Checking the condition of your home before you move

If you have an assured, secure or fixed term tenancy and have applied to transfer to another Sovereign property, we’ll inspect your property after we receive your application. If you’re leaving Sovereign or applying for an exchange, we’ll either arrange an inspection or ask you to send in some photos and information about your property.

You’ll need to make sure that we can easily view all rooms and walls. Please take down posters and pictures and move large furniture away from the wall where possible. Before the inspection, it’s a good idea to have a look at whether your home meets our agreed standard and, if needed, spend some time putting things right. 

We expect that there will have been normal wear and tear during your tenancy, but we won't be able to agree a transfer or an exchange if the property’s not in a good condition.  And if you’ve given notice on your Sovereign tenancy, we’ll normally need to recharge you for any works we need to do to put things right. This may also include issues that weren’t evident at the inspection. Check the condition of the following in your home:


  • All existing kitchen units and worktops should be in good condition (clean inside and out, and unpainted with no chips or scratches).
  • Cupboard doors shouldn’t be painted or wrapped, and should be fitted correctly, with the handles secure.
  • Wall tiles and grout should be unpainted and in good condition
  • If you’ve changed the flooring, it needs to be slip resistant (R10 rated).

Bathroom and toilets 

  • The bath, basin and toilet should be free from cracks and stains, with plugs and chains attached.
  • The taps should be clean and in good working order.
  • Wall tiles and grout should be unpainted and in good condition
  • If you’ve changed the flooring, it needs to be slip resistant (R10 rated).

Flooring and staircases

  • Floors, staircases, bannisters and handrails should be sound and free from damage.
  • Flooring will need to be removed if it isn’t in excellent, clean condition, free from damage and infestation, and well fitted.      
  • Laminate flooring always needs to be removed in upper floor flats, as it leads to noise transfer. Laminate can be left in houses and ground floor flats provided it is in excellent, clean condition, free from damage, and well fitted.      
  • Although we won’t recharge you for their removal, we’d be grateful if you could remove carpet grippers as we can’t leave them for the next customer. If you’re in an older property (built before 2000), leave them in place on the ground floor.

Doors and windows 

  • Front and rear external doors should be sound and secure. 
  • Windows should be sound and secure. Keys should be provided for windows with locks. 
  • Internal doors should be left in their original condition, fitted correctly, and in good order, and any missing or damaged doors should be repaired or replaced. Damage includes holes and splits in doors.
  • Blinds – with child safe fittings - can be left if they’re in good condition, free from dirt, mould and damage. Curtains should be removed.
  • Curtain batons, poles and tracks can be left if in good condition, free from dirt, mould and damage.
  • All keys and fobs should be returned, including those for communal locks.


  • Skirting boards and door frames should be undamaged. 
  • All wall surfaces should be in a good state of repair, clean and mould free. Small screwholes are acceptable and can be left, but large holes need to be professionally repaired.  
  • Dark or patterned walls are acceptable provided the decorating has been done to a high standard, and remains in good condition.
  • Wallpaper can be left provided it has been applied to a high standard, and remains in good condition with no rips.
  • Radiators shouldn’t be painted.
  • Any graffiti and stickers should be removed.


  • All gardens should be tidy and free from any personal belongings or hazards.
  • Any ponds should be filled in. 
  • Sheds should be removed if they’re in poor, rotten or dangerous condition.
  • Decking should always be removed, and the area put back to its original state.

Electrical items

  • If you've altered any of the electrical fittings without permission, and don't have a certificate of installation from a professional contractor, you'll need to return them to their original condition. If you’ve had permission, please provide this and the certificate of installation.


  • You shouldn’t make alterations or improvements to your home without our permission – if you have, you’ll need to return the property to its original condition. We may ask to see the permission documents before you move.


  • If you have repairs that are our responsibility, please report them to us before we visit. 

Before you move 

  • When it’s time to move, you'll need to make sure your home and garden, including loft space and garages, are free from all belongings and rubbish. You’ll also need to ensure you don’t cause any damage to the property as a result of the removals process.