2nd June 2020

Moving Out

Chapters
  1. Removals, storage and packing services
  2. Recycling and rubbish disposal
  3. Check out inspections
  4. Cleaning
  5. Deposits
  6. Utility bills
  7. Keys
  8. Postal redirection and change of address
  9. Leave a review of the landlord/property

Removals, storage and packing services

You may not be able to get back to Sheffield at the moment due to travel restrictions. If this is the case, speak to your landlord. They should not dispose of your goods and we would expect landlords to help you find a solution at this difficult time. However, the property may have been re-let and the landlord may not be willing or able to store your belongings.

If you are experiencing issues with your landlord in relation to this and need help email advice@shef.ac.uk.

Please note the University/Students Union cannot provide storage facilities for students in the private sector. If you are in financial difficulty and need help with removal, storage costs you may be able to apply to the University’s financial help scheme.

You may have a friend who could pack up your room but if you don’t here is a list of some local companies who may be able to help. Please check directly with the company in terms of fees and their terms and conditions.

The Students’ Union does not accept any liability for these companies. We have checked customer review sites and have spoken with the companies to check they have capacity to help.

All companies will need to ensure they are complying any safety and social distancing requirements relevant to their business. You will need to provide your landlord with the company’s details and liaise with them about entry to the property.

Recycling and rubbish disposal

Please ensure that you dispose of your rubbish responsibly and recycle as much as possible.

It can be a health and safety issue if rubbish and overflowing bins are left out on the street and it causes problems for the local community. The landlord may also charge you if you leave rubbish behind in the property.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we are unable to run the usual Donate Don’t Waste scheme in the local community this year. There will be a limited scheme in University Residences and an opportunity to donate unwanted goods at the Ridge or Edge Reception areas. Please look out for information and collection points on site.

We understand that the council will be running extra bin collections in student areas over the moving in/out period. They may also have a registration scheme for students to register and arrange collection. We will update details here when we have them. You can also use recycling and waste centres in Sheffield, which have reopened.

Details of Sheffield Recycling and Waste centres can be found here.

Check out inspections

Face to face check out meetings with your landlords may not be possible or advisable during the current the Covid 19 situation. If they do take place, ensure you follow social distancing requirements. Government guidance for landlords suggests that video check outs would be preferable during the COVID-19 crisis.

Follow any check out guidance provided by the landlord. It can be a good idea to take your own dated photographs or videos which prove you have left the property clean and without damage. These can help if the landlord later does try to make deductions from your deposit or charge you for damage which you do not believe you have caused.

If you signed a contract after 1st June 2019 you should not be charged for inventory/check out reports.

Cleaning

You should try and leave the property in a good clean condition. Spending a bit of time cleaning before you leave can help ensure that you get your deposit back and avoid unnecessary cleaning charges.

If you signed the tenancy after 1st June 2019 a landlord cannot insist that you pay for professional cleaning. If you signed a contract prior to this check your contract as it may be a requirement.

Due to Covid 19 it would be advisable to clean surfaces, door handles, and bathrooms with a detergent. If you and friends are travelling back to collect belongings you may want to do this between each housemate’s visit (as each housemate enters and leaves the property) to limit any chance of spreading the virus.

Deposits

It is very likely that you have paid a deposit (bond). If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, this should have been protected by your landlord in a deposit protection scheme. Check that it is protected if you have not already done so. A landlord can be sued for up to 3 times the deposit if they have not protected the deposit!

If you have a joint tenancy it is likely that one of you will be the ‘lead tenant’ and with some protection schemes only the lead tenant will receive information about the deposit. The whole deposit may be refunded to them. Make sure that person is able and willing to sort it out and that you have their contact details to be updated about the deposit refund.

If your landlord does not refund your deposit or makes deductions which you do not agree with, then you may wish to register a dispute with the relevant scheme. Be aware that some deposit protection schemes have a 90-day time limit on registering a dispute, so it’s important not to miss this.

Shelter has comprehensive advice on getting a deposit back and if you need help you can email advice@sheffield.ac.uk to speak with one of our specialist housing advisers.

Utility bills

Take final meter readings for electricity, gas and (if applicable) water on the last day of the tenancy. Contact the Utility suppliers to finalise the bills. Remember to keep proof of payment as you may need this to get your deposit back.

Keys

Return the keys by the last day of the tenancy. Many landlords give a time by which keys must be returned. If you return your keys late, you could be charged.

Postal redirection and change of address

You can arrange for your mail to be redirected, visit www.royalmail.com. Don’t forget to tell the University, Banks and other agencies that you have moved.

If you are an international student who has to register with the police you should update your records, ideally within 7 days of moving home. (Due to Covid 19 it may not be possible to book an appointment but you can log onto your account and provide new address).

It can also be a good idea to exchange forwarding addresses and contact numbers with your housemates. There may be things you need to sort out (such as getting everyone to pay their share of the final bills) or just to stay in touch.

Leave a review of the landlord/property

This could help other students make good choices when house-hunting in the future. It’s really important to let others know if your landlord/house is fantastic, or if it's been a nightmare year. The SU recommends Marks out of Tenancy for leaving reviews.