England Landlord Guidance

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5.16 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.

5.16.1 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.

5.16.2 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.

5.16.3 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.

5.16.4 Overpaid Rent

A tenant under an assured shorthold tenancy is entitled to a repayment of rent from the landlord where—

  • as a result of the service of a notice under section 21 the tenancy is brought to an end before the end of a period of the tenancy,
  • the tenant has paid rent in advance for that period, and
  • the tenant was not in occupation of the dwelling-house for one or more whole days of that period.

The amount of repayment to which a tenant is entitled is established by calculating the daily rate of rent and then multiplying the daily rate by the number of whole days remaining in the period that the tenant is NOT in occupation.