What Landlords Should Do When a Tenant Moves Out
While landlords will want to hold onto a good tenant for as long as possible, there will come a day when they will move out of the property.
Filling the property can be difficult, which is why you must attempt to quickly welcome a new tenant to ensure you don’t feel the financial burden.
To eliminate some of the strain, you should read the below advice on what landlords should do when a tenant moves out.
Inspect the Property
Before you advertise the property to prospective tenants, you should inspect the building and its original contents to ensure they are in tip-top condition. Ideally, you should do this before a tenant leaves, so they can rectify any issues at the address to receive their deposit in full.
The property might also be in much need of a lick of paint, new wallpaper and alternative furniture or appliances, which will ensure it appears fresh, clean and inviting for new tenants. You could even move your belongings into a self-storage unit from the likes of Cubic Storage while you redecorate or renovate the property to meet standards.
Update Your Suppliers
Next, you will need to update the various utility suppliers on the day your tenant leaves the property, which will ensure they are up-to-date on their bills. It is, however, important to notify a tenant that they will be responsible for paying outstanding bills, if they are not included in the tenancy agreement.
Apply for a Council Tax Reduction
If you expect your property to remain empty for a long period of time, you could be entitled to an unoccupied property exception for your council tax. Reach out to your local council to apply for a council tax reduction, which could take some of the financial pressure off your shoulders until you find a new tenant. The amount of relief you can receive will be determined by your borough.
Release a Previous Tenant’s Deposit within 10 Days
If a tenant has paid their rent in full, hasn’t damaged your property, and has made repayments for all outstanding bills, you must release their full deposit within 10 days. If, however, a tenant has broken the terms of the tenancy agreement, you have a legal right to keep their deposit.
Common reasons landlords to choose to keep deposits can include:
- Poor maintenance
- Damage to a building and its contents
- Unpaid rent
- Keys not returned
Change the Locks
Even if you trust a previous tenant implicitly, you should change the locks on the property once they leave. While they might have handed over the keys, they might have a spare set or have had additional copies made.
While you are under no legal obligation to do so, it can provide a new tenant with peace of mind that only you and them will possess a key to their new home. It is also your responsibility to ensure your tenant is both safe and secure at the address, so changing the locks will make them feel more comfortable at the address and you will know you have taken the steps to protect them.