5.17 Tenant Moves Out
In the vast majority of cases the tenant will move out in an amicable fashion. There are a few housekeeping items to consider before the next tenant moves in.
5.17.1 Meter Readings
Check all meter readings and make sure the outgoing tenant has notified the relevant gas, electricity and water suppliers. A landlord or agent could contact the suppliers directly to be sure.
5.17.2 Inventory And Deposit
Check the inventory ideally with the tenant present. If there are any works necessary that are intended to be deducted from the deposit, it is far easier to get these agreed between the parties.
Any deposit should be returned in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement and the scheme with which it is protected. If the tenant has asked for the deposit to be returned and the landlord (or agent) has failed within 10 days, the tenant may contact the deposit scheme and raise a dispute.
If the landlord needs more time to establish costs, this should be communicated.
If both parties have agreed to use dispute resolution offered by a deposit scheme, an adjudicator will determine what amounts should be distributed between landlord and tenant.
5.17.3 Outstanding Bills
Where the tenant is responsible under the tenancy for paying bills, it is for the tenant to deal directly with the appropriate supplier at the end of the tenancy. The tenant should pay all the final bills.
If a tenant fails to pay all bills, the landlord will be able to deduct from the deposit but only if the terms of the tenancy allow for the deposit to be used this way and only if the tenant does not have any genuine grievance with the supplier over the amount payable.