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Moving out of private accommodation

What to do with your property at the end of your contract

When it comes to moving out, there are a few things you can do to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

Clearing out unwanted items

When moving out you'll have to remove everything you brought with you or bought during your time at uni.

Selling on

Why not turn your unwanted household items into cash before you move out? There are lots of ways to do this online, like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, Preloved or eBay.

If you just want to shift things quickly, or they need a bit of TLC, you could post items for free on a site like Freecycle or Freegle for someone to collect and fix up.

Donating to charity

If you have items that are in good working condition, consider giving them away to charity. Not only do they get a second lease of life, you’ll be helping out a good cause.

Local charity shops accept donations of items in good condition, such as clothes, kitchenware, books and other items. Find a charity shop near you that is accepting donations.

Some charity shops specialise in furniture and may offer free collection if you have good quality items that others could use, such as:

Donating for others to use

A Library of Things is like a normal library but for tools and equipment, rather than books. It means you can hire items rather than buy new, saving them money and carbon. Check out the Portsmouth Library of Things’ wish-list to see if they are looking for items like the ones you're rehoming.

Recycling or disposing of items

Anything that’s broken or no longer usable should be disposed of responsibly. 

Large and bulky items like furniture, carpets and white goods (like fridges and washing machines) won't be picked up through the council’s weekly collections, so don’t put them out on the street. 

If you have access to a vehicle, you can dispose of these items yourself at the Household Waste Recycling Centre in Port Solent. 

Alternatively, you could arrange a special large household item collection via Portsmouth City Council, or through another reputable waste clearance company. It’s your responsibility to check that anyone taking waste away from your home has a waste carrier’s licence and won’t fly tip your waste – or else you could be fined.

End of tenancy inspection checklist

You may need to give your property a thorough clean and check over before handing back the keys. Check with your landlord or your contract about what’s expected from you and your housemates.

If you do need to clean your property, this list will give you a pretty good idea of what you need to check and do before you move out of your house.

Room by room checklists

  • Clean the oven thoroughly - if you don’t want to do this or it’s too big-a-job, hire a professional to come and do this for you.
  • Empty, defrost, clean and turn off the fridge/freezer, leaving the doors propped open. Don't close the doors as this will encourage mould to grow inside and it will smell.
  • Clean and wash all surfaces, including floors and down the sides of appliances.
  • Empty all bins and put rubbish out to be collected (on collection day).
  • Empty all cupboards and clean inside. Don’t forget the tops of the cupboards if they are accessible.
  • Clean sink.

  • Clean the toilet, bath, shower and sink thoroughly including descaling of any areas such as the shower head, taps and toilet.
  • Clean all surfaces including walls, floors, ceiling and window sills, ensuring all condensation/mould has been removed.
  • Remove all toiletries and personal possessions. If there are items that are unopened and unused and you don’t want them, why not donate them to a local charity that provides toiletries, sanitary products and other similar items to local homeless people.

  • Vacuum carpets, including under the bed and behind furniture.
  • Put any furniture back in the original position it was when you moved in.
  • Ensure walls are clean and free from traces of any adhesive or pins if you have used them. "Flash Magic Erasers" are a great product for gently getting scuff marks off walls.
  • Clean all furniture and surfaces including window sills, picture rails, skirting boards, tops of cupboards and wardrobes.
  • Ensure all curtains are hanging correctly on their tracks or poles.
  • Ensure curtains are clean and in the same condition as when you moved in.


  • Pay utility bills up to the end of the tenancy and inform the utility companies of your leaving date, so that final bills can be calculated and paid, otherwise these can be deducted from your deposit
  • Clear the garden of any added items or rubbish – they may need taking to a local tip if they do not fit in your council bin
  • All hallways, stairs and communal areas should be vacuumed and dusted
  • Clean any stains on carpets or furniture to bring them back to the condition they were in when the tenancy started
  • Check that light bulbs are working (if they were provided when you moved in) - replace any that are not
  • Empty the vacuum cleaner, replacing the bag if necessary
  • Leave windows locked and keys on window sills
  • Return keys to the landlord in person and on time

If you don’t have time to give the cleaning the attention it needs, hire a professional cleaner between you as a household to complete it. You must remove all of your possessions before a cleaner comes round so they easily and promptly complete the work – they sometimes charge extra for moving items or even removing rubbish so be aware of this.

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