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Leaving a property? It’s a busy time – sorting out, packing and moving are all time consuming activities – so don’t forget to clean up too!

Getting your full deposit back depends firmly on making sure the property is in the same state it was when you arrived– less fair wear and tear.  There’s lots of info online about what constitutes fair wear and tear so make sure you’re aware of the definition.

Here at InventoryBase we’ve been working with letting agents, landlords and tenants for a long time now – and we’ve compiled our list of the top 5 things people forget when vacating a property.

Empty means empty.

It might sound straightforward but you’ll be surprised how many people leave items in the property. It usually happens when running out of time, tenants decide they don’t really want to take a few items of old tatty furniture and leave them as a ‘gift’ for the next tenants. Don’t do it! If they weren’t there when you moved in they will be viewed as rubbish by the landlord – and guess who foots the bill of removing them (It’s you, by the way!)

Skirting boards and door frames.

So you’ve scrubbed the toilet, washed down the surfaces and wiped out all the cupboards. Good stuff – just don’t forget to run a duster over the tops of your door frames and skirting boards. It may seem like a small thing but you’ll be amazed how much lighter, brighter and cleaner a property feels when the skirting boards are sparklingly clean. This overall effect will demonstrate to anyone taking your check-out report that you’ve really made an effort.

Curtains and blinds.

Chances are you’ll be leaving the property in daylight, with the curtains open and the blinds pulled up. Take a moment to close them and check for marks. Most curtains are machine washable – but do check the labels. Blinds can be a bit trickier but a damp cloth should take out any patches of dirt. Make sure blinds are fully dry before rolling up – if the property is empty for a while mould could form while the blinds are rolled up.


The big one. It still baffles me why most landlords fit light beige carpets in rental properties! Anyway putting that aside, if your carpet is dirty then it can be a good idea to rent a carpet cleaner the week before you leave, they are effective and will improve the look of any carpet. You may feel like this is an expense too far but don’t forget if the landlord needs to get the carpet cleaned they will usually pay professionals which will take a hefty chunk of your deposit. Use your common sense here. You can always check your inventory check-in report if you can’t remember the state of the carpet when you moved in.

Outside areas.

Your rented property is not just indoors. If you are responsible for any gardens, patios or even passageways you need to make sure they are free from rubbish. Of course, if you’re leaving on a day that’s not your rubbish collection day you can leave full bins ready for collection. But anything other than this isn’t acceptable. Just like the inside of the property, if you run out of time and decide to leave old garden furniture, rusty bikes or dying pot plants – you will have to fit the bill for their removal.

So don’t leave everything to the last minute. The best way to not forget anything is to refer to your copy of the inventory report. It will act as a detailed and easy to follow checklist of all the areas the check-out report will focus on.

If possible a week before you move out sit down with the report and work through the list of contents until the property is back to how it was at your check-in.

The other advantage to doing this is you can highlight anything you deem to be fair wear and tear before it’s noticed by someone else.

You did make sure you got an inventory at the start of your tenancy, right?. . .