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Move out Checklist for Renters

If you have followed the advice on the TTV pages in this section your moving out day should be completely stress-free, given a small margin for error for events that might occur which are outside of your control, such as the removal service being late. There will be lots of things to monitor and check on the moving out day and if you have made a checklist it will be a lot easier.

Being well organized with a clear plan will significantly improve your chances of everything going smoothly on the day.

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Earliest possible – Find all documents related to your tenancy

  • Find your tenancy agreement and any attachments or renewals to it
  • Find any written agreement you’ve struck with your landlord
  • Find the prescribed information from your deposit protection scheme
  • Find your move-in inventory report
  • Find a copy of the EPC
  • Find a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate
  • Find all receipts for your rental payments
  • Find all receipts for utilities paid by you
  • Find all receipts for repairs, maintenance, improvements and other property services which you paid for
  • Source your communication with the landlord and letting agents – letters, emails, text messages, etc.
  • Find your content insurance, if any
  • Find all contracts with utility companies, and providers of Phone, TV, Internet or any other service linked to this address

Important: Review all aforementioned documents. Find out how to properly end your tenancy, using the correct procedure. Find out how to cancel all relevant subscriptions and services you use at this address. Some of them can be transferred. Check out if this serves your interest or if you need to look for a better deal at some other provider.

Earliest possible – Check if your deposit is protected and inspect the property

  • Check if your deposit is protected with a government authorised deposit protection scheme
  • Inspect the property by the move-in inventory and see how much, if at all, it has deteriorated during your time renting
  • Make a list of all damages and deterioration, no matter how big or small
  • Find out which items are deductible from your deposit and which items are a responsibility of your landlord

Important: It’s very important that your deposit is protected to ensure fair and unbiased judgement on any dispute at the end of the tenancy. If you want that deposit money back in full, you need to prepare to fight for it. If the landlord has not properly protected the deposit, they are liable for up to three times the amount in courts. If you have not received prescribed information, your landlord is again liable.

2 months before moving – Start looking for a new property

  • Define what property you’re looking for before digging into thousands of listings. Assess criteria like:
    • Your budget – the absolute maximum money you can afford to spend on accommodation
    • Property size – number of bedrooms, bathrooms, special features
    • Property location – city, borough, ward, etc
    • Proximity to important places – work, school, university, etc
    • Local amenities – transport links, supermarkets, stores, offices, etc.
    • Tools like Rentonomy will help you explore your options
  • Start your search online. Use any of the big property portals like:
  • If your landlord has multiple properties and you’re in good relations with them, ask them if they can provide you with another home
  • If you have a current letting agent and you’re in good relations, you can ask them to find you another property
  • Contact both online letting agents, and if you can afford it, high street letting agents and have them source you some properties to view
  • Search for property ads in your local housing department, local newspapers and local web portals
  • Contact your local council’s housing department and see if you’re eligible to receive a council home

Important: Consider all possibilities that presents themselves to you. If you start early enough you should have enough time to wait out for the perfect property, research extensively and even turn down a few offers before you find the right one. Good properties at a decent price are rare, but do exist.

2 months before moving – Purge your belongings

  • Moving less belongings is less stressful than moving tons of them
  • Start early so you have enough time. You have more stuff than you probably realise
  • Clear out on a room by room basis. It’s more efficient and you won’t get overwhelmed
  • Take out all the junk first – broken items, ripped clothes, old shoes and other garbage you’ve stuffed in the drawers for the last couple of years
  • Next, consider throwing everything you’ve not used in the last year. You’re probably not going to use it the next year as well
  • Finally, revise the remains and consider if you’re happy to take it all to your new place
  • Give first dibs on furniture and appliances to your family and friends
  • Donate clothes and toys to your local charity
  • Donate books to your local library
  • Use Freegle or Freecycle to donate working appliances or good furniture you just don’t want anymore
  • If you have really valuable things you want gone in your new property, you can try selling them online at Craigslist or eBay

Important: You want to start clean in your new property. Face it, you have way more things than you put to use in your everyday life. While some of them deserve a place on the shelf, many of them can go easily. Clear your belongings for an easier move.

1 – 2 months before moving – Contact your landlord and all relevant providers

  • Contact your landlord two months ahead and notify them you want to end your tenancy
  • Negotiate any terms regarding ending the tenancy
  • For periodic tenancies, you normally need to serve a notice one month before the move
  • Once settled with the landlord, and have arranged your accommodation, notify the following about changing your address:
    • Letting agent
    • Old Local council
    • New Local council (could be the same)
    • Council tax
    • Electricity supplier
    • Gas supplier
    • Water supplied
    • Landline / Mobile phone / Internet / TV provider
    • DVLA
    • HMRC
    • Employer
    • Bank / Credit Card provider
    • Insurance / Pension provider
    • Schools / Universities
    • Doctor / Dentist / Optician / Veterinarian
    • Other subscriptions that use this address
  • You can use a website like I Am Moving to help you contact and notify all relevant parties about your move

Important: Each company / organization you contact will have different terms on how you can cancel or transfer your subscription to your new address. To avoid headaches, contact them ahead of time and ask what the correct procedure is. Then simply follow the instructions when the time comes.

1 month before moving – Organise your move

  • Confirm the move in date with your new landlord. If possible make it so that the two tenancies overlap with a couple of days, so you have enough time to move and clean the old property.
  • Confirm the move out date with your current landlord. Schedule the final inspection.
  • Start looking for service men to remedy all problems that are likely to cost you money from your deposit. You can likely find somebody to fix the damage for less, if you start early enough.
  • Start looking for an end of tenancy cleaning company, if you plan on using one
  • Start looking for a removals company to transport your belongings. There are multiple options:
    • Full removals + packing – easiest, done professionally, but most expensive
    • Removals only – you pack, they move
    • Man and van – cheaper, but you have to help load and unload the van
    • Self load – a driver only, you have to load and unload yourself, also the cheapest option
  • If you have a friend with a large car or a van, you can move cheaply, only covering fuel costs
  • Check about parking restrictions on both your old and new address. A moving van can take a lot of space
  • Start looking for storage spaces if you plan on using one
  • If you’re packing on your own start collecting boxes
  • Pack seasonal items and equipment that you won’t need until after you move

Important: When looking for a service, take multiple quotes from many providers and research them online for reviews. Based on the cost efficiency and their reputation, pick out the final services you will purchase for your move.

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Last week before moving – Start packing and cleaning

  • Call the current and new gas company AT LEAST 48 HOURS before moving to inform them of your move and your new address
  • Call the current and new electricity company AT LEAST 48 HOURS before moving to inform them of your move and your new address
  • Call the current and new local authority AT LEAST 48 HOURS before moving to inform them of your move and your new address and to disconnect / reconnect your water supply
  • If you’re going to clean yourself, make sure you leave at least a day for cleaning the property. End of tenancy cleaning is hard work and takes time. Don’t underestimate, as cleaning is the leading cause for disputes over the tenancy deposit.
  • Buy all the detergents and equipment you need
  • To make it easier on yourself, start deep cleaning the property one room at a time. At the end, you only need to do a final sweep and surrender the keys
  • Read our dedicated guide to end of tenancy cleaning for more information
  • Start packing your belongings:
    • Pack seasonal clothes, if you have not already
    • Pack decorations, sports equipment, books and hobbies firsts – you won’t have excess of free time and these you won’t really need until after the move
    • Pack your jewellery, accessories, shoes next (leave a few pairs for your final days)
    • Pack most of your cooking utensils, cutlery, plates, glasses, etc. – you’ll likely eat on the go in your last few days
    • Pack everything else you can live without for 2-3 days
    • Pack most of your clothes
    • Start dismantling and packing electrical appliances
    • Start dismantling and packing any furniture you don’t need (keep the bed)
  • Pack your items on a room by room basis, not by type, to make it easier to unpack and order in the new property
  • Label your boxes and keep an inventory of each one
  • Pack a bag of essentials:
    • 1st night cloths
    • Baby / Pet supplies
    • Toiletries
    • Essential tools (e.g. to assemble your bed) / The entire toolbox
    • An eating set
    • Phone charger
    • First aid kit
    • Towers and cloths
  • Get a safety deposit box to store all valuable jeweller, documents, etc. Moving is hectic and you don’t want to lose them or get them stolen.
  • Get time off work for the moving day. Ideally, you should get a day before and after moving day, but work with what you can afford.
  • Arrange the time you pick up the key from your new landlord
  • Try to arrange a visit to clean the property before you move in all your furniture and boxes
  • Arrange the time you go through the final inspection with your landlord / letting agent
  • Arrange arrival of the removal van
  • Arrange somebody to care for the children or pets on the moving day
  • Arrange a locksmith to come to your new property on the moving day and change the locks

Important: The week before moving is the most chaotic of all. There are a tonne of tasks to do, a tonne of phone calls to make and a tonne of things to think about. During this time, it’s important to stay collected and systematized to achieve a positive outcome on moving day.

Moving day

  • Try to schedule a move in the middle of the week. Prices are lowest for almost all services Tuesday through Thursday
  • Wake up early and have a good breakfast, because it may be the only normal meal for the day
  • Drop the children / pets with their sitter
  • Pack up the final bits
  • Take all of your boxes in the street or at least pile them near the door for the movers
  • Make a final sweep of the property and make sure it’s as clean as needed to pass the final inspection
  • Take readings of all gas, electricity and water meters and photograph them for proof
  • Make sure all main valves (gas, water) are shut, including the main power switch at the fuse box
  • Make sure all appliances are shut down and unplugged from the grid
  • Make sure all windows and doors are locked
  • Make a final round in the property to ensure you’ve not missed something
  • Photograph the property and all questionable areas you can think of, to serve as proof of the move out condition
  • Try to arrive in the new property before the moving van does, or have somebody present to coordinate which boxes go where
  • Photograph your new rental property to document pre-moving condition
  • Check that the gas, power and water are running (safely)
  • Test the smoke alarms

Important: If you prepared properly, the moving day will be stressful, but not tragic. Make absolutely sure your old property is prepared for the final inspection. Take good amount of photographs to document the condition and remember to shut down everything before you lock the door.

After your move

  • Go to the final inspection with your ex-landlord or letting agent
  • If there are cleaning issues and you used an end of tenancy cleaning company, contact them are request a re-clean
  • Return the keys of the old property to your past landlord or letting agent
  • Send a written notice, or an email to your landlord or letting agent and request your deposit returned
  • If there are any problems, turn to the deposit protection scheme for help
  • Make sure to attend the move in inventory with your new landlord or letting agent
  • If you can’t check the inventory afterwards and make sure it’s accurate
  • Remind the landlord about protecting your deposit
  • Request copies of the gas safety certificate, EPC, HMO licence, etc. to ensure your new landlord has met their responsibilities

Important: Check how your new landlord handles their responsibilities and remind them to protect your deposit. Start your new tenancy with the best foot forward for a happier time. TTV wishes you many happy days and happy nights in your new home!

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This article is provided as a guide. Any information should be used for research purposes and not as the base for taking legal action. The Tenants' Voice does not provide legal advice and our content does not constitute a client-solicitor relationship.

We advise all tenants to act respectfully with their landlords and letting agents and seek a peaceful resolution to problems with their rented property. For more information, explore the articles in our All advice category.

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