Whether you are moving out and back home, onto pastures new or just to another house, there are some practical things to consider that might make the transition easier.
Check your contract to see what it says about moving out - it might specify time/date
Depending on the type of contract you have, you may be required to give notice. This is rare but if you are not sure make an appointment to see an Adviser at the Student Advice Centre and we can check.
Your contract may also give guidance about cleaning expectations and have specific clauses that might penalise you for not adhering to the requirements. Check whether it stipulates you have to get it professionally cleaned.
Ensure you take final meter readings and provide these to the supplier when you leave. This should help prevent delays to deposit returns and issues with your landlord/agent about unpaid bills.
Arrange for disposal of refuse responsibly by ensuring bins are not overloaded or out on the street and rubbish is not left in your house. See Leave Newcastle Happy campaign too about donating items or local skip collections. You might even consider volunteering as part of NUSU annual campaign dealing with refuse left by student households.
Dig out your Inventory/Schedule of Condition and Cleanliness from the start of your tenancy. Arrange for your check out of the property with you landlord/agent. Sometimes they prefer to do this after you have gone but they can do this beforehand. Use the initial document to see what might have occurred in the property since you moved in. It could mean deductions from your deposit.
Hopefully you took photographs of the property conditions and cleanliness when you moved in. Repeat the process when you move out and make sure they are date recorded in some way. These will support your Inventory / Schedule of Condition and Cleanliness Check out Report.
Don't assume everyone will clean their room or part of the house to a thorough standard. If you are on a joint tenancy you are all equally responsible for every room, not just yours. If it is not all clean then the whole deposit can be affected.
When cleaning, remember to pay particular attention to bathrooms/showers/toilets and kitchens. Don't forget the inside of the microwave/oven.
Find your deposit protection information. One of you might be a designated Lead Tenant for the purpose of dealing with the deposit return. Make sure that person is going to be around. Find out if your deposit is protected in an Insured scheme or a Custodial one. The Insured schemes only give you 3 months protection - therefore only 3 months in which to raise a dispute with the scheme if you can't get it back. Don't get caught out!
Be clear on who is the last person to leave and ensure all keys are returned.
If you want to leave before your tenancy ends this can be very difficult. You do not have an automatic right to break the contract. You usually have to find a replacement to take over your room. If this is the case you need to be careful that this is undertaken in a legally recognised way. Your name should not merely be crossed out and replaced by someone else’s. A new contract needs to be drawn up with the consent of anyone else on the same tenancy agreement and the Landlord. You should be given something in writing to say the contract is terminated without financial comeback.
If you need any advice about moving out then contact the Student Advice Centre for more information.