Has your contract for Aberystwyth private accommodation come to and end? Are you moving out? You’ve probably had some great times in the house: fun times, parties and perhaps even a little studying? Nevertheless, now is the time to pack your things and go home for the summer! To make sure this goes as smoothly as possible and to make sure you get your deposit back, you need to do the following:
Pack your things:
Make sure you’ve got everything. Check under the bed and in that strange cupboard no one ever uses. Get the books/CDs/vinyl back that you loaned to your housemate six months ago.
Clean your room & the house:
This is where most people will lose their deposits. If you’ve kept on top of the cleaning during your monthly and weekly tasks then this won’t be a big chore. You’ll need to give everything a clean: wipe down the tops of skirting boards and cupboards, Hoover under the sofa, pull cushions off and Hoover the sofa itself.
Clean windows, and scrub the bathroom:
Clean all the kitchen cupboards, empty and defrost the freezer and then clean both freezer and fridge; and clean the oven. If you don’t feel like you can do it yourself, then pay a cleaner to do it. House cleaners are busy at certain times of the year so you’ll need to book them in advance and agree a price with them before they start work. Your landlord should be able to recommend a cleaner: if not, talk to the letting agents in town, as they’ll be able to recommend someone for you.
Book a date with the landlord:
Book a meeting with the landlord on the last day of your tenancy, and as them to check the house with you as a group, to make sure they’re happy with everything. It’s important that the entire household is present for the meeting. If there is any problem with the house get it sorted before this appointment.
Check the inventory:
Remember that document you signed at the beginning of the tenancy? This is when it comes into play. Walk the house with your housemates, and check all the items on the inventory. Do this before you meet with the landlord; check that there are no nasty surprises, and nothing is missing. Then, with the landlord, do a walk around the house with them so you can all check the items on the inventory and make a note of any changes to the property.
Agree on deposit deductions:
If there are any changes to the inventory you should agree any deductions from your deposit with the landlord on the last day. Accidents happen. If this is the case, and there’s some damage to the property, agree this with the landlord now and write a note, which you all sign. There’s a broken kitchen door, for example, that wasn’t broken at the start of the tenancy. You (as a household) and the landlord agree the cost. You only have to pay for damage you cause: you don’t have to pay for fair wear and tear damage (i.e. expected wear during a tenancy).
If the landlord is trying to charge you for slight wear to a hallway carpet then do not agree to pay anything. However, if the carpet was torn during your tenancy, or if you have not cleaned it to the standard of your inventory, or damaged the property, then you should expect to have some deductions made to your deposit.
Provide your final meter readings to the utility companies, and pay and close all your accounts (telephone, water, broadband, electricity, gas, Council Tax, TV licence, insurance). Keep in touch with all your housemates until the final bill is settled. The landlord may wish to see the latest bills on the day you move out, to be satisfied that you’re up to date with your payments.
Hand over your keys! It’s important that ALL keys are handed back to the landlord. This is so that nobody can be blamed later if items go missing from the property.
Collect your deposit:
This should happen within 14 days of the end of the Tenancy Agreement. If not, contact the scheme that the deposit was registered with, and ask them to return it to you. If there is a disagreement between you and the landlord over how much money they get to keep, then each scheme has an arbitration service that you can use for free to make sure your deposit is returned. To do this, you will need your inventory as evidence/proof, so keep it safe and use it.
And that’s it! You’ve successfully navigated through the Aberystwyth private accommodation sector!