As a letting agent, it is important to know what is expected of your tenants when it comes to checkout reports at the end of their tenancy. Clear communication and advice on what is required at checkout will minimise the risk of deposit disputes and generally make for a smoother checkout process.

Here at EZ Property Reports, we asked our clerks for the most common issues they come across whilst completing a checkout report, and have compiled these into a handy guide to help you prepare your tenants for checkout

Advise your tenants to have a professional clean

Review the inventory and check in reports and advise your tenant to have a professional clean if necessary. If they have pets, they will need to get a ‘pet clean’.

Professional cleaning company standards differ immensely. More often than not, they make a real difference to the property and the checkout report. However, it is important that the tenant knows what our clerks will be looking for when they come to inspect the property, so they can pick up on any jobs that the cleaner has not completed and avoid losing their deposit after paying cleaning fees. Equally, if a tenant decides not to get a professional clean, they will need to know exactly how much needs to be done to meet the checkout standards.

Clerks will be checking for the following:

  • Outside of the windows or conservatory – these are often not included in professional cleans
  • Water marks or scale remaining in bathrooms
  • Carbon marks on hobs or ovens
  • Extractor hood filters are to be grease free
  • Dishwasher filters to be cleaned
  • Washing machine drum and soap drawer to be clean
  • Freezers to be defrosted and clean with not a pea in sight!
  • Above, inside and underneath of all kitchen units
  • All woodwork, switches and sockets to be cleaned
  • Every window frame and blind to be spotless.

Make sure everything is put back where it was

All items that come with the property, from vacuum cleaners and mops to chairs and tables, should be left exactly where the tenant found them. It is not the job of the clerk to hunt for items, and the tenant is at risk of having items marked as ‘missing’ if they are not in the correct place.

Advise tenants in advance not to paint over scuffs and marks

It is common for tenants to go round with a paint brush at the end of their tenancy, to cover up any marks or scuffs on their walls that they think might jeopardise their deposit. In reality, marks and scuffs are more likely to be classed as fair wear and tear, whereas mismatched patches of paint on the walls are likely to be classed as damage.

Check tenancy agreement and notes regarding décor

Was it agreed that the tenant could decorate or put up pictures? Did you agree that they had to make good before they moved out? Check the tenancy agreement and notes to ascertain whether tenants were allowed to put things on the wall and what the conditions to this agreement were. They cannot be charged for something that they were allowed to do, but if there are signs that they have broken the rules by putting up pictures without the landlord’s consent, they could be charged for damages.

It is worth having this conversation with the tenant to confirm what they understood the agreement to be, and whether you need to be offering the service of arranging a professional decorator to make good on the tenants behalf. You’ll have to find out from the landlord what paint to use!

Gardens and garages must be left how the tenants found it

Gardens and garages are often forgotten, especially in the winter months. It is worth reminding your tenants what condition these areas are expected to be returned in.

Here’s what our clerks will be looking at:

  • Hedges – Are these trim and to the same height as when they moved in?
  • Grass – Are there patches that need treating before the end of the tenancy?
  • Borders – These should be weed free and tidy
  • Patio and paths – Ideally clear of algae/moss and weed free
  • Outside bins – These should be empty at the time of check out
  • Garage and drive – These should be cleared of any belongings, swept, tidy and free of oil stains.

At EZ Property Reports, we take pride in our clear and thorough checkout reports, which give each party an impartial, easy to understand overview of the condition of the property and necessary fees deducted or charged made.

We are continuing to carry out our high quality reports over the national lockdown, operating under strict safety restrictions. For checkout, we will collect keys, where possible, from the office and carry out the checkout once tenants have left the property. All our clerks wear full PPE and sanitise thoroughly before and after entering the property.

To read more about the steps we are taking to keep our clerks, clients and tenants safe during the pandemic, click here.

To find out more about our checkout reports or to book your own report, call us on 0118 907 8255.


If you need anymore information email us or call us on 0118 907 8255

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