Check-Outs 1st Sep 2016

The tenancy is coming to an end, however again this is not a straightforward process, and there are a number of steps that must be followed.

The check-out date will have been booked into the diary a few weeks in advance, and The Key Place will have made tenants aware of check out, cleaning etc requirements. The Key Place staff go to the property on check out day, taking with them the original inventory which was drawn up at the start of the tenancy. Clearly it is extremely problematic if there is no inventory as there is no point of reference as to how the property was at check-in.

I cannot stress enough the importance of a detailed inventory stating the condition of the property at check in, with embedded photographs. This is all you have to fall back on as proof if you need to go through the deposit dispute process. An inventory protects the landlord, whilst ensuring the process is fair to the tenants, as it provides evidence of any discrepancies. The Key Place has inventory software and can produce an inventory if required.

On visiting the property, it is worth ensuring that all sets of keys are in working order, just in case tenants have changed locks without asking. If they have, they are liable for costs involved.

If using an inventory, all rooms must be thoroughly checked for damage, cleaning, alteration, theft and even items being in different rooms than they were originally. The exterior of the property and gardens / sheds / garages etc must also be inspected. If there is no inventory, a check out report should be done, noting the findings at the check-out inspection, although this does not stand up in place of an inventory if there is a deposit dispute.

If any issues are found at check-out, these should be raised with the tenant. Tenants cannot be held liable for fair wear and tear. Agreement should be reached as to how best deal with any issues. If a course of action can be mutually agreed, then landlords can likely avoid going through a very lengthy deposit dispute process, which they may not win.

Meter readings must be taken so that utility suppliers can be contacted and updated. Forwarding addresses for the tenants should be taken. The council tax department must also be informed. Outstanding utility and council tax bills can then be sent on from suppliers to the tenant’s new address.

Following check-out, any works needing done must be agreed with the landlord, and instructed. It is essential that any repairs / upgrades are dealt with quickly so that the property is ready for the next tenants.

The Key Place staff work from detailed checklists to ensure none of these steps are missed. This thorough process ensures tenants and landlords know where they stand, enabling a smooth check-out. If you would rather avoid this time consuming process, then get in touch with The Key Place now. We would be delighted to discuss our fully managed service with you.