What to do and when
This guide and moving out planner will help you to prepare for moving out of your accommodation. By following our moving out planner you can increase your chances of getting your deposit back in full.
If you are moving out of your private accommodation early for reasons linked to CV-19, please visit this page for more information about things you need to consider.
For more information please download The Moving out Guide.
It's useful to know when everybody is planning to leave. Once you know all move out dates, follow our moving out planner and work towards that date.
Ending a contract/Giving notice
Most students sign a fixed-term contract, so as long as you vacate by the last day of the fixed term, the contract should naturally come to an end without having to give notice. Be aware some tenancy agreements request a month's notice. We would advise you to notify your landlord or agent of your moving out date (ideally in writing or via email), so arrangements can be made to carry out a check out inspections etc.
Returning the keys on time to the landlord or agent is important. If you don't, you may be charged for replacement keys and/or replacement locks (or even charged rent). Ideally, you should return the keys to the landlord or agent in person and get a written receipt.
If you are unable to return the keys in person, ask the landlord or agent how they should be returned. We would not recommend posting the keys though the door of your rented house.
Your tenancy deposit must be registered in one of the three Tenancy Deposit Schemes, so check your emails for confirmation of deposit registration, or ask your landlord or agent for details of the deposit registration if you can't find this information.
It's your responsibility to make sure you leave the property in the same condition it was when you moved in, except for reasonable 'fair, wear and tear'. Ideally, when you moved into the property you took date-stamped photos, checked the inventory (if one was provided) and reported any concerns. It's a good idea to take photos of the condition of the property when you move out, so you have your own evidence of the state of the property should any disputes arise.
Don't sign any check out report if you disagree with anything in it, and raise any issues with the landlord or agent. Seek advice from SU Advice if you find yourself in this position.
The deposit schemes offer a free 'alternative dispute resolution' service if you can't agree on the amount of deposit to be returned.
Find out more about deposit protection on our Deposits page.
Moving between accommodation
You could see if it's possible to store your belongings in your new house, depending on when the tenancy starts. If your tenancy starts around the same time as your current one ends, you could move your belongings into the new property (once you've collected the keys). If your tenancy has started, you have a legal right to access the property, even if you pay half rent over the summer. However, if you wanted to live at the property during the summer, the landlord will usually charge full rent.
If the start date of your tenancy is September and you have paid a 'retainer', you may be able to store items at the property. Check your contract or ask the landlord or agent.
If you are allowed to do so, consider the following if you are moving your things in but won't be there:
- Let the landlord or agent know that you will be storing your belongings at the property
- Make sure your belongings are properly packed and labelled. They should state your details, including a telephone number and the period of the tenancy. Make sure you also say that they are not to be removed!
- Check your contents insurance - will your belongings be insured if the property is not occupied for a period of time?
- Don't store any valuables in an unoccupied property
- Bear in mind that contractors etc may be coming in and out of the property, so consider how safe your items will be.
If your contract does not start until September and you are unable to take your belongings home, you may want to consider using a self-storage service in Nottingham. Some of them may offer special deals for students, so ask around.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning costs are one of the most common charges that landlords look to claim for at the end of the tenancy. If the property is dirty when you leave, professional cleaning charges can run to hundreds of pounds, particularly for large properties. Make sure you thoroughly clean the property to avoid these unnecessary charges (use our cleaning checklist in our Moving Out Guide).
Belongings and Rubbish
- Don't leave anything behind unless agreed with your landlord or agent, as you can be charged for storage and removal costs
- Don't leave sorting and clearing out rubbish until moving out day, as it might not all fit in your wheelie bin - you can be fined for leaving rubbish on the street. If you have any bulky waste, contact your local council to see if they offer a collection service
- Donate any unopened food items to a local foodbank (donation points in most supermarkets and outside the Spar shop in Portland Building)
- Look out for information on Pack for Good points (on hold for 2020) - for more information about arrangements in Nottingham, please visit nottingham.ac.uk/movingout
You're responsible for bills from the date your tenancy starts until the tenancy ends. On the day you leave your property, don't forget to take meter readings. Contact utility suppliers to close your accounts, and provide the final meter readings and a forwarding address so they can
send your final bills.
It's a good idea to take dated photos of the meter readings in case of any errors or disputes. If you forget to take meter readings then the final bills may be estimated. This could mean you pay more for gas, electricity and water (where there is a water meter) than what you actually used.
Once your final bill has been paid, you can send copies to the landlord (as proof the bills have been paid in full). This can speed things up in terms of getting your deposit refunded and may be a requirement of your contract.
Contact Students' Union Advice if your landlord withholds your deposit because you haven't provided proof of bill payment.
If you've had bills included in your rent, you've probably been subject to a 'fair usage' policy. Hopefully, you haven't
exceeded the quotas - if you can, take meter readings when you move out to avoid any dispute.
If you have a TV licence, you may be able to get a refund if you don't need your licence during the Summer holidays.
If you've completed your degree and are no longer registered as a student, it's likely you'll be liable to pay council tax. For final year undergraduates, the last day of the summer term is the official last day of your student status. This means that after the end of term, you'll usually be liable to pay council tax until the end of your tenancy agreement (even if you are going to a different postgraduate course next year). So, at the end of your tenancy you should make sure you check to see whether you're liable and how much you need to pay if you are. Some students may be eligible for council tax support during this period - check with your local Council. The local Councils do chase students for any Council Tax outstanding, so make sure you look out for letters from them. It may be worth using Royal Mail's mail redirection service to ensure you don't miss any important mail.
Marks Out of Tenancy
Marks Out Of Tenancy is a platform where you can rate your rate your landlord, letting agent, rental property and neighbourhood.
It enables tenants to share reviews, encompassing their entire rental experience, from dealing with landlords and letting agents, to the quality of the area, and their feelings on the properties themselves.
This allows tenants to make more informed decisions about who they want to rent from, where they want to live, and what to expect from an area before they sign their tenancy agreement.
Help to improve the welfare of future tenants by passing down your renting story on Marks Out Of Tenancy.
If you have any queries about moving out of your student accommodation, please contact Students' Union Advice.