Tenants: What to expect when your Tenancy ends

The private rented sector comprises 4.4 million households, almost one-fifth of households in England. The English Housing Survey, a recent report from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, had several interesting findings about tenancies for tenants and landlords alike.

These include:

  • 17% had cause to make a complaint to their landlord or letting agent, but almost a quarter (23%) did not, for fear of potential consequences
  • 73% of tenants left their last tenancy because they wanted to move
  • 6% left because their landlord asked them to
  • Almost two-thirds of private renters hoped to buy their own homes in the future
  • 80% of private renters are satisfied with their current tenure and accommodation
If you’re a tenant coming to the end of a tenancy either because you’ve bought your own property, found alternative rented accommodation, or for whatever reason, your landlord has asked you to move, here’s what to expect. Again, if you’re a landlord, this gives you our perspective on what your tenant needs to know.

The End-of-Tenancy handover

Both you and your landlord want a smooth end to the tenancy. Part of this process is the end-of-tenancy report, produced as part of the check-out process.

This is a detailed document produced by your agent, landlord or a third party. It contains written and photographic evidence of the state of the property and any appliances. Typically, you’ll have moved your belongings out and cleaned the property, to the level it was at the start of tenancy, before this occurs.

This way, the person carrying out the inspection can do so more efficiently. In addition, many assessments are now conducted using a free end-of-tenancy app on iOS or Android. Text descriptions can be detailed per room, plus multiple supporting images.

An end-of-tenancy app can help all parties involved have a more impartial and downloadable record of the property at the end of the tenancy and helps speed up the process.

Your landlord/agent/third-party inventory clerk will walk through each room in the property and enter text or audio descriptions using their end-of-tenancy app. The inspection should include checking out the workings of alarms and taking a note of the meter readings. Having an app works wonders for streamlining the process. They will also take photos to support their findings so that you can find out (if possible) how much of the deposit will be returned to you.

There may be a discussion about wear and tear. Property fixtures such as carpets are expected to undergo ‘normal’ use and, of course, will not be in the state as at the start of tenancy. So, you should not be concerned about normal wear. Items that undergo wear have a useful lifetime.

The quality of those items will determine their longevity. For example, a carpet can be low, medium or high quality with and expected lifetime of perhaps 5, 10 or 20 years, respectively. Your landlord will know what was spent on it. The wear and tear on a high-quality carpet would be considered to out of the ordinary if it shows heavy wear after a two-year tenancy.

You may find landlords/agents/third-party inventory services increasingly using tools such as a free end-of-tenancy app to make the end-of-tenancy report as accessible and transparent as possible.

Whatever tools are used, you should be able to see and comment on the final report and make adjustments if necessary.

Panos, 05 August 2022
Tenants: What to expect when your Tenancy ends

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