Leaving to-do list

Whether your degree is over and you’re leaving Durham (hold back those tears), or you’re simply moving to a new house for the next year of your degree, there are plenty of things to remember when you move out of a property.

We’ve put together a helpful checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.

  • Pack up your things. You’ve probably accumulated a lot of stuff across the year, from stash to textbooks. This is a good time to have a proper sort out, so that you don’t waste time packing a load of junk that you’re eventually going to throw out anyway. Your landlord/agent may deduct money from your deposit for the removal of belongings and extra furniture that are left behind, so make sure you either agree what you’re leaving behind in writing with your landlord, or take it with you.
  • Dispose of any rubbish responsibly. Make sure to bag your rubbish and put it in the bins outside, which you should leave on the pavement ready for collection. Try not to let your rubbish build up close to the moving date. If you are getting rid of any belongings, donate them to local charities rather than chucking them straight in your rubbish bin. The University have a Green Move Out scheme to help you get rid of your rubbish responsibly. Find out more here. Your landlord can deduct money from your deposit for the removal of rubbish left behind, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead and get rid of everything.
  • Clean the house thoroughly. Though you’ll want to do it as late as possible, cleaning a whole house takes time. You may also need to factor in a trip to the supermarket to get hold of some extra cleaning products. The most common thing that landlords charge tenants for is a professional clean after the tenancy ends. If you take timestamped photos of how clean the property is when you leave, your landlord will be less likely to succeed in charging you. If there was an inventory done at the start of your tenancy, even better – you can compare your timestamped photos to the ones in your inventory to provide even more reliable evidence.
  • Clear out the fridge. Don’t leave food in the fridge. It’s easily done and the results are unpleasant to say the least. Food that is left behind counts as waste, and so your landlord may try to deduct from your deposit for its disposal.
  • Return your keys. Check how your landlord/agent would like you to return your keys and make sure you have enough time to do this on your move-out date, as you may be fined for not returning keys on time.
  • Meter readings. Take your final meter readings on the day you move out and remember to contact your utility suppliers to calculate your final bills. This will avoid any messy situations where you are paying for gas/electricity/water that you did not use.
  • Get your deposit back. All of the suggestions above aim to help you get your full deposit returned to you. For more information about making sure you get your deposit back, see our dedicated section here.

For a more comprehensive checklist, take a look at this one from The Tenants’ Voice.

Page last reviewed: 25/10/2018