If you are at the stage you are thinking about moving out, please see below all the information you should need.
If you are staying in the same house, in the same room, for the next academic year, you can keep your keys, but should put all of your belongings in your room, and insure fridges and freezers are emptied, and off, and propped open, and all food and rubbish is removed to prevent a pest problem. Please note your belongings are not covered by landlord's insurances.
We have created a check-list for your reference; this is not exhaustive, but is a good guidance of things which often come-up. This can be downloaded here.
The most common issues we encounter relate to keys.
You need to return your keys to the office by 5pm on the end date of your tenancy at the latest.
In most cases, this will consist of your front door key and your room key; please come in during office hours; If you are not able to do this yourself, give your keys to a friend of flat-mate in Plymouth who can bring them in for you.
We strongly advise you not to send keys through the post.
You can return them yourself, even if the office is closed, and simply post them through the letter box at the office. Our offices are currently open 10am - 3pm, Monday to Friday; we have taken distancing precautions in the office, and keys can be safely returned during this time.
I'd recommend doing it yourself, so you know there is no chance of them being lost in the post etc - they remain your responsibility until we receive them, so if you can physically put them through the letter box yourself, this is much more secure.
If you do need to post them, then the keys MUST be returned in a padded envelope, containing a note with your name, and property address inside.
Every year we get envelopes with nothing written on them, or entirely empty envelopes through the door – we’d advise you tape the keys to a piece of card so they can’t become lost. It is your responsibility to guarantee the safe return of the key – the easiest way to do this is to bring them to the office yourself, or arrange for a friend or flatmate to do so in your stead.
If you do not return your room key, we will have to have a replacement key cut; there will be a £30 + VAT charge for each key; this covers the time to go to the house to check which key is needed, then go to cut a replacement, and return to the property to check it works.
If you do not return a front door key, we will have to have the locks changed to insure the security of the property for the next tenants; this will cost £75, plus the cost of any additional keys needed at £5 a key; if it’s a five bed, we’ll need five keys for the tenants, one for us as agent, one for the landlord, one for the cleaners and one for contractors (£125 in total).
Your property will be inspected fully following the last day of the tenancy. Unfortunately, given that tenants can return to properties (even if they have returned the keys), we cannot inspect any rooms in a property until the end of the tenancy, or we have been notified in writing that all of the tenants have left and will not be returning.
We will be inspecting the property with your landlord, and acting under their instructions. We will always see any deposits held as your own money, and aim to return it in full, the below advice is to ensure this can be done.
If you did not pay a deposit, and there are repairs or cleaning needed, then these will be invoiced to you and your guarantors directly, accompanied with photos as evidence.
It is your responsibility to return the property cleaned and tidied, as you found it, on the last date of your tenancy. This means that if you are leaving the property before the end date (which for most of you will be the 31st of July), as per your tenancy agreement, it is your responsibility to return your property to us in this condition on the last day of your tenancy. If you move out before the end date of your tenancy, you need to either trust your flatmates to leave the property completely cleaned and emptied, or arrange to return yourself close to the move out date to insure it is.
If you are in a big house with more than one bathroom, it’s a good idea to clean them as people leave – if you live in an eight bed with three bathrooms for example, it would make sense for the first two or three people to leave to clean one of the bathrooms, and then the rest of the house not to use it again. If you have two fridge freezers, then as half the house leaves, they can clean one of the fridge freezers, and leave it empty, clean, turned off and open so that it will defrost. Please make sure you defrost the freezers before the last day of your tenancy, otherwise there will be a massive puddle left on the floor that will need cleaning. If you do not defrost your freezer, the cleaners will have to re-attend once they have turned it off, and returned to clean the freezer. There will be a £25 charge if the cleaners need to re-attend because you have not defrosted your freezer.
The house needs to be returned as you found it. This means cleaned throughout, and empty – please do not leave anything in the property that wasn’t there when you moved in, or has been provided by your landlord during the tenancy. The next tenants will have their own crockery, bedding, clothes hangers etc. Whilst we appreciate the notion behind leaving these things for the next tenants, the reality is that they will get in the way during the deep clean in the summer, and the next tenants will have their own belongings.
If you have a large amount to get rid of, be mindful that if your bins are over-full, the council won’t empty them, and they will fine you for fly-tipping. Try to either put things out gradually, or arrange a trip to the tip. Anything that is left in the house will be removed, and you will have to cover the cost of the removals.
In your bedrooms, you need to move the furniture to vacuum the carpet fully, all of the drawers need to be emptied and cleaned. All of the dusting needs to be completed, and surfaces wiped down and cleaned. The same applies to the living room and hallway.
In the kitchens and bathrooms, everything needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
If you would rather use a cleaning company than clean the property yourselves, then we can recommend companies who can do this for you. In medium to large houses, this would typically work out to around £40 each; the same oven cleaner that professionally cleaned ovens before you moved in is available on 07768 865339 (Dave), If you have stained carpets, you will need to arrange to have them steam cleaned (we recommend Gary on 07813 762078).
If there are any specific concerns that you have about the moving out process, or you need advice on how to either carry out, or arrange any of the cleaning, then please do let us know.
If you pay your rent by standing order or direct debit, then please be aware you need to cancel it after your final rent has been paid.
You need to arrange to have your mail redirected, any post left in the property will be returned to sender.
If you are graduating this year, but are looking at staying in Plymouth, we do have a variety of post-grad/professional house-shares available to view. We also offer residential flats if you are looking for independent living - contact us for more information.