Pack up Your Belongings
Before you can give the place a thorough clean, you'll need to get all of your belongings out of the way, ready for leaving. After a year of living somewhere, it can be easy to forget quite how much stuff you've accumulated during your stay. Because of this, it's best to start packing sooner rather than later to give yourself time to clean, so you have ample time to respond to any problems that may occur.
You may end up with situations where no one wants to take items that were bought for fun or for the use of the entire house. In these cases, either someone will need to shoulder the responsibility of taking it to their next accommodation, or you will need to dispose of it responsibly. Make sure you discuss with your housemates whether they want to take any items you're leaving, and don't leave them to deal with your leftovers.
Deep Clean the Accommodation
Cleaning may seem like a daunting task, especially if you've neglected to keep the place clean during your stay. It's important to leave the property as clean as when you first moved in so you can receive as much of your security deposit back as possible. Remember that the landlord would like the accommodation to be in a suitable condition to hand over to the next tenancy.
If you're sharing with other students, then all of you are responsible for how clean the house is left. In most situations, you are individually responsible for your bedrooms, while you are all jointly responsible for the communal areas. You can help make the whole thing easier by giving each person a different room or task and keeping a list of what still needs to be cleaned.
Ensure all utility bills are up-to-date and paid. If these payments aren't made, you'll end up being chased by debt collectors. Whoever in the household is responsible for the various bills, including internet and water, should call the providers a few weeks beforehand to inform them of the date you will be moving out. Then, on the last day of your tenancy, you should send the meter readings to the provider to make sure your usage was correctly reported.
You will likely have used your current address for various things, such as buying items on Amazon, ordering takeout, and any subscriptions. Make sure you get this changed with as many places as possible before you move so you don't lose any mail. If you aren't moving into another student accommodation straight away, you can always change these to be your parents' or friends' house - just make sure you notify them first!
Your current landlord, or the new tenants if you can talk to them, may be able to forward any post to your new address or keep it for you. If neither party are willing to do this, you can always have Royal Mail redirect your post for a small charge.
You are exempt from paying council tax if everybody in your accommodation is classified as a full-time student. At the start of your tenancy, you and your housemates will have applied for council tax exemption. At the end of your tenancy, your landlord may require proof that you have applied for exemption from council tax. As always, communicate with your landlord so you both know what you need, and when.
Rough Timeline for Moving Out
While this may not cover every eventuality, here is a rough timeline which should help you plan for moving out of your student accommodation.
- Check with all your housemates to ensure you are all on the same page about moving out. Everybody must understand what needs to happen. Emphasise that if this isn't done properly, you may not receive your security deposit back!
- Contact utility services and tell them your move-out date.
- Start packing any non-essential items to give room for cleaning.
- If it wasn't provided when you moved in, ask the landlord for the inspection checklist. This will help you make sure the property is cleaned to a proper standard, and nothing is missed.
- Assign responsibilities to everyone for cleaning shared areas of the property. This will include the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and any corridors and stairs. Some tasks may be more involved or require more time, such as the oven, so make sure these are dealt with suitably.
- Keep a checklist of all the required cleaning, and make sure it can be accessed by everyone living in the property.
- Start cleaning!
- Double-check all of the property to make sure it is cleaned to a good standard.
- Take photos of the property. These will be useful for settling disputes about the property.
On the day:
- Give your providers the final meter readings.
- Ensure all belongings are moved out, the bins are empty, and lights are off.
- Return your keys to the landlord/agent.
What is Unihousing?
Unihousing is a student accommodation provider near the University of Birmingham, operating since 1984. All of our accommodation in Selly Oak is owned by us, so we can respond quickly to any requests using our qualified team of tradesmen. Our property office is located on Bristol Road, only a short walk away from all of our accommodation. This means we can deal directly with our tenants.
Unhousing was selected as the Number 1 Student Letting Agent in Birmingham by the UK's biggest fresher community, Unifresher.