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Returning your home

Returning your home to us

The five steps to follow when ending your tenancy

Here, you’ll find details on what to do when you give your home back to us, including details on how to tell us, how to leave the house in good condition and how to settle your account.

Step 1: Give us four weeks’ notice in writing

  • The notice period starts on the Monday after we receive your notice. We will then write back giving you the end date for your tenancy.
  • Giving notice can also be done for you by someone with the legal power to deal with your affairs, such as a relative with power of attorney. We will need to see supporting legal documentation showing they have power of attorney.
  • For joint tenancies, a letter from one tenant will end the joint tenancy for both of you.
  • At this time, you will also need to provide us with a forwarding address.

Step 2: Arrange a property inspection

  • The inspection is one of the most important parts of the process. Once we’ve received your notice in writing, we’ll contact you to arrange this appointment.
  • Someone from our team will visit you to make sure the property is left in a good, clean and tidy condition.
  • During the inspection, you will be advised of any repairs or decoration you need to do before leaving, but please be aware that damage may also be identified once the property is empty and furniture has been removed.

Step 3: Let the right people know you are moving

  • Contact the utility companies and give them final meter readings plus a contact address for final bills.
  • Tell any relevant benefit departments, such as housing benefit or universal credit of your change in circumstances.

Step 4: Make sure your home is left in a good condition

After you have left the home, we may need to do some work on it. To avoid being charged for this work, please follow the guidelines below. If repairs which are your responsibility are not carried out, you will be charged for this work.

Keys

    • All keys must be returned to our office by midday on the date your tenancy ends. Each external door must have at least two keys.

Internal doors

    • All internal doors must be present in each room and in good order.

Kitchen

    • Units and worktops must be left clean and free from damage.
    • Unless built-in, all kitchen appliances must be removed. If there is a gas cooker, a qualified gas engineer must disconnect it.

Bathroom

    • All the standard fixtures and fittings should be clean and in good condition.

Floor coverings

    • Floor coverings such as carpets and laminate flooring, must be removed unless you get permission to leave them during the property inspection.

Personal items & rubbish

    • The property, including loft space and all cupboards, must be clear of all personal items and rubbish.

Cleanliness

    • The property should be cleaned throughout.

Decoration

    • Rooms should be left in good decorative order.
    • We will charge you for rooms with ripped wallpaper, graffiti or decorations which are beyond reasonable wear and tear.

Garage

    • If you rent one of our garages and want to end the tenancy of the garage, please give four weeks’ written notice to our garage co-ordinator.

Garden

    • The garden must be left in a tidy condition with the grass, shrubs and hedges cut and tidy.
    • The garden must also be clear of any rubbish or personal items.

Home improvements by you

    • Improvements made by you, such as kitchens, feature fires, doors and garden items like sheds, greenhouses, ponds and patios must be removed unless you have had permission to leave them in place during the property inspection.

Selwood Lifeline

    • If you are connected to a Selwood Lifeline, please leave the pendant and other equipment in the property.

Step 5: Settle your account

  • Once your tenancy has ended, it is important to contact us on 01225 715 715 to settle your account.
  • We will tell you how much you need to pay or if you are due any money back.
  • This balance might not include any charges for repairs because it takes time for us to process the costs of the work from our contractors. Therefore, if there was any repair work you may receive a separate bill for any repairs we have had to do, and these charges will be added to your account.

Queries about your final account and end date

For queries about your final account, call your account manager on 01225 715 715. For queries about your tenancy end date, phone our lettings team on 01225 715 715.

Settling your account

Payments to clear your account balance can be made in the following ways:

  • By phone on 01225 715 715 to make a debit/credit card payment
  • Make a payment online, use Paypoint’s online payment website.
  • You can pay with cash at any Paypoint or Payzone outlet, you will need your rent payment card
  • Pay by cash or cheque at any Post Office branch, you will need your rent payment card
  • By cheque payable to Selwood Housing, Bryer Ash Business Park, Bradford Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 8RT. Please write the address of the tenancy and rent reference number on the back of your cheque
  • By cash at our Bryer Ash office.

Direct debits

  • If you pay your rent by direct debit, do not cancel your direct debit. Contact us to discuss any outstanding balance.

Standing orders

  • You will need to contact your bank to stop these payments. Like direct debits, contact us to discuss any outstanding balance before cancelling these.

Housing Benefit and Universal Credit

  • These payments will not normally be paid if you are not living in the property, this means if you move out before the 4-week notice period your rent may not be paid.
  • If you are claiming Housing Benefit and moving to another rented property where you must pay rent, you may be entitled to an ‘overlap’ in benefit – contact your local housing benefit team for details.
  • You are responsible for any unpaid rent.

What if I cannot afford to pay the account?

  • You have a legal obligation to clear the account. However, if you cannot make a payment to clear the balance in full, we may be able to arrange for you to pay in instalments.
  • Please contact your account manager to discuss the options available.

Why is it important for me to clear my balance?

  • We will take steps to recover any money owing to us. There are several ways we do this, and we will charge you our costs for doing this.
  • We may register a County Court judgment for the money you owe, we will then instruct a bailiff to recover the money on our behalf. This will affect your ability to get credit in the future.
  • If you are registered on a choice-based lettings scheme to be housed, it may affect your chances of getting another home.
  • We will not re-house you if you owe us money.

Giving notice

Download the tenancy termination form to give us notice you're ending your tenancy, then email this to our lettings team.

Contact your account manager

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