Moving is generally stressful, but moving out of a rental property can add an extra edge to an already difficult task, but it doesn’t need to be that way. It is possible to move out of your rented home with a minimum of effort and little stress - you just need to be organised and take on board our top tips, designed to make light work of your move out.
1 - Engage Professional Cleaners
In our experience, most problems at the end of tenancy inspection or check-out relates to cleaning. No matter how fastidious you are; the chances are your version of clean will not pass the inventory clerk’s inspection
If your tenancy agreement states that the property must be cleaned to a professional standard at the end of the term, then that is what you must do. Don’t try to save money by doing it yourself; it’s a false economy. End of tenancy cleaning sounds easy, but it isn’t, the professional end of tenancy cleaners knows precisely where to clean and what the expected standards are.
Please don’t confuse cleaning with wear and tear. There is no allowance for wear and tear when it comes to cleaning. The property is clean, or it’s not. Save yourself time and money by arranging your professional cleaning before the check-out but after you have removed your possessions.
Here’s another tip, use cleaners that are known to the agent. This way, on the rare occasion the cleaning is not up to scratch, the cleaning company will return to remedy any issues, without any hassle and at no extra cost to you.
2 - Take Everything With You
We know it’s tempting to leave an item of furniture for the next tenant or some kitchen accessories that are “too good to throw away”, but the fact is most people are professional renters and have furniture of their own. There is a charge to have these items removed, so don’t risk it.
3 - Check the Tenancy Agreement
The tenancy agreement will say things like:
Replace all light bulbs; if they were working when you moved in, they must be working when you move out, back to the, “return property as you found it”, rule.
Return the keys - obvious, I know, if you’ve left your keys with a friend or neighbour, collect them before the end of tenancy inspection, including any garage fobs or gate zappers.
Put the instruction manuals back where you found them - if you lose them, then remember to download copies from the internet before leaving.
4 - Understanding Wear and Tear
Wear and tear in a rental property is determined by several factors. The general rules are you are allowed to live and enjoy the property, so there will be changes, but those changes must be consistent within ‘normal’ use. But who decides what is normal use? It’s the inventory clerk's job to determine what is everyday or normal use.
As we have said before, there is no allowance within wear and tear for cleaning, so let’s look at where there is an allowance. Walls and paintwork are a good example, there will be some marks on the paintwork, especially in high use areas such as hallways, stairs and kitchens.
If you create a small mark or chip, less than 1cm, the worst thing you can do is paint over it. The paint rarely matches even if the landlord has provided it - paint deteriorates over time, and even new paint will differ. So it’s better not to touch up at all.