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Avoiding Problems upon a Tenant Moving Out of Your Rental Property

Part of the Renting Out Your Property For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

The end of a tenant’s contract can often be a tricky time with lots to do and lots to remember. Use these handy hints to guide you through this process so that you’re on top of everything and nothing is left to chance:

  • Know exactly when the tenant is moving out.

  • Don’t allow the tenants to regard their deposit as covering their last month’s rent. This way, if the tenants leave the property in a poor condition, you can use the deposit for what it was intended.

  • Get a forwarding address for your tenants.

  • Provide tenants with a letter that clearly communicates your expectations regarding the condition of the rental property and the return of the deposit.

  • Immediately conduct an inspection of the property with the tenant when she moves out. Compare the condition of the property to the checklist you made when the tenant moved in.

  • Take photos and have contractors or suppliers provide detailed invoices for any work required in order to repair damages.

  • Promptly schedule the necessary repairs to make the property ready to rent again while looking for any other damage done by the vacating tenant.

  • If you consider deductions from the deposit are necessary, you must agree these with the tenant. If the tenant disagrees, he can raise his dispute with the relevant tenancy deposit protection scheme. In the meantime, return the undisputed sum to the tenant.

  • If the deposit itemisation form and refund cheque are returned from the tenant’s last known address, keep the envelope. They can serve as proof if your former tenant ever alleges that you did not attempt to return the deposit.

  • Always look out for signs that the tenant has abandoned your property, particularly if the current rent is late and/or you are pursuing legal action against the tenant.

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