Estate Agents will not let me sign lease on a house until current tenants move out

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    Estate Agents will not let me sign lease on a house until current tenants move out

    I hope someone can give me some advice on this. I put in an offer to rent a house recently. The agency has done a credit and reference check they are happy and told me that the house is mine. When i wanted to make an appointment to go in and sign the lease, pay the deposit etc. I was told that i cannot sign a lease until the current tenants of the house move out as it is illegal to have two contracts running on one property at the same time. The current tenants have given notice for 20 July and I want to move in on 01 August. This means that I can only sign the lease and secure the house 10 days before I would be due to move in! If something goes wrong then I would be out on the street as i have already given notice at my current property.

    This doesn't seem right to me. The agents assure me that the house is mine, once the tenants move out but are expecting me to take it on good faith. Is it really illegal to issue a new lease on a property when tenants are still living in it? It is a fantastic property and I really am keen to move in there. Should I just cross fingers that it will all work out or should I look for something else? Any advice would be appreciated.

    #2
    The agents are protecting themselves and the landlord.

    There is no guarantee that the existing tenants will leave when they are meant to, unless they are being removed by court bailiffs (and thats not 100%).

    Therefore they have no way of knowing exactly what date the current tenants will move out, and as a result of that, have no way of knowing when you will move in and your tenancy begin.

    Having said that - even though you have given notice, you can not be forced out of your current property on that day. There may well be consequences if you don't, but you can't be forced out.

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      #3
      I'm afraid to say that you have recieved the correct advice. A tenancy does not end until the keys are returned (or baillifs are evicting). Even if a tenant gives/recieves notice, the home is theirs until they leave.
      In most cases, a tenant who offers notice is intending to leave.
      If you were to sign the lease now, you would be (potentially) gaining illegal access to someone elses home, creating or being party to an illegal eviction, etc. It's simply legal process to wait and hope that the leaving tenants are part of the 99% of society that remains normal and moral.
      I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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