Living with Flatmates

Flatmate Moving Tips – A 7 Step Guide For Asking A Flatmate To Leave

Your household may have made the decision to ask a flatmate to leave but are you ready to tell your flatmate? The answer may surprise you and your household. While it may seem like your household has already made the hardest decision, there are plenty more choices to make and work to be completed before letting your flatmate know it’s time for them to move out.

Asking a flatmate to leave is more than telling a person that you like them to move out. Before talking to your flatmate, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a legal aid office or lawyer as you may not be able to legally ask your flatmate to move out due to the contracts and/or agreements that each flatmate has signed and their position in the household. Finding out after you asked your flatmate to move out that they are not obligated to leave can cause your living conditions to deteriorate rapidly. Once you have sorted out any legal issues and start making plans for asking your flatmate to move out, it’s important to make arrangements that can be changed to fit in with people’s existing commitments.

So, when it’s time for a flatmate to leave, which preparations should your household be making? Here are 7 steps that can make a difficult task easier and run more smoothly.

1. Decide On A Moving Day
During the meeting in which your household makes the decision to ask a person to move out, you should also decide on a moving day where at least one flatmate is available to supervise the moving out process. This includes making a final room inspection, receiving or paying any final payments, ensuring the items on your returned items list are received and making sure the discharge letter is issued. The day you choose will depend on the availability of flatmates, the reason you are asking the household member to leave, safety concerns and any agreements that have been signed.

2. Items To Be Returned
Your household should create a list of items that need to be returned before your flatmate moves out. This includes keys, items borrowed from other flatmates or belonging to the household, furniture and important household documents like record keeping books. The items that have been returned, especially any keys, should be listed in the discharge letter. If the flatmate doesn’t give back the keys or members of your household feel unsafe, you will need to organise for a 24 hour locksmith to change the locks.

3. Finalise Payments and Bond
Once your household has decided on the day your flatmate should move out, your bookkeeper will need to calculate the money that is still owed or needs to be refunded for expenses and the amount of any remaining bond that needs to be returned. A breakdown of these calculations and the amount paid or received by the flatmate should be included in the discharge letter. Any payments should be made after the final room inspection and when the keys and necessary items have been returned. Our share accommodation calculators can help determine the final payment.

4. Tell Your Flatmate
You should tell your flatmate in a clear, concise and direct but non-confrontational manner why you wish them to leave, any arrangements your household has made and the designated moving day. It’s important that all flatmates are present at the meeting so that your household member understands that it has been a group decision. Your flatmate should be free to ask any questions and negotiate an alternative moving day due to prior commitments.

flatmate leave letter
5. Issue A Discharge Letter
After the final room inspection and payments are completed your household should issue your flatmate a discharge letter. It outlines why your household has asked the flatmate to move out, the designated moving day, calculations of final payments and reimbursements, money paid or received from your flatmate, items that have been returned and the results of the final room inspection.

6. Leases and Bills
If your flatmate’s name is on the lease and any bills, your household should remove their name from these documents. The legal set up of your household and any agreements you and your flatmates have signed determine if this is possible. As each household’s situation is unique, you should contact your local legal aid office or a lawyer for help.

7. Final Room Inspection
On moving day, before any final payments are made a final inspection of your flatmate’s room should be completed. This is to make sure that the room is left in the same condition than when the flatmate moved in and that no belongings are left behind.

By following this 7 step process, your household will find it easier to close the door and start a new chapter. As you’ll discover, by putting in the hard work and making sure your household is ready, you won’t need to worry about any unpleasant surprises when the time comes to tell your flatmate you would like them to move out.

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