Moving out of your home

This page lists things you need to do when you move out of a property.

Moving out of rented accommodation

It is extremely important that you follow the correct process and give your landlord the correct notice before you move out. Whatever you do don't just leave the property. See the page on ending a tenancy to find out exactly what you need to do.

Before you move out, you will need to:

  • allow your landlord access to your accommodation to show new tenants round (you only need to do this if it's specified in your tenancy agreement, and your landlord must give you notice before coming round)

  • check that you are up to date with all payments to your landlord

  • if you are a council or housing association tenant, you may be able to apply for compensation for any improvements you've carried out - ask the housing department or housing association if you think this applies to you.

When you move out, make sure that you:

  • leave the house clean, tidy and in good decorative order

  • if you are a council or housing association tenant, carry out any repairs you're responsible for (check your tenancy agreement if you're not sure what these are) and put right any damage you may have caused

  • if you are a private tenant, check the inventory and make sure any damaged fittings or furniture are repaired or replaced (this will probably be much cheaper than waiting for your landlord to put right the damage and then deduct the cost from your deposit)

  • if you think you may have a problem getting your deposit back, it may help to take some photos of the property, to prove you left it in good order

  • remove any fixtures and fittings you've installed without gaining written permission (unless your landlord agrees you can leave them)

  • remove all your belongs

  • hand in your keys to your landlord or housing office

  • leave your landlord a forwarding address.

Tell the gas, electricity and phone companies

Make sure you tell the electricity and/or gas company and telephone company that you're leaving the property so they can send you a final bill. You should let them know at least 48 hours before you leave. If you were living in rented accommodation, your landlord may ask you to prove that you've paid the final bills before you move out.

Don't ask for the services to be disconnected. If you are leaving rented accommodation, your landlord will then have to pay to have them reconnected and may take the money out of your deposit. If someone is buying your home, they will have to pay to have the services reconnected, which will be expensive and inconvenient for them.

Get your post redirected

Make sure everybody has your new address and telephone number so they can contact you. The page on moving into a new property has a list of companies and individuals you may need to contact.

To save time, register at I Am Moving. This website has a large database of utilities suppliers, store cards, government offices and other companies, and can notify them of your change of address for you, free of charge. Or, for a small fee, you can arrange to have your post redirected to your new address - you can download an application form from the Royal Mail.

Arrange your move

How you plan your move will depend on:

  • how far you are moving

  • how much furniture and other belongings you have

  • how much time you have

  • how much money you have

  • how strong you are!

If you are moving a short distance and don't have many possessions, then you'll probably be able to move everything yourself, perhaps with the aid of a few friends and a rented van. However, if you have a lot of belongings or are not physically fit enough to carry a sofa up four flights of stairs, you may want to consider getting in the professionals. has lots of useful information about:

  • DIY moves

  • hiring a removal firm to do the job for you

  • budgeting for your move

  • packing and preparing for your move

  • things to do on the day.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Last updated: 31 October 2014

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England