What should I do before I move out?

Confirm in writing (e.g. via email) with your landlord or agent the date you intend to move out.  Remember that this should be before the end of your contract date. If you miss this deadline even by a day, you may be charged rent for the whole month.

Arrange a time to meet the on the day you leave the property to hand over the keys and check the property over together.

Get organised! Plan the jobs that need to be done well in advance of your moving out date to avoid any last minute stress. Make a list and share out the tasks.

Check your contract to make sure there are no specific requirements agreed before you leave the house: for example having the garden professionally tended or the house professionally cleaned. If you are required to do this do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Overall, you will have a much better chance of getting all your deposit back if the house is left in the condition it was in when you moved in, to avoid the landlord or agent making unnecessary deductions for cleaning or rubbish disposal.  Make sure that you clean the bathroom, kitchen and communal areas of the house, including the windows, fridge and the oven. It might be helpful to get on top of this as early as possible by having a deep clean, then you can top it up before you leave.

Some students prefer to share the cost and employ professional cleaners. If you do remember to keep the receipt as proof.

Think about recycling or donating your unwanted items to charity. Oxford SU has a collection scheme contact VPCandC@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk 

Remember to change your address details. Go to www.royalmail.com to arrange for your mail to be redirected to an alternative address and change your address with your bank etc. 


On the last day 

Make sure everywhere is clean, that the furniture is put back in the place it was when you moved in, and that you have disposed of any rubbish.

Take time stamped photographs of the condition of the property before leaving. Check off the contents against the inventory, preferably in the presence of the landlord or agent.

Lock all windows and doors and switch everything off before you leave.

It might sound basic, but make sure you lock the car doors whilst moving things in and out, especially if you’ve got valuables in there!

Contact the Utilities companies to give them a final meter reading and a forwarding address for any outstanding bills.

Make sure your landlord or agent also has a forwarding address, email or telephone number for you in case they need to contact you regarding the deposit.



Your letting agent or landlord should return your deposit within ten working days, as long as you both agree how much you should get back.

Your deposit should have been protected with a government authorised deposit protection scheme when you moved in, so check you have a certificate confirming which deposit scheme was used.

If your landlord or agent makes deductions from your deposit that you don’t agree with, you can dispute this decision. Your deposit protection scheme will have an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure. You should be able to find more information about this and the steps you need to take on your scheme’s website. Remember, there is a deadline of 3 months from the end of your tenancy to appeal a decision.


Contact Oxford SU’s Student Advice if you have any problems with this or need further advice, by emailing advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk  

Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide  (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts  for further advice.