Moving Out

This guide is designed to help you to think about the things you need to do when preparing to move out and to help you get your deposit back once you have moved out.

As long as there is no outstanding rent and you haven’t damaged the property or its contents and you leave it in a clean and tidy state you should expect to receive all of the deposit back. If you have caused any damage you can expect the landlord to want to make deductions but these must be fair.

Your landlord or agent cannot make deductions without your permission. If you disagree with what they want to deduct you can start a dispute with the relevant tenancy deposit scheme, your landlord should have provided you with the details of the scheme which they registered the deposit with within 30 days of you paying it to them.

If you do not know which scheme your deposit is protected by, then find out by visiting and searching ‘tenancy deposit schemes’.

If you find that your deposit has not been placed in a scheme contact Brookes Union Advice Sevice for help.

Cleaning the house
Make a plan

Everyone in the house should be involved. The whole house needs to be cleaned, each room and all the communal areas.

If you start this process a few weeks before your tenancy agreement ends, it shouldn’t take too long on the day.

Cleaning Checklist
  • Clean the windows inside & out or hire a window cleaner.
  • Clean the oven inside and out. Use oven cleaner product to get off the stubborn dirt.
  • Pull out & clean behind the oven, fridge, washing machine etc.
  • Clean inside, outside and on top of kitchen cupboards.
  • Clean tiles & walls in the kitchen as they are probably greasy.
  • Get all the stains off & remove limescale from the kitchen sink, toilets, shower & bath.
  • Remove mould from bathroom, shower curtains etc.
  • Clean skirting boards, doors, frames & light switches.
  • Wash curtains & net curtains or have them dry cleaned if you cannot put them in the machine.
  • Hire a carpet cleaner and do the whole house.
  • Tidy the garden and get rid of garden waste - this should be put out for collection with your regular recycling.
  • REMOVE ALL RUBBISH FROM THE HOUSE. You could be charged for removing this or other left items.


Inventory Check
Find the inventory from the start of your tenancy

When you moved in, you should have completed an inventory. You should have retained a copy and returned a copy to the landlord or agent so they should have a copy too. You should also have taken photographs of the house when you moved in to support your version of the inventory.

Check everything

Go around the house with the inventory and your photos to check that everything is as it was when you moved in. Of course daily use of carpets and furniture will cause a gradual deterioration in the state of these things but that is “fair wear and tear” and you should not be penalised for it. If you have caused damage such as spilt wine on a carpet or caused a burn mark then you will have to pay for it.

Take photos

Take photos to show that the house is in a similar condition to the way you found it. You will need these if there is a dispute because of course, you will not be able to gain access to the property once you have moved out. Don’t forget the garden if you have one.

Call the agent

Once you are happy that the house is in good order, call the agent and arrange for them to come & do an inventory check out. At least one housemate should be there when they do this.

Moving out
Meter readings

Read all the meters, then contact the utility supliers with the final readings, give them a forwarding address for the final bill.

Move your belongings

Remove all of your items from the house - including any rubbish.

Return your keys

Return ALL the keys to the agents - they will charge you if you don’t.

Get contact details for the lead tenant

Get contact details of the lead tenant and if you are the lead tenant share your contact details with the rest of your housemates. The deposit is normally returned to the lead tenant and they will distribute it among the housemates.

Getting your deposit back
Ten working days

Once your tenancy has ended you should expect your deposit to be repaid in full within 10 working days. This may go to the Lead Tenant or you may each get your share, depending on the agreement. If you have not received your deposit after 10 working days you should make a request in writing to your agent or landlord.


If the landlord or agent wants to make deductions and you do not agree, you will need to:

1) Write to them & explain why you do not accept their deductions

2) Ask for evidence that the work was necessary or for evidence of damage

The only option after this would be court - this incurs costs.

Raise a dispute

You should always try to resolve the issue with the landlord/agent before beginning a dispute, but don’t get into lengthy discussions with the letting agent or landlord as you have a limited time within which to raise your dispute.

Commonly there is a time limit of 3 months less 1 day from the last day of the assured shorthold tenancy in which to raise a dispute with the relevant deposit scheme.

We have a lot of experience in helping students get their deposits back. Please contact us as soon as you can rather than wait and let things drag on and lose the chance of getting your money back!

Useful Contacts

Oxford City Council:

Council Tax : 01865 249811

Tenancy Relations Officer: 01865 252267

HMO Licensing Team: 01865 252307

Environmental Health: 01865 249811

TV Licensing: 0300 790 6144

Student Union Advice

Find us in the John Henry Brookes building, Headington Campus.

Drop in service opening hours:

During semester:

Monday - Thursday 9:30-4:30pm

Friday 12:30 - 4pm

Out of semester:

Monday - Thursday 9:30 - 4pm

Friday 12:30 - 4pm

Appointments available on request.

01865 484770