Signing the tenancy agreement

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    Signing the tenancy agreement

    Hello all,

    I am sure that this situation arises often but am not having the best of luck searching the threads.

    To start a tenancy, normally I would normally meet the applicant and process the application, then meet once more later at the property to read the meters, do the inventory, sign the tenancy and hand over the keys etc.

    Now a potential tenant has applied by post to start a tenancy in my property which is a hundred miles from where she lives now, but has not yet provided ID. She wishes to move after a delay of a one and a half months but I have told her that I will continue to advertise the property until a tenancy agreement is signed. I have not met her yet, but to allow her to secure the tenancy and save her travelling more than necessary, I am wondering whether it would be sensible to do all the paperwork in a single meeting, sign and date the tenancy to start on the desired moving date and provide the keys several weeks later when that date arrives.

    Are there any practical or legal pitfalls here?

    Any comments will be much appreciated.

    #2
    Your tenant is entitled to a reasonable period to study the tenancy agreement and it would be pertinent to invite her to take it to the CAB or a solicitor, Housing Officer if she wishes to before she signs it. Put this in writing for the avoidance of doubt. See the RLA AST which can be downloaded for free I think if you don't have a decent tenancy agreement.


    Also consider the Distance Selling Regulations (look on the internet) as a cooling-off period is likely to be applicable.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Direct View Post
      To start a tenancy, normally I would normally meet the applicant and process the application, then meet once more later at the property to read the meters, do the inventory, sign the tenancy and hand over the keys etc.

      Now a potential tenant has applied by post to start a tenancy in my property which is a hundred miles from where she lives now, but has not yet provided ID. She wishes to move after a delay of a one and a half months but I have told her that I will continue to advertise the property until a tenancy agreement is signed. I have not met her yet, but to allow her to secure the tenancy and save her travelling more than necessary, I am wondering whether it would be sensible to do all the paperwork in a single meeting, sign and date the tenancy to start on the desired moving date and provide the keys several weeks later when that date arrives.
      So if I understand you rightly, you haven't actually met this tenant yet, and she hasn't seen the property, but you're considering offering a tenancy? If so that would be the pitfall I think.

      I really can't imagine offering someone a tenancy without meeting them - that's a (the?) major part of the vetting process as far as I'm concerned. And for a tenant to want to sign up for at least 6 months(?) minimum contract without assessing the properties' suitability would start ringing warning bells with me anyway, as to their reliability.

      If it was me? I'd say OK, come and view the property, bring all your ID stuff etc with you (send her a list) and if she wants to, she can then apply forthwith, and leave you a £100 deposit as a show of good faith, whereupon you take it off the market and do your checks on her ASAP. If that pans out OK, and you want to take her on, take the full deposit and 1st months' rent off her and both sign the tenancy agreement - that can all be done by post.

      A month and a half sounds an exceptionally long time to allow her to delay (assuming she's not going to be paying you) so you want to be damned sure she's not going to let you down at the last minute. And she should not balk at paying you up front for that reason. NB I think even if you've signed the contract and taken the money she could still back out in theory until she actually takes posession, so be careful.

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