Get all of your belongings packed up. Anything you don't want that is in clean, working condition can be donated to local charities, or sold on local Facebook pages and websites if you want to recoup some money from them. Work out what is happening with your belongings for the summer - are you taking everything home? Do you need to arrange storage? Confirm these details so you know what you can take with you.
Don't leave things behind without your landlord's permission. 'Dumping' your unwanted goods could result in deductions from your deposit to pay towards the cost of removal.
Find the inventory sheet you filled out on that very first day. Now, go around the property and check each item, noting any deterioration or damages that have happened during your time in the property, no matter how small. Find out which items are deductable from your deposit, and which are the responsibility of your landlord. Some of these may be outlined in your contract.
Negotiate any damage costs with your landlord, and ensure that the landlord provides evidence to back up any charges listed. You can find more information on deposit disputes [here].
Leaving your room in a state can be one of the top reasons for deductions from a deposit. Cleaning up your room/property before you leave can help to avoid any cleaning charges, highlight any areas of damage you have not seen (which the landlord would flag after cleaning anyway), and it can often lead to you being able to get a good reference from your landlord, which is handy if you wish to rent again in the future!
Going around each room and checking the following are done will go a long way towards leaving things clean:
- Vaccuum/sweep/mop flooring in each room
- Use a damp cloth to clean all skirting boards
- Remove all rubbish from the rooms and put in the outside waste disposal
- Clean all windowsills and windows - use appropriate cleaning sprays for windows to avoid leaving smears
- Dust/wipe down all surfaces that may have collected dirt and grime over the year
- Deep clean the kitchen - your kitchen is going to have been used the most. Get your housemates together and blitz it (don't forget the oven!)
- Deep clean the bathroom - again, your bathroom will have been used a lot. Get some appropriate bathroom cleaning spray and go over the lot.
If your contract already outlines that there will be a charge for a cleaning service at the end of the year, then this should cover a deep clean and negate any dispute. However, it is worthwhile to go around the property and give it a clean to ensure that you have made note of any damages that may not have been noticeable previously.
Wrap up all the details so you don't end up being contacted for further payments! Make sure you've taken final meter readings for all meters, contact any other providers such as internet or TV providers, and ensure they all know the date you are leaving.
If you've had a great time in your house, why not also take the time to say a thank you to your landlord or letting agent?
Once you're sure you're all packed up and moved out, say goodbye, and head off on your next adventure (or home for the summer as the case may be!).