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Must-Do’s Before Handing Back Your Rental Keys

Must-Do’s Before Handing Back Your Rental Keys

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Before returning rental keys, tenants should complete several important tasks. This includes thoroughly cleaning the property, repairing any damages beyond normal wear and tear, and removing all personal belongings. Following these steps helps ensure the return of security deposits and concludes the rental term smoothly.

Clean Thoroughly

A dirty property will surely knock off some points from your deposit. Having an end of tenancy cleaning checklist will help you to get your deposit back. Get down to every nook and corner – from the kitchen cabinets, behind appliances, underneath rugs, to the bathroom tiles. Don’t forget curtains and upholstery which might have collected dust over time.

Ensure that the property visibly clean and also hygienic. Pay special attention to areas such as the bathroom and kitchen. Hiring a professional cleaning service could be a wise investment at this stage. If there are solar panels installed, they also need cleaning. Professionals like MANTA Cleaning Solutions can handle this task well.

Respect End Dates

Ensure that you plan your exit in line with the end date of your tenancy agreement. Leaving prematurely might incur rent penalties while overstaying could mean paying for extra days. Most importantly, it shows respect towards your landlord and their property.

Being punctual with your move-out leaves a good impression about you as a tenant. It also eases the transition process for both parties involved. Always remember, last days can be stressful and chaos can ensue if not planned well in advance.

Inspect Property Condition

Walk through each room of the house one final time before you leave. Inspect all household items, fittings and fixtures; check if anything’s broken or damaged. This step ensures there aren’t any surprises when your landlord conducts the final inspection.

Even if you notice a damage on the last day, it’s better to own up and cover repair costs rather than letting your landlord discover it. It adds to your credibility as an honest tenant and might even save you some money on expensive repairs.

Gather All Keys

Collect all keys that were provided to you at the beginning of your tenancy. This includes traditional keys, electronic access cards and garage remotes. Failure to return any of these can invite unnecessary charges from your landlord.

If in case you’ve lost any key, it’s better to inform your landlord straightaway. They might appreciate your honesty and only ask for replacement costs rather than charging additional fees.

Document Property State

An important step in this whole process is to document the state of property before moving out. This could include taking photographs or videos that prove the condition you’re leaving the property in. Having such evidence keeps disputes at bay about any possible damage claims by the landlord.

This documentation works as an insurance policy; it protects you against any false damage claims by showing proof for the state at which you left the rental property. It’s recommended to date these photos and if possible get them witnessed too.

Fix Minor Damages

A few minor repairs can make a big difference to how your property is received by the landlord. Look out for small things like loose handles, leaky faucets or burned out light bulbs. These might seem insignificant but addressing them shows attention to detail and respect towards your landlord’s property.

Performing such fixes not only improves perception but also helps you dodge potential deductions from your deposit. Approach a handyman service if unable for such repairs yourself.

Repaint Walls

If your tenancy contract stipulates, then consider painting the interior walls. Over a period of stay, the walls can accumulate marks and stains. A fresh coat of paint can brighten up the place, making it look as good as new.

Most landlords appreciate this effort and it can directly contribute towards securing your full deposit back. Remember to stick with neutral colors as these are generally accepted and liked by everyone.

Empty the Property

You need to assure that you empty the property of all the items that belong to you. Clear out each room, storage spaces, garden, and garages. This includes furniture, appliances, and even small items like coat hangers or cleaning supplies that are easy to forget.

Taking everything with you is not only respectful but also prevents the risk of these items being seen as waste. Your landlord can legally charge disposal costs for any abandoned property, so ensure no personal items are left.

Remove All Rubbish

While this step seems obvious, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to overlook some aspects of rubbish removal. This covers not just household waste, but also unwanted furniture or household items, which all need to be discarded thoughtfully.

Remember to empty your bins before you leave and if required book a hard rubbish collection service. Make sure that there are no rubbish bags or large items left around your property when you hand over the keys.

Check Utility Bills

You are responsible for all utility bills up to your moving out date. So ensure all invoices have been paid for your electricity, water, gas, internet and any additional services like cleaning or garden maintenance. Failure to do so might incur charges from your landlord.

Don’t forget to inform all utility providers about your move-out date. Most utility companies can easily transfer accounts over to new addresses providing an easy transition for you.

Last-Minute Checks

After the cleaning, move out process and the hustle of packing and transporting things, do take out time for last-minute checks. Verify no personal belongings are left behind; often overlooked places include cupboards, behind doors or loft spaces.

The objective should be ensuring the property looks just as good, if not better, than when you moved in. Tap into your memory of what it was like on day one and strive to mirror that.

Request Property Inspection

After you’ve done all the preparation, request your landlord or their agent for a final property inspection. This gives both parties a chance to discuss any potential issues or disagreements concerning damage or cleanliness.

A face-to-face inspection allows you the opportunity to resolve issues immediately and ensure you leave on good terms, increasing the chances of securing back your full deposit.

User Manual Returns

If there were appliances in the property that came with user manuals, place these back with the respective devices. These manuals are crucial for maintenance and making optimal use of the appliance.

Not finding manuals when required could frustrate your landlord and potentially lead to unnecessary communication or disputes after you’ve moved out.

Inform Your Landlord

Keep your landlord informed about your move-out process. They should know when you have finished shifting and cleaning so they can conduct their inspection conveniently.

This not only portrays you as a considerate tenant but also eliminates the chance of misunderstandings around move-out dates and can avoid inconveniences for both parties.

Sufficient Notice Period

Give your landlord sufficient notice about your intent to vacate the property; always adhere to the notice period mentioned in your tenancy agreement. Providing notice allows your landlord sufficient time to find new tenants and reduces any potential loss for them.

Adequate notification is not only courteous and professional but also strengthens your relationship with the landlord and could bring in good references for your future renting endeavors.

Final Word

Being considerate and responsible while vacating a rental property helps secure your deposit, leaves a good impression, and maintains a healthy relationship with your landlord. Your actions might even aid in gaining a positive referral. So ensure you follow these measures before you hand over those rental keys.


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