I'm moving out of my flat and my letting agent insists I give them the keys before they do the check out inspection.

I'm really uncomfortable with that - I've had landlords and agents try to keep my deposit before so I want to be there with the person so we can both sign off on the inspection.

I want to check what the legal position on this is, because I've always been present for the inspection before and thought that was normal, but I can't find any reliable sources of information.

Where can I find what the legal arrangement for property inspection is? This information has to be somewhere.

  • First 2 search results. UK Goverment - Private Renting and Citizens' Advice Bureau - Private Renting Sep 13, 2019 at 20:05
  • @LaconicDroid, I already read both of those. nether have a lot of detail on moving out, and don't mention inspections at all. Just say 'take some photos'. I've seen some things saying tenants have the right to be present at inspections but that might have been US advice.
    – FJC
    Sep 13, 2019 at 20:30
  • When is the inspection taking place? If it's before the end of the tenancy, you're entitled to keep the keys until the tenancy ends. If it's after the end, you'll already have given the keys back. Sep 14, 2019 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


Short Answer: What does the contract say?

Long Answer:

You have a tenancy agreement with your landlord. This tenancy agreement should state the rights and obligations both you and your landlord have, regarding your tenancy.

As in most tenancy agreements, you agreed to pay a deposit, which will be returned to you at the end of the tenancy period, reduced by the value of any damage to property that you caused.

Now, your contract may or may not state how the landlord may do his inspection. Generally, whatever the contract says is what is legally enforceable. Im going to take a guess and say that your contract does not state whether your landlord must be given the keys to the property before the inspection, or whether you must be present at the inspection, or how the inspection is supposed to be carried out.

Now you don't need to research previous cases or judgments to know what you can do here. Go back to the contract: the landlord has the right to carry out an inspection in order to assess whether the deposit is to be returned in full or reduced.

No ifs, no buts, this is a right bestowed upon the landlord by the contract. So you cannot limit the way he does his inspection, let him do it. On the same token, unless the contract says so, he cannot demand the keys to the property before carrying the inspection out, as having the keys to the property has nothing to do with an inspection.


Basic but comprehensive reports on European tenancy laws can be found on the University of Bremen website: TENLAW: Tenancy Law and Housing Policy in Multi-level Europe

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