Student Blog

How to move out of your student house

How to move out of your student house

Get your deposit back by leaving like an expert

It’s almost time to wave goodbye to the student house that’s been your home for the last year. It’s seen some sights and in retrospect it’s a good job that walls can’t talk. Moving out can be a hassle, as you’re trying to remove a year’s worth of evidence in one go.

Getting it wrong can mean a lot more stress, as well as deposit deductions. Having already moved out of student accommodation before, here’s my expert guide to doing it.

Take photos


Take time-stamped photos of everything, even if it seems trivial. All the walls, the surfaces, the doors and frames, inside the oven, the hob, the microwave, the cupboards.


You can use these to prove the house was clean when you moved out and nothing was damaged, and these photos will be invaluable in case your landlord adds charges for things that aren’t your fault.

The photos from when you move out are particularly useful in conjunction with the photos you should have taken when you moved in. You can use these sets of photos to show that any pre-existing damage to the property hasn’t gotten worse during your tenancy, and therefore avoid being charged for it.

Also bear in mind that ‘reasonable wear and tear’ should be included in your contract. This is damage that occurs just from normal living. If there’s a slight scuff on one of the walls or a scratch on the working surface that wasn’t present when you moved in, you can use your photos to prove that this is reasonable damage associated with living in a property for 12 months.

If you do get deposit deductions, these should include a wear and tear discount. This considers the age and condition of the thing you’re being charged for.

Organise with your landlord/letting agent when you’ll be dropping off the keys


It’s best if all your house can move out at the same time. It makes it easier to arrange when you’ll be turning in the keys, and you won’t have to worry about the last housemate leaving it in a mess/damaging the property after you’re gone.

Conversely, this will make sure you’re not the last one left moving out of the property and being lumbered with cleaning the whole house by yourself.

Complete a move out inventory

Hopefully you completed one when you moved in – ask your managing agent or landlord if you can’t find your copy.

Using the inventory you received when you moved in is an ideal way to make sure you’re documenting all the same things. You’ll want to list all the furniture/appliances in each room, any damage, staining on the carpet, etc. Give this into your landlord/letting agent when you hand in your keys.

You can also use it as a guide to help you report maintenance, like broken bed slats or faulty door handles that you never got around to reporting at the time.

If you’re a Purple Frog tenant, book a check out inspection – the clerk will bring an inventory with them.

Deep clean


Think of the level of cleaning you do when someone’s parents are coming to visit and double it.

I strongly recommend putting on some cheesy music and working through everything as a house. It can be useful to divide up each communal area and assign it to a person.

This stops you getting under each other’s feet if your house isn’t particularly big. Another way to do it is to write up a list of everything that needs to be done to the communal areas and tick them off as you go through it as a house.

You’ll want to vacuum and mop the floors, clean inside the cupboards, oven and all appliances, thoroughly clean the bathroom, etc. Don’t forget any marks on the walls will need to be cleaned too. An unclean house is one of the most common reasons why students don’t receive their full deposit back.

It’s important to bear in mind that if your landlord thinks the house needs cleaning after your tenancy, you will be charged for a professional company to do it.

You’ll also want to make sure there’s no rubbish left at the house. I recommend starting to sort out the junk around the house, and particularly in your own room, now so that a little can be thrown away each week and your bin won’t be overflowing during the last week of your tenancy.

There’s a check out check list here which will give you a list of everything that you need to clean.

Say goodbye to your utility suppliers

Notify your utility companies about when you’re leaving and pay off any outstanding charges.

Inform your gas, electric, internet, water, etc. companies when you’re vacating the property about 1 month in advance.

This will stop them from charging you for any dates after you’ve left while giving them enough notice to cancel your payment plans. Utility companies won’t let you close your account if you have any outstanding charges, so you’ll need to pay those off first.

It can be useful to take gas and electric meter readings on the day you move out. Also take a picture of them for proof.

Even if there are still a few days left on your tenancy when you leave, this gives you concrete evidence of how much you had used on a certain date, and therefore what a reasonable of usage for an empty house would be before the new tenants take over.

Good luck moving out. It will definitely be more work than you anticipated, so the biggest piece of expert advice I can give you is:

Don’t leave everything to the last moment!

Main image credit: Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

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