When to pay deposit and first month's rent?

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    When to pay deposit and first month's rent?

    Hi all,

    New to the forum, but could really do with some advice please.

    My husband and I have had 6 rental properties over the past 12 years. Each time we have moved into a new property, we've always gone to the agents office or the property itself to sign the tenancy agreement, then we've handed over the deposit and first months rent, and then been given the keys. Never had any issues.

    Early last month, we viewed a property we liked. The landlord is new to the game, and deals with everything himself- there are no agents involved. We liked the property, and so the landlord started the process of referencing (we didn't pay any fees for this). My husband failed credit check, so we arranged a guarantor. Landlord said all was fine, we could give notice on our current property, the house was ours etc.

    The notice on our current property ends on the 21st June. Last night, the new landlord emailed us, asking us to 'send over the deposit and first months rent as soon as possible'. Now, I should point out that as of yet, we've seen no tenancy agreement at all. The landlord lives about 100 miles away from the property; when we asked him how he intended to give us the keys, he said he needed us to pay the deposit and rent electronically, then he'd meet us at the property on the 21st to give us the keys and sign paperwork.

    This really doesn't sit right with me at all; I dont feel comfortable handing over £1000 to someone I've met for 10 minutes, without even seeing any paperwork, let alone signing anything. We have emailed him back, stating we would like to meet at the property on the 21st to sort out everything then, including paying the money, but as of yet he hasn't emailed us back.

    Should we be running for the hills?


    Your landlord is unlikely to know the law.

    In particular, the most that can be handed over at this stage is likely to be a holding deposit of no more than one week's rent.


      Whenever Ive asked for rent in advance in the past Ive always offered proof of ownership of the property first as well as drafts of the documents I will use. You could ask for this before transferring funds.


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