Signing tenancy agreement in advance and handover of keys

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    Signing tenancy agreement in advance and handover of keys

    How soon in advance of tenancy can the agreement be signed? in this case it would be around 4 weeks in advance of tenancy start date.
    Is signing of agreement in advance a good alternative to a holding deposit? (in that it gives more certainty to the tenant?)
    When should keys be handed over - on date of signing or date of move in?

    Many thanks

    #2
    The best time to sign a tenancy agreement is when the property is ready to be moved into by the tenant.
    It doesn't have to be done on the actual day, but it's quite common.

    By all means give a tenant a copy of what you'll want them to sign, so they can query anything they're concerned about.
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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      #3
      The keys should not be given until the intended start date of the tenancy. I agree with jpkeates though. It's not a good idea to sign the contract in advance.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, but am I right to believe there's no reason not to sign 4 weeks in advance, then keys handed over on tenancy start date?

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          #5
          If you sign 4 weeks in advance and something happens in the interim, such as the existing tenant not leaving or a problem with the property, then you are contractually bound to provide accommodation for the tenants and may have to pay for them to stay in b&b until its available.

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            #6
            Thanks DPT57 - Property is empty so no risk of existing t not leaving.

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              #7
              It might burn down.
              The tenant or you might die.

              Sign the agreement the day before or the day of moving in (you have to be there when they move in to check the smoke alarms anyway).
              When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
              Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by bengal View Post
                How soon in advance of tenancy can the agreement be signed? in this case it would be around 4 weeks in advance of tenancy start date.
                There is no problem in law with that.

                Originally posted by bengal View Post
                Is signing of agreement in advance a good alternative to a holding deposit? (in that it gives more certainty to the tenant?)
                Simply paying a holding deposit without agreeing what is being held and for how long is of no benefit to a tenant.


                Originally posted by bengal View Post
                When should keys be handed over - on date of signing or date of move in?
                You do not want to be giving the key to the tenant more than a day or two before the start date. Specifying in the agreement when the key is to be handed over will avoid any dispute.

                *

                If it has been agreed that the tenancy will not start immediately early signing binds both parties. The tenant has a contract he can enforce. The landlord can collect the first instalment of rent and deposit on signing. The contract must though provide that the first instalment of rent is payable on signing and not on the day the tenancy starts.

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                  #9
                  I personally see no problems with signing an agreement long in advance (if it is vacant or is 100% certain to be vacant). All the other risks mentioned (burning down, a death) will not be any more significant if they occur a week after the tenancy starts versus a week before. The signing obviously needs to be associated with collection of the first month of rent (and possibly also the deposit depending on the time-scale).

                  The main advantage of signing in advance is certainty. It also provides all parties with an opportunity to gain certainty outside of the time-limits allowed for holding deposits. I really don't think my tenants who have just arrived from a 24 hour flight with a family of 5 will be happy to find out whether or not they have a tenancy an hour before it starts (or even a week before).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bengal View Post
                    When should keys be handed over - on date of signing or date of move in?
                    If there is gas, then not before the valid GSC has been provided and signed for.

                    Comment

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