Must AST Agreement signatures be witnessed?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Must AST Agreement signatures be witnessed?

    Can somebody tell me about the signing of the AST agreement. Does the witness to signatures have to be present when LL and T are signing, does the witness have to be a different one for LL signature and T signature. My plan is to meet Ts at property to sign AST and inventory etc and handover keys but not sure about the witness. Can I send copy of AST to tenants beforehand and we both turn up with signed and witnessed ASTs of our own.
    Want to do it legally but not sure whats what, Thanks to anyone who can advise

    #2
    An AST need not even be written (although you know what they say about oral agreements!)
    So non-witnessing or non-signature is not 'fatal' to the Agreement's validity- as long as there's evidence that L and T implemented it.
    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).

    Comment


      #3
      You have the official legal opinion above this, however many landlords get tenancy agreements witnessed as it makes the agreement more "formal" and gives the right impression. Technically, I believe, different witnesses can be used for each signature as they nerely have to attest that they witnessed the person concerned signing the document the contents of which they need not be aware of.

      P.P.
      Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

      Comment


        #4
        The witnessing of a signature makes no difference for an AST that is not created by Deed so I don't feel it makes it any more 'formal'. It's something that is really unnecessary.
        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


          #5
          Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
          The witnessing of a signature makes no difference for an AST that is not created by Deed so I don't feel it makes it any more 'formal'. It's something that is really unnecessary.
          I think PPs meaning is that it 'seems' more formal to the tenant - ie instills a sense of importance in the document so far as the tenant is concerned.

          Comment


            #6
            Where a document does not require witnessing I suppose it has to follow that there cannot be any rules, or at least if there are rules it cannot matter if they are not followed. However, a document can hardly be said to be witnessed if the witness is not present when the document is signed, unless perhaps the signatory acknowledges his signature in the presence of the witness.

            In the case of a deed the signatory must sign in the presence of the witness:

            An instrument is validly executed as a deed by an individual if, and only if—
            (a) it is signed—
            (i) by him in the presence of a witness who attests the signature


            [Section 2 (3) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989]

            Although not strictly required, the generally accepted practice in the witnessing of deeds and which should be applied to the witnessing of all documents is as follows:

            The witness should be competent, i.e. of full age and mentally sound. He should also be independent; that excludes as witnesses spouses, relatives and anyone with an interest in the transaction. Landlords should not witness the signature of a tenant and vice versa. Ideally, agents and their employees should not witness a tenant's signature; when it comes to tenancy agreements for terms of three years or less this is not really a practical problem as they do not need to be witnessed, but, for reasons unconnected with strict formal validity, guarantees really do need to be witnessed by someone who has no connection with the transaction.

            As to the number of copies to be signed and who signs which, practice depends on the transaction. In the case of a document agreeing or creating a tenancy the practice adopted by lawyers is that each party signs a copy and the copies are exchanged.

            (For the record, special rules apply to the witnessing of wills.)

            Comment


              #7
              Your Highland correspondent writes...

              Just done a SAT (Short Assured Tenancy) in Scotland: The practice is for signatures of LL & T's to be witnessed, and all the pro-formas I've seen have witness boxes. Not sure if it's a legal requirement ...my knowledge of Scots law is even less than my limited knowledge of English Law.... Will ask when I get my mandatory training to maintain Scottish LL accreditation..

              Just read the lawcruncher's post..

              The witness should be competent, i.e. of full age and mentally sound.
              As he is an elderly Ex-Indian Army Cavalry officer, "eccentric", Highland Stock, with shrapnel still in his head I'm now wondering about competency. Lovely man, amazing stories....

              Agree with snorkerz...
              - ie instills a sense of importance in the document so far as the tenant is concerned.

              Re
              [Section 2 (3) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989]
              Surely S1(3)??
              http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1989...0034_en_1#l1g1

              Rgds: Back doon sooth September...
              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                Surely S1(3)??
                Indeed it is.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  Although not strictly required, the generally accepted practice in the witnessing of deeds and which should be applied to the witnessing of all documents is as follows:
                  I've been a witness for numerous documents over the years, and have asked numerous people to serve as witness for documents of my own. Once in a while, people have asked me along the lines of 'um - what am I committing myself to by witnessing this' and to be honest I'm not sure how to answer it!

                  Are there circumstances where a witness might be called upon to attend court to attest to having witnessed a signing, or something?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post



                    As he is an elderly Ex-Indian Army Cavalry officer, "eccentric", Highland Stock, with shrapnel still in his head I'm now wondering about competency. Lovely man, amazing stories....
                    He sounds perfect. I always try to get hold of an Ex-Indian Army Calvry officer with shrapnel still in his head when I want a witness for anything. Doesn't everyone?
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                      Are there circumstances where a witness might be called upon to attend court to attest to having witnessed a signing, or something?
                      I have never heard of a case that did not involve wills. It could be the case that a witness would be called if the person alleged to have signed says it was not him who signed.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                        I have never heard of a case that did not involve wills. It could be the case that a witness would be called if the person alleged to have signed says it was not him who signed.
                        OK. But in the case of a will, wouldn't said person normally have shuffled off this mortal coil by the time that became an issue?!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                          OK. But in the case of a will, wouldn't said person normally have shuffled off this mortal coil by the time that became an issue?!
                          Yes, but then he is not around to ask if he did sign the will.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            Yes, but then he is not around to ask if he did sign the will.
                            That's precisely why a Will must be witnessed- not just by one person but by two, who are therefore competent and compellable witnesses.
                            And the same is, I feel, true of anyone who formally witnesses any documentation.
                            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).

                            Comment

                            Latest Activity

                            Collapse

                            • Reply to Freezing cold, outdated heating and draughty insulation
                              by Canning18
                              Thank you for all of the responses!

                              Insulation is definitely the biggest issue by far by the looks of it. I’ve picked up 20m of gap seal and an under door draught excluder for now. Some electric heaters to follow (and keeping bills). Unfortunately, moving is not really an option as the...
                              27-11-2021, 11:22 AM
                            • Freezing cold, outdated heating and draughty insulation
                              by Canning18
                              Hi folks,

                              I’ve been renting a flat through a housing association for a few years now but find my flat to be insanely freezing during the winter (it never bothered me too much before Covid as I was away with work a lot). Last year was the first year I was around all winter and I’ve ended...
                              26-11-2021, 10:44 AM
                            • Reply to Agency has over-charged rent and is no longer responding
                              by patrin01
                              It is basically a direct debit from my account, to make matters worse we haven't been charged for gas/electric in 3 months which is a separate issue. I'll get a letter written up and get it posted, thanks.
                              27-11-2021, 11:18 AM
                            • Agency has over-charged rent and is no longer responding
                              by patrin01
                              Hi,

                              Myself and a flatmate seem to be having another issue with our agency who are acting on behalf of the landlord.

                              Our monthly rent and bills are taken in the form of an online payment each month. Last month we noticed that we were recharged for bills that had been paid the...
                              26-11-2021, 16:56 PM
                            • Reply to Curtain poles in windows
                              by Hudson01
                              Agree, i put wooden batons above each window but no poles, it is only a matter of a tenant putting wood screws in the baton if they want a pole, most do not as i supply blinds, but allowing a tenant a drill and drill bits scares the hell out of me.
                              27-11-2021, 11:06 AM
                            • Curtain poles in windows
                              by Kate foster
                              Hi all. Wonder if you can advise. I gave a fully unfurnished property to a tenant and they were aware of it. Now they have moved in, they have asked if I can get all poles bought and fitted in the rooms for curtains. It will be added cost for me to buy 6 poles and fitting cost ect. What is best way...
                              27-11-2021, 07:15 AM
                            • Reply to Economy 7 and a smart meter
                              by NaomiB
                              Please I am in no way making excuses not to repair the immersion!

                              I have written to her today saying this and hope it might help other tenants.

                              "What I have learned is that there are two consumer units in the cupboard. One is for the heaters and the water heater and...
                              27-11-2021, 11:04 AM
                            • Economy 7 and a smart meter
                              by NaomiB
                              I bought my tenant three new night storage heaters at the beginning of last year to replace the old ones.

                              I have just taken back management of this flat and a couple of weeks ago she emailed me about them. I told her that this particular meter had the economy 7 coming on at 8am in the...
                              23-11-2021, 21:24 PM
                            • Reply to Economy 7 and a smart meter
                              by JK0
                              Even if the hot water in the tank isn't used, the heat will not be wasted, at least during the heating season. It will supplement the space heating so that won't have to work so hard, or be used on peak rate.
                              27-11-2021, 11:03 AM
                            • Reply to Economy 7 and a smart meter
                              by Hudson01
                              She appears to have no clue, the electric shower heats up the cold water as it needs it..... same with the dishwasher, they are not fed by the hot water in the tank, so it appears the only reason she needs a copper tank with 200 Ltrs of hot water is to run the tap to wash her hands, and maybe rinse...
                              27-11-2021, 10:57 AM
                            Working...
                            X