T changeover: sign new TA before old T moves out?

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  • T changeover: sign new TA before old T moves out?

    T is due to move out in seven days (she gave notice, not me). I have received an offer from a prospective new tenant, which I have accepted subject to satisfactory references. New T wants to move in five days after current T moves out, which is great - in theory.

    Current T has been reliable for past 18 months. I have no real reason to doubt she'll move out next week, but she rang at the weekend asking if she could extend by a month, due to a delay with the place she's moving to. I explained the situation and she seemed okay about it. Nevertheless, I now feel a bit cautious about signing new TA, just in case.

    At the same time, I don't want to delay securing the new T in case she gets the idea that there could be a potential problem. And even if I don't actually sign the TA yet, there's the issue with the agent perhaps unwittingly creating a contract with new T in terms of an agreement to create a tenancy (as I've seen discussed on here).

    So how can I have my cake and eat it? How can I say 'yes' in theory to new T (assuming references come back okay), without actually committing myself to it yet?

  • #2
    Originally posted by westminster View Post
    So how can I have my cake and eat it? How can I say 'yes' in theory to new T (assuming references come back okay), without actually committing myself to it yet?
    As I said in another thread: "There is really no way round your problem. You cannot really sign up a new tenant until the old one has moved out after the tenancy has ended, however it may be ended."

    The only thing you could do is to sign an agreement conditional upon you getting vacant possession of the property, but conditional contracts need careful drafting and would be a bit sledgehammerish. The arrangement may not of course suit the intending tenant as she could not be sure when she was going to be able to move in.

    Looks like the tenant was the one trying to have her cake and eat it. Really she ought to move out, but the plain fact is that if you sue for possession she will probably be gone by the time the case comes up. It is obviously difficult if she has been a good tenant. You could though hint that as she has given notice you are entitled to double rent.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
      You cannot really sign up a new tenant until the old one has moved out after the tenancy has ended, however it may be ended.
      Let's rewrite that as "You should not really sign up a new tenant until the old one has moved out and the tenancy has ended, because you risk old T not vacating before new T is entitled to occupy."
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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