • Any unpaid rent or charges
  • Any Maxine Lester charges for services you have used
  • Unpaid Council Tax and utility bills to the last day of your tenancy. We will need a valid UK forwarding address or proof all bills have been paid to the last day of the tenancy, otherwise we retain £250 of your deposit in lieu of the assessed costs of these bills to avoid your property owner meeting these costs
  • 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 to a professional standard

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. If you think you may not be able to leave then get in touch with us as soon as possible.

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 both you and your property owner 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 the property in accordance with the tenancy.

How much do you normally deduct from residents deposits?

In 2022/23 we returned the full deposit to 24% of our residents.

The average deduction from the 76% of our tenants who had deductions was £221 (This excludes a handful of tenancies where there was significant damage).

£143 of the £221 was for cleaning. Where people used our checkout cleaning service there were no deductions for cleaning.

On average we concluded all deposit discussions in 10.1 days, excluding the tenancies with significant damage.

For more information see our End of Tenancy No fuss moving out and Deposit return booklet in “At the end of your tenancy” section of the resident download area