Leaving accommodation


In the first instance we strongly recommend that you can contact your landlord to discuss the possibility of coming out of the contract or if you are struggling to pay to see if you can negotiate reduced payments. Most student contracts are fixed term, assured shorthold tenancies and most Landlords will be reluctant to release students from this contractual obligation especially if they have mortgages etc to pay, but it is worth having that conversation.

Most landlords will be happy for you to leave if you can find a replacement tenant. They may charge you a reasonable fee to cover the cost to them of changing over the tenancy.

If I leave my tenancy do I have to pay?

Yes you do. You have signed into a contract agreeing that you will pay the rent for the duration of that contract. If you have left you would need to find someone to take over the contract. If you can not you should contact us at advice@exeterguild.com or submit an enquiry to see if there is any further assistance.

How can I find someone to take on my room?

We would recommend that you look at advertising your room on Exeter StudentPad (http://www.exeterstudentpad.co.uk/Accommodation). There is a message board (Please contact advice for password) where you can advertise your room and also respond to people looking for accommodation.  

There are also a number of websites that would allow you advertise your room, however these are run by private providers so we are unable to recommend the use of one over another but they are listed as follows:


If you have nowhere to sleep tonight, or may be in that situation in the coming days, we would advise you to get in touch with the University welfare team and us as soon as possible.

There are a number of options you may be able to look at including Exeter City Council who can provide advice, and in some cases emergency housing.  The University may be able to provide up to 4 nights of emergency accommodation in exceptional circumstances however there may be a charge for this.

My landlord has evicted me, what do I do?

If you are on a fixed term contract your landlord can not just evict you. They must give you written notice and go through court to seek a possession order to have you removed.

It is illegal for a landlord to evict you by doing any of the following:

Changing the locks while you are out without following the eviction procedure - Threatening or harassing you until you leave

Physically removing you from the property

Evicting you before the notice period is up

If you have been evicted illegally, you should contact the council as soon as possible. They may be able to help you re-enter your home, provide emergency accommodation, and help you get legal advice for the situation. If the landlord has harassed you or been violent towards you, you should call the police.

If you have been given an eviction notice, please contact the Advice service for support.

I am in a lodger arrangement, is this the same?

Unfortunately, you have less rights as a lodger and your landlord can ask you to leave in a shorter notice period. This is usually the payment period- such as monthly or weekly.

My parents have kicked me out and will no longer support me, what do I do?

As well as potentially needing emergency accommodation you may also need some support from our dedicated Widening Participation worker who works with estranged students, care leavers, student carers and Assylum seekers. Contact advice@exeterguild.com for help.

I don’t have anywhere to go in the summer, what do I do?

It would be good to understand a bit more about your situation and look at what options may be open to you.

You could be looking at short term lets, such as lodger agreements or you may need some support from our dedicated Widening Participation worker who works with estranged students, care leavers, student carers and Assylum seekers. Contact advice@exeterguild.com or submit an enquiry for help.


Hopefully you have had a good time in your tenancy and you are ready to move on. Moving out should be a simple process and here are a few things to remember to make it even easier.

  • Take meter readings- Ideally take a time and dated photo that you can keep. This ensures that you are only paying for what you have used and can be useful if there is any dispute later on.
  • Phone the energy companies and let them know that you have moved out and give them the meter readings and ensure that they have an address to send the final bill to.
  • Clean, clean and clean- or pay someone to do the cleaning for you. The expectation is that you will leave the property in the same condition that you moved in and it will cost more to
  • Replace any broken or missing items. Ideally check this off against your inventory/condition report and try and get
  • Remove your belongings and any rubbish so that your landlord does not charge you to do this.
  • Check your contractually obligations about maintaining any gardens or outside spaces and ensure that they are clean and tidy as well.
  • Take photos of the property so you can evidence the great condition that you left it in
  • To avoid any charge for replacement keys, make sure that you have handed your keys back.

My Landlord has charged me a fee for checking out.

Your landlord is not allowed to do this. You can go back to them and raise their attention that this is not allowed under the tenancy fee act.The Advice service would be happy to support you with this

I forgot to get meter readings

Contact the energy providers as soon as you can to let them know when you moved out.

My housemate won’t pay their share of bills, what do I do?

This can be a difficult situation. Ideally when you start the tenancy you contact the energy provider and put all your names on the bills so that you are all liable. If it is only in one persons name (normally the most responsible person who has nominated themselves to sort the bills) then if there is outstanding debt then the energy company will look to them to pay it.

If this is the case the next step is to contact the housemate and request payment giving a clear time frame for them to respond to you.

If they refuse to do this then your options are to accept this or to look at taking them to small claims court to reclaim the money. There is no guarantee that you will be successful and there is a cost involved with this, although you can claim this back if you are successful.

It would be important to show that the other housemates are also responsible for the payment, by proving that the person who took out the contract did so on behalf of the other tenants.

The link below shows how to make a claim.
Making a court claim for money

The agents

Tenancy Deposit Disputes

The landlord is required to inform you if they intend to take any deductions from the deposit and then give you option to disagree with this.

Once this has been agreed the landlord should return your deposit minus any agreed deductions within 10 days.

Your landlord could make deductions from your deposit for:

  • Damaged to and/or missing property
  • Cleaning costs
  • Unpaid rent
  • Unpaid Utility bills
  • Outstanding allowable costs from during the tenancy as compensation to the Landlord for paying bills rightfully due to the tenant, as listed in the agreement

If the landlord does make a deduction from your deposit, they must let you know what each deduction is for and how much you are being charged for each item.

‘Wear and tear’ is damage or deterioration that happens with the ordinary use of a property. It is the landlord’s responsibility to bear the cost of normal wear and tear in a property and a claim shouldn’t be made against the tenant’s deposit for a reasonable level of wear and tear.

It is reasonable for a landlord to charge for items that are damaged beyond repair or missing. A landlord could also make a claim for repairing or cleaning an item to make it useable again. The landlord can claim for accidental as well as intentional damage.

Any deductions that the agent wishes to take, must be listed and costed so that you can clearly see what is being proposed and if you wish to dispute anything.  

Ideally you should be able to resolve this informally but if not, you will need to indicate to your landlord that you disagree and you will be contacting  your case will be passed to an Independent Case A (ICE)  

I would suggest that because you are disagreeing that you respond back to them and query the payment, saying that you are not happy with it.  

Hopefully this can be resolved informally but if not you will need to go back to the scheme and submit your case for dispute review.

* My deposits https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/

The Tenancy deposit scheme https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/

I don’t know which scheme it was put in

The landlord should inform you what scheme was used but if you are not sure which scheme you can go back to the landlord or agent and ask or you can check yourself by entering your details into the website of the 3 schemes and seeing if you are registered with them.

My deposit wasn’t put in a scheme

It is a legal requirement that your deposit is put in a scheme (and details of the scheme should be in your tenancy agreement). If this has not happened your landlord could be liable to pay up to 3 times the amount that you paid. If the landlord has not I would be indicating that they protect the deposit or you will be going to court.

Links for more info  



Can I get support to challenge my landlord?

Yes! If you would like help you can email the Advice service for assistance advice@exeterguild.com or submit an enquiry.