When departing the UK, whether you are relocating to another new destination or repatriating back to your home country, there are still necessary steps to take to ensure that your property in the UK is closed down efficiently and handed back to the Landlord in the most cost effective manner.
In order to start the close down process, the thing first you must do is serve notice to the Landlord/Agent in accordance with the terms and break clause as stated in your Tenancy Agreement. Notice will also need to be given to any rental furniture companies and a collection day booked.
You will also need to book for the property to be professionally cleaned, and arrange a day and time for the inventory to be checked and the property formally handed back over to the Landlord. Meter readings should also be taken at the check out in order to close down utility accounts and obtain closing bills and refunds.
If you require shipping assistance, we would recommend getting several providers to quote as costs can vary. Quite often the shipping company will need to conduct a pre-move survey. Depending on volume this may be done over the phone or they may need to send someone to the property to have a look. TTA would be more than happy to recommend some providers to you.
After the check out the Landlord may submit a dilapidations claim for any damage to the property. It is possible to negotiate these costs referring back to the check in and check out reports and any correspondence you have had with the agent over the duration of your tenancy. The final dilapidations cost can then be agreed by both parties, the deposit released or final charges settled.
If TTA are assisting you with your departure from the UK, then we will be able to organise the above-mentioned formalities on your behalf. However, there are several things that you will need to manage:
Schools and nurseries normally require a term’s notice that a child is leaving and will not be returning. You will also need to request the return of any deposits paid.
It is important to advise all bank and credit card companies in writing that you will be leaving the UK. It would be advisable to check with your individual bank what the best option is in regards to keeping your account open as sometimes a period of inactivity will mean you lose access to internet banking. However, please note that accounts should only be closed once final bills have been settled. It can take several months for utility providers to submit their final bill and reimburse accounts for any refunds due.
You will also need to cancel all direct debits and standing orders, and advise the Child Benefit Agency if it was being claimed whilst you were in the UK.
Before departing the UK you will also need to organise the following:
- Redirect mail to your new address. A mail re-direction form can be obtained from the Post Office or alternatively you can submit an online form. Please allow up to 2 weeks for this to be set up.
- Make sure all keys for the property are returned and accounted for. You will be charged for any missing keys and in many cases the Landlord will also have the locks changed due to the terms of insurance policies and for security reasons. You will be responsible for covering the cost of this.
- Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries and close any accounts you may have with cleaners, window cleaners, tradesmen etc.
- Cancel your household and contents insurance policy
- Remove all rubbish from the property and empty the fridge/freezer. You will be charged if you do not do this.
- Donate or sell any unwanted items via Gumtree, Ebay or charity shops. Some charity shops will collect larger items from the property for free. Collection times can be booked online. You should not leave any items in the property for the Landlord unless you have asked for prior permission. Whilst you may think a Landlord might like to keep an item, in most cases they do not and are likely to charge for the removal of the item.
- Notify the managing agent of any outstanding maintenance issues at the property and report any new ones so that you are not held responsible for them
- Check the inventory for your property to establish if there are any missing or broken items. You should replace these with ones of a similar style and quality to avoid charges
- Cancel your gym membership. You will most likely need to give several months notice to avoid extra charges
- Cancel grocery deliveries
- De-register from the doctor and dentist
- De-register from the consulate
- Cancel your TV License
All utility accounts will need to be closed on your departure with the relevant meter readings where applicable. You will need to have to hand your account number, date of departure from the property, meter readings and forwarding address for any correspondence.
Telephone, mobile, broadband and cable/satellite TV accounts will need to be closed. It is worth checking whether the provider needs any equipment to be returned. Some suppliers will send out a box in order for you to post back the internet hub/ cable TV box or will send an engineer to collect it. Failure to do so could result in a charge.
As mentioned previously, it can take several months for the final bills to be generated and so it is important that you leave your bank account open until all accounts have been settled.
We hope that you will find this information helpful but if we can be of any further assistance please do get in touch and we would be more than happy to discuss your departure from the UK. Please feel free to contact us for a useful PDF checklist of the points covered above. You can read more about TTA’s repatriation service here.
You can also find our previous post about relocating to the UK and all the things you need to organise before your arrival here.