This time last year I had finished uni and would be having my graduation in the July. This was the end of uni life which also meant moving out of my uni flat. I had lived in halls for my first year like many students do when they move away from home. For my second year I rented a shared house and for my final year it was a 2 bed flat for me and Laura. Students are sometimes know for being a little messy: dirty dishes left in the sink for days, the bin overflowing with rubbish or a rather dirty floor that was the result of pre-drinks weeks ago. 

As much as you try to keep it clean through the year, there isn't always anyone to tell you to keep it that way (unless your landlord comes to do checks, so be aware that this could happen). The most important clean of your house or flat will be your end of year one when everyone is moving out. Other things that you may forget about are bills you have been paying through the year, so making sure these are sorted it very important to avoid getting chased for something you are no longer using.

Cleaning

Some landlords will be much more picky when it comes to cleaning your house, with some setting out how they want it done. In my second year, the landlord gave us a 3 page checklist of everything that needs to be done. Some of it may seem a little ridiculous, but to ensure you get your full deposit back, you just have to follow what they want so you have done everything the asked and then, as long as there is no damage, there should be no reason they can give for not giving you all your money back. Other landlords may 'advise' but from my experience this is really not needed unless there is some serious damage or marks for example. In my final year, me and Laura cleaned the flat top to bottom ourselves, and when the landlord came to check us out, she told us it was the cleanest she'd ever seen a student flat. Here are some simple things to remember when giving your house a full clean that may sound obvious but are very important. 

Dusting

This may well have gone a miss during the year, especially the areas you can't obviously see. Make sure you clean the tops of your wardrobes and shelves that you don't tend to put things on. You might think that if you can't see the dust, it won't be a problem, but this may well be one of the first places a landlord will look. 

Hoovering

Hopefully you will all have used the hoover at some point during the year to whizz round, but when you are moving out, make sure you hoover behind all your furniture. If possible move things such as your bed and drawers out so you can clean every last bit of dust or food that may have fallen behind there at some point.

Mopping

If you have ever hosted pre-drinks at your house, you may well have experienced the sticky floor the next day from numerous drinks that were spilled. Hopefully the floor will have been cleaned before the end of the year, but mopping every hard floor surface will ensure nothing gets left behind and can make the room look a whole lot cleaner. If the landlord comes in and sees a shiny floor, they may be less inclined to try and pick faults in other areas of the room. Quick tip here, it's probably best to mop once all your stuff is moved out so you don't end up walking all over the clean floor. 

Kitchen Cupboards

Even though you have cleaned all the worktops and the floor in the kitchen, cleaning the cupboard doors and handles, as well as the insides is a good idea. In my second year we were specifically asked to clean every part of the cupboard including the shelves. It may sound like an obvious point, but it may get overlooked if you have already emptied all of your food and kitchen stuff out and you don't open them back up when you go round cleaning. 

Fridge & Freezer

This will vary for different landlords but at the very least these need to be both fully emptied of food and thoroughly clean. For the freezer, the likelihood is that it will need to be defrosted so that it's not full of ice on the shelves. Some landlords will ask you to turn off your fridge and freezer if new people not moving in straight away. If this is the case, you need to fully dry out the fridge and leave the door open to prevent mould developing inside. With the freezer it will need fully defrosted which will sometimes leave you with a big puddle of water if you don't have towels to hand, so think ahead when doing this.

Other

You many have cleaned all the main places and the house will hopefully be looking pretty clean. There are a few places to check before you can finish and should only need a wipe down. Be sure to clean your door handles, light switches, plugs and skirting boards as they will either have collected dust or be covered in dirty fingerprints. 

Bills

In my first year all of the bills were included in the rent for my halls so I didn't have to worry about this. When it comes to privately renting, this will all change. Sometimes landlords will give you the option of paying extra money of top your rent to include some or all of your bills. If you have set up your bills yourself, there are a few important steps to follow. 

Contact The Company

When you know when you will be moving out you will need to contact the different companies responsible for billing you. You need to tell them when you will be moving out and that you require a final bill. This is important to ensure you don't keep paying once you have moved out, and so that the company knows you are no longer responsible for that property. One thing to check before your tenancy comes to an end is how much notice you are required to give prior to you moving out, as some may be a month or longer. What I did was to call them up a few months before moving out to ask how it works so I wouldn't end up paying more. Another thing to consider is asking the company if they can provide you will a loyalty deal if you will be moving into another property the next year, you will be surprised what they will offer you if you tell them you will go with another provider. 

Note Down Final Meter Readings

You will at least have gas and electric meters in the property and sometimes one for water. Companies will probably ask you for your final meter readings so they can calculate the correct final bill. One tip here is to take a photo of these meter readings so you have a record of what they were if there is ever a query about what they are.

Check The Final Bill Amount

This may vary depending whether you are paying by direct debit or not, but it is important to check over the final bill they send you. Sometimes students may be easier targets to overcharge as they are not used to paying bills, or it may be a genuine mistake from the company. I know it's difficult to know exactly how much it should be, but if you are ever unsure about what you have been charged, contact them and ask for the bill to be explained. You may end up getting some money back if you incorrectly charged. 

These are some of my tips and advice for when you are moving out of your uni house to make sure that you get the correct deposit back and so you don't end up getting overcharged for your bills once you have moved out. If you have any questions or need some more advice, you can either leave me a comment below, tweet me @amsblog or email me at: andrewmarksmithblog@gmail.com.