When your tenant gives notice on your property it is key that you have a process in place to make sure that the move out goes to plan for you and the tenant. Your move out process should be split into two stages:
A first meet appointment should be organised with the tenant to confirm the condition of your property and to make sure it is ready to show prospective tenants around. At this stage you should be doing the following:
- Provide to tenants guidelines of what they should do if they want to get their deposit back – e.g. leave the property clean and tidy, light bulbs replaced and rubbish removed internally and externally.
- Confirm the date and time of the final move out including a signed reminder form – do everything you can to make sure they have no excuse and know when they are supposed to vacate the property.
- Deposit information – what they need to do to get their deposit back promptly. We use the Deposit Protection Service and ask the tenants to have their 5 digit repayment ID.
- Compare the current condition of the property with the original inventory to list any damages the tenant has to rectify before the move out date. We use a 792 point inventory with 100-200 photos on all of our move ins. This allows us to make sure that we have enough detail to control the move out process. It is key that you get your start point right and you have a high level of detail for what your property was like when your tenant moved in.
- Confirm the contact details you have for your tenant are correct.
- Get a forwarding address for your tenant. By getting it at this stage it gives you some leverage if the move out does not go to plan because you have your tenants new address.
- Get contact details of a guarantor, family member or close friend. We ask for this just in case we can’t get hold of the tenant and we need to speak to someone. This also puts you in a position of strength if the move out does not go to plan because you now have additional contact details for the tenant.
- Leave a copy of the original inventory so the tenant can see where you have got your recommendations from if there are any damages to the property.
- Provide a rental account to your tenant to show them if they are in rental arrears and come up with a set plan to have these arrears paid off before the tenant moves out.
- Check the keys that you have for your property work and confirm with the tenant that all keys need to be handed in at the final move out appointment.
- Confirm the alarm code to the property and the tenant has not changed it.
- Confirm with the tenant that if they have any pets they need to make sure that they are supervised to allow viewings to go ahead during their notice period. Also confirm that the property needs to be tidy because viewings will be going ahead during their notice period.
- Take photos of the property to confirm its current condition which can also be used for marketing purposes.
- Ask the tenant if there are any general maintenance problems that you would only know if you were living in the property. This is a great question to ask and could result in keeping future tenants for longer. A good example of this was a tenant saying the kitchen was freezing and they did not like going into it. Upon further investigation it was found that an old vent was open behind one of the kitchen cupboards and was redundant and needed blocking off. We would have never found this out without the tenant telling us and is an easy fix to make sure a new tenant is kept happy for a few extra quid.
If you have done all of the above your final move out should go like clockwork. The tenants will have fully understood what they had to do to get their deposit back and rather than this being a confrontational meeting it should now be simply a tick box exercise for you and the tenant.
- Confirm with your tenant the deposit repayment amount.
- Confirm the gas, electricity and water readings and take dated photos of these readings. Also get the tenant to sign a document to confirm that these readings are correct.
- Check all keys work again.
- Take dated photos of all aspects of the property. We take between 100-200 photos.
- Perform a property condition report to confirm the property is ready for re-let. Upon properties becoming vacant we perform a 792 point property condition report which looks at every internal aspect of the fixtures and fittings as well as any external points. This has proven invaluable for our landlords. By doing such a thorough check it allows every one of our landlords to know the condition of their property to the highest level of detail and makes sure that the property is ready to be re-let.
With the changes in Council Tax from the 1st April, it is essential that your property gets rented as soon as it becomes void because depending on which area your property is in, you could be paying Council Tax from the minute it is empty.
If you feel that your property has been on the market for too long or it is getting viewings and people are not taking it, why don’t you give us a call and take advantage of our 792 property condition report which we do for FREE as part of any tenant find for a fully managed property.
I hope you have found this article helpful and we look forward to providing our services to you.