Important checks to make when a tenant moves out
Posted on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
If you’re new to being a landlord there are a few checks you need to do when your tenants move out. Here’s a rundown for you.
Whenever possible, it’s best to undertake an inspection of the property as soon as your tenants give notice to quit. It will give you the chance to refresh your tenant’s memories of what your expectations are in terms of the condition of the property when they leave. It will also help to minimise the possibility of nasty surprises for you when your tenants depart – just remember to give 24 hours notice before you visit.
Moving out day
Check the inventory on the day your tenants move out for any missing items, damage or maintenance requirements that you need to meet. Remember that normal wear and tear is your responsibility and not something you can claim back from the deposit. As you move around the property with the tenants, check that all of the storage is empty, as if you’re left with expensive items you’ll be obliged to store them.
Make sure the inventory matches the one you used when your tenants moved in. Remember, that if you don’t have a signed inventory, you can’t claim any of the tenant’s deposit. It may help to have a professional conduct the inventory, so it is clearly independent and hence carries more weight.
Check the appliances
Ensure that all of your household appliances are in good working order and that all of the necessary checks and services are up to date. As the landlord, it is your job to ensure that the gas and electrical goods are working safely and correctly installed, ready for your new tenants.
Furniture and carpets
Check the furniture for signs of wear and tear, if you can move the furniture, do so to check the carpets underneath too. If the furniture has been moved from its usual position, check to see if it’s hiding any damage.
If a drain isn’t working properly, it could lead to costly repairs and put off prospective tenants – so make sure you check them regularly and that they are in good working order.
Ensure you check the property’s fire and carbon monoxide alarms are working safely.
Update the records of the relevant utility companies and the local council, so all of the related bills are accurate. Remember, the council tax is your responsibility when you have no tenants.
Be sure to pay the deposit back to your tenants in a timely manner. This needs to be done within ten days of your tenants leaving. So, you need to act swiftly if you want to recover any money from them, it’s much more difficult to do so once the deposit has been returned.
Double check that the last instalment of rent has been paid. Don’t equate the last month’s rent with the deposit, they are entirely separate considerations. You don’t want to leave yourself with no come back if there is any damage to the property – so treat the last month’s rent as a separate issue.
So that’s our rundown on the checks you need to make when a tenant leaves, we hope you’ve found it useful. If you want assistance with your rental properties then we can help.