Moving to a new home can be an exciting and busy time with so much to arrange, but it can also be very expensive. This page lets you know what happens when you end your tenancy with us. It tells you what you need to do before moving out, and the procedure we follow to ensure costs are kept to a minimum for both you and us. You should also read section 6 of your tenancy agreement.
Your tenancy will end at least 28 days after you have told us, in writing, that you want to end it. If you know before then that you plan to move, we are happy to take a longer notice period. During this notice period we will work with you to ensure that you understand your legal obligations so that the property is left in a condition to allow a new tenant to move in as soon as you move out.
End of Tenancy Visit
Your Housing Officer will visit you shortly after we receive written confirmation that you intend moving out. If you receive a Gold or Platinum rent discount, you must be available for this appointment, or you will lose your rent discount. The Housing Officer will:
- Tell you how much rent is due until your tenancy ends
- Inspect your home and tell you what repairs or decoration you need to do before you leave (if any)
- They may also arrange a date to return and check any work you have been asked to do
- Wherever possible, your Housing Officer will also arrange for any repairs which are our responsibility to be completed before you move out
Please remember that when a house is fully furnished it can be difficult to see all repairs and decoration, so anything hidden by furniture etc. will be picked up at an inspection carried out after you move out. It is in your best interest to complete any work which is your responsibility before you move out otherwise we will do it and charge you the costs which will be far more expensive than if you do it yourself.
If you have altered the property you may be asked to return it to its original condition. Some improvements qualify for compensation and you should have been told about this when you applied for permission to do the work. Your Housing Officer will discuss this with you.
End of Tenancy Checklist
When you move out you need to make sure the property is in a good condition, ready for the next tenant to move in. On leaving your home, you should ensure that:
- All rooms and cupboards are cleared of personal belongings and swept
- All woodwork, e.g. doors, skirtings, and window sills are clean
- Electric socket covers are clean
- Kitchen units are emptied and all surfaces clean
- Sanitary ware should be left clean
- All windows should be left clean inside and out
- The loft must be cleared of all items
- You have to leave the house in good decorative order. Paintwork should be clean and well applied, torn or marked wallpaper must be replaced. Tiles must be clean and intact
Fixtures and fittings
- Fixtures and fittings installed without our permission must usually be removed
- Missing or damaged fixtures and fittings should be replaced
- All floor coverings must be removed, including gripper rods
- Gardens must be tidy and free of rubbish, any grass and overgrown shrubs or trees cut back and borders weeded. Sheds and any other outbuildings must be removed
- All bins and recycling boxes must be emptied
- All debt must be cleared on the gas or electric prepayment meters
- All key or payment cards for the meters should be left in the property
- All keys, including door entry keys, key fobs, and keys to any communal facilities such as bike sheds, have to be returned to us by close of business on the date your tenancy ends
Clearing the Property
You can arrange for any large items to be uplifted by contacting East Lothian Council on 01875 824305 or through the website www.eastlothian.gov.uk. There may be a charge for doing this but it will be cheaper than us doing this work for you. Please note that such items must be left outside the garden at the kerbside on the day of the uplift only. If an uplift date cannot be arranged before your tenancy ends, you must make other arrangements. If you leave items outside your home when you move out, we will arrange to have them removed and will charge you the cost.
If you have good quality furniture or electrical equipment that you no longer want or need, you may want to donate them to the Recycling 1st Project, part of the East Lothian Voluntary Organisations Network (ELVON). Recycling 1st will collect any suitable furniture or electrical equipment free of charge from the property. You can contact Recycling 1st on 01875 615797 or by visiting their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/recyclingfirst.
East Lothian Council also have a Freephone Reuse Line 0800 0665 820, which can put tenants in touch with organisations which can reuse household items.
If you don’t meet your responsibilities listed in the tenancy end checklist above, or after you have moved out we find further repairs that you should have done, then we will do the work for you and you will be charged the costs. We will do all we can to make sure you pay these charges, including the use of debt collection agencies, so it is in your best interests to make sure everything is in order. Remember, if you’re not sure about anything we are happy to help.
Tenant Reward Scheme
We operate a tenant reward scheme and your Housing Officer will discuss this with you. You may qualify for a £150 payment if you have held a tenancy for a minimum 12 months and:
- Are at home for your end of tenancy visit
- Return your keys on time
- Leave a clear rent account
- Leave the property clean and tidy, with no chargeable repairs or decoration needed
- Give us a forwarding address
Who else you may need to contact
You will normally need to let the following organisations know that you have moved out:
- Gas and Electrical suppliers as they will need your final gas and electricity meter readings
- The Post Office, to have your mail redirected to your new home
- Telephone/Cable TV suppliers, they may need to arrange access to collect equipment
- East Lothian Council, for Housing Benefit and Council Tax purposes
- The DWP, if you receive Universal Credit