Quick legal question re AST

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    Quick legal question re AST

    Welcome back chaps!

    The question:

    I am about to let a flat to 3 people on one AST but one of the will not be present on the moving-in day as he will be working abroad for a few days.

    What is the standard procedure for obtaining a legal signed Agreement in these circumstances if one tenant won't be present at the moving-in-signing time?

    Thanks in advance

    #2
    Can no-one help?

    Comment


      #3
      Hi, I too would like to know the answer. I am about to let to students but one of them lives in Russia and the other in Hong Kong and the tenancy is due to start in a couple of weeks, the other two students are UK based and have already signed. I have thought about emailing/faxing the paperwork, but is a faxed signature legally binding?

      Comment


        #4
        I want to make sure it is properly legal.

        I have been previously told by a solicitor that the signatures do not all have to be witnessed by the same person - so it is perfectly aceptable to have one person sign with one witness and others with another later, even on a different day

        But here I am possibly going to be letting a tenancy commence wthout one party having signed up and that is worrying me. I can't imagine one can sign retrospectively.

        I would certainly be grateful for clarification

        Comment


          #5
          I don't have an answer to your main question, but I can tell you that for a standard AST you don't need the signatures to be witnessed (though personally I still do, as to my mind it reinforces the 'important' legal status of the document).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Ericthelobster
            I don't have an answer to your main question, but I can tell you that for a standard AST you don't need the signatures to be witnessed (though personally I still do, as to my mind it reinforces the 'important' legal status of the document).
            Interesting.

            My AST agreements all have space for a witness' details so I've always used one.

            Comment


              #7
              I believe a faxed copy will be sufficient (many a corporate contract has been done by fax!!) but add a proviso that you also recieve the hard copy of your fax, with their original signature, by the date the tenancy starts - they can post it (by Fedex if necessary!) to you or assuming they all move in on the same date can give it to you on hand over.

              Personally, I wouldn't rely on emailed or scanned documents as these are quite easily altered with the right printer

              On the basis that these witnesses will also be living abroad get their name, address, relationship to the tenant and a phone number ... and get the foreign tenants to sign and date the bottom of each page of the AST thus ensuring they have seen each page and the relevant clauses on each page, to protect yourself later should one of them say they only received 4 instead of 5 pages and therefore didn't agree to a clause on the so-called missing page !!!

              Originally posted by jools
              Hi, I too would like to know the answer. I am about to let to students but one of them lives in Russia and the other in Hong Kong and the tenancy is due to start in a couple of weeks, the other two students are UK based and have already signed. I have thought about emailing/faxing the paperwork, but is a faxed signature legally binding?
              Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

              Comment


                #8
                Hi,
                when I signed the contract for my current house, my partner hadn't yet moved to the area. I just got the agents to email me the contract in advance, so he could sign it & post back to me. I then took it along with his signature & signed it myself when I picked up the keys. The agents were fine with this.

                Comment


                  #9
                  With respect, you are right - under normal circustances .. you were both resident in this country and presumably "traceable" should anything go wrong ..

                  Without generalising, I can understand the posters hesitance as some foreign students may not last the duration of the tenancy, may not have an alternative UK address for contact etc etc and therefore wants to make absolutely sure that he has taken as many precautions as he can ...

                  In this instance, the foreign students are not available to sign before the tenancy commences, or even on the day as I understand it, and he is loathe to let someone assume a tenancy without having relevant documentation in place .... can't say I blame him !

                  Originally posted by shhhh
                  Hi,
                  when I signed the contract for my current house, my partner hadn't yet moved to the area. I just got the agents to email me the contract in advance, so he could sign it & post back to me. I then took it along with his signature & signed it myself when I picked up the keys. The agents were fine with this.
                  Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Ericthelobster
                    I don't have an answer to your main question, but I can tell you that for a standard AST you don't need the signatures to be witnessed (though personally I still do, as to my mind it reinforces the 'important' legal status of the document).
                    Is everyone sure this is true?

                    I have managed to get all three signatures on two copies of the agreement, but they didn't get them witnessed, even though I specifically asked.

                    Should still be legal and enforcable yes?

                    Thanks

                    Comment


                      #11
                      1. Any tenancy agreement drafted for a fixed period of 3 years or under does not have to have any signatures witnessed (but there's nothing to stop you doing so).
                      2. This is only a requirement where a tenancy agreement must be delivered up as a deed such as if for more than 3 years!
                      3. An AST can be an oral contract (but is usually in writing) but one by deed MUST be in writing.
                      4. Just because there is a space for a witness to sign it doesn't mean it has to be used, but you would need it if your agreement was to be for more than 3 years, and that's why it's there!
                      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.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you very much. That is just the information we needed. We should be legal!

                        Comment

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