Certainly there are several common situations when tenancy may be ended:
- by the written agreement and its fixed date of ending;
- by your landlord before that date;
- by yourself before the date of the fixed-term agreement.
No matter what is the reason, that requires a month notice at least. The period might be even longer, if that is mentioned in the written agreement.
In each case, you as a tenant, have your specific rights and responsibilities.
Most common responsibilities in the end of tenancy are:
- to give your landlord a written notice when you decide to end your tenancy;
- to fix all damages, caused by you, your guests or your pets, having such;
- to clean the property thoroughly before moving out (you can do it yourself or using a professional cleaning company);
- to be in the property while the landlord is inspecting the place, so if there are some negative comments, you’ll be able to take care of it in time;
- to pay your last rent;
- to pay all the utility bills.
Another thing that you should know about your end of tenancy is that you are not responsible for the normal wear and tear. For example, if the refrigerator is too old and is not good enough to be used any more, this is a landlord’s expense, not yours!
Pay serious attention to the end of tenancy cleaning.
There is published information that cleaning issues have been a reason for about 40% of disagreements between a tenant and a landlord in the end of tenancy. So it is in your interest to do the cleaning properly.
Professional cleaning company
If you prefer calling a professional company, then you are saving yourself a lot of time and worries. You need to pick a high-standard company and keep a copy of everything cleaned for your landlord.
If you choose a domestic clean, it is better to be informed about eco friendly cleaners and organize your time, so that everything is dried, repaired and checked before inspecting.
Make a list of all that is done:
- use ecofriendly kitchen cleaners for all the surfaces,
- wash the floors, clean oven, refrigerator, washing machine and microwave from inside and outside,
- check cupboards and drawers for mould,
- romove grease with the right cleaners,
- polish where is needed,
- empty all bins.
- make sure everything is dried after washing and scrubbing with the right products,
- take care of the mould,
- polish the mirrors,
- remove limescale using specific products,
- clean extractor fan;
- wash and sanitize bath, toilet, sinks, taps, shower and floors.
- vacuum all carpeted areas,
- vacuum mattresses on top and under,
- pack all your staff,
- empty the wardrobe,
- clean all surfaces,
- wipe radiators or other heating system,
- clean and polish shelves and drawers.
- wash and polish all the windows;
- polish window handles,
- make sure there are no cracks;
- if you can’t reach them from the outside, call a professional company.
- wash them if it is possible or use a steam cleaner;
- choose the right cleaning products for the material.
- dust everywhere in the property,
- polish all glass materials,
- clean all doors,
- move all light furniture and vacuum behind and under,
- remove cobwebs in corners,
- polish door handles and be sure there are no stains on the doors,
- clear shelves of any rubbish.
While you deal with your obligations, you should have in mind your rights too.
Paying the security deposit in the beginning of the tenancy is usually a stressful moment for your finances. From the other hand, it can be really refreshing when you get it back. This deposit secures the landlord if:
- you have not paid a rent;
- you have not paid your utility bills;
- you have caused some damages that are not fixed in the moment of moving out;
- you have lost or not returned the keys of the property.
In these cases he or she is allowed to use it. According to your written agreement, the security deposit may be charged as one or two months’ rent. The most common figure always has been one month. Nowadays, however, landlords consider this as allowing tenants not to pay their last rent. So five to six weeks is now common and preferred.
When you are finished with your duties, the landlord should give the security deposit back. This happens either in the end of tenancy, or within ten days after you have moved out. If there are some disagreements between you and your landlord, be aware of the Government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP). Your security deposit can be protected in that TDP scheme, which is available from the 6th of April 2007 in England and Wales
The best situation for you is to keep good relations with your landlord. That requires patience, tolerance and propriety. A good attitude will help you not only for ending the tenancy in a good manner, but also if you need some future references.