Signing AST in advance; is signature needed at all?

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    Signing AST in advance; is signature needed at all?

    Hi

    I understand you can sign an AST before the start date and it does not become a legal document until the start date. If an AST was signed before the start date how do you stop it becoming a legal document if you do not want the tenant to start the tenancy?

    Thanks

    Rootsey

    #2
    Originally posted by Rootsey View Post
    Hi

    I understand you can sign an AST before the start date and it does not become a legal document until the start date. If an AST was signed before the start date how do you stop it becoming a legal document if you do not want the tenant to start the tenancy?

    Thanks

    Rootsey
    1. Signing an AST Agreement does not make the tenancy commence. The date in the heading is a completion date, it is true, but what matters is the term length and term commencement date in the Agreement.
    2. However, the parties' actions or common understanding may nevertheless make it legally binding once dated. It is a contract after all; T would be unhappy if he arrived on the supposed commencement date only to find that L had changed his mind.
    3. See separate thread of mine (CONV. FORUM) re Contract Law- basics. For a contract to be binding, it is usually essential to have 'consideration'- technical wording explained there.
    4. If both of the parties are intent that no contract is to be formed on the date of signature (ie not binding until commencement), the best way is for them to sign like this: "SIGNED (but not delivered until the commencement date) by the said..."
    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
      Originally posted by Rootsey View Post
      Hi

      I understand you can sign an AST before the start date and it does not become a legal document until the start date. If an AST was signed before the start date how do you stop it becoming a legal document if you do not want the tenant to start the tenancy?

      Thanks

      Rootsey
      It is safer for the LL not to give the tenant their copy until the date of commencement, even if the T signs before. You have the T's signature so they cant pull out, but you can pull out at the last minute, as you control the 'exchange'. Please correct me if I am wrong Jeffrey.

      If this situation as you have described, has occurred and I was the tenant and had my half of the signed contract, I would not be very happy with you and would be looking for compensation. You may have to pay him off, or risk it in court. Or you could always disable your property 'by accident' using fire, flood, rats etc so that the tenancy is unable to commence (frustrated) but that is rather drastic.
      All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

      * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

      You can search the forums here:

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        #4
        As long as the AST has not been witnessed as a deed, as long as the tenant has not been given keys and hasn't otherwise taken possession of the property then it doesn't matter if the contract has been signed in advance, the tenancy won't start until possession is taken (ie keys handed over).

        This means the contract cannot be enforced, the tenant can't force the landlord to give him/her possession and the landlord can't make the tenant take possession.

        Comment


          #5
          thanks for you help, this come from a HB tenant wanting both of us to sign the AST so her claim could be processed before moving in. does anyone do this or do you wait until the moving in date as the HB is paid 4 weeks in arears.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by attilathelandlord View Post
            As long as the AST has not been witnessed as a deed, as long as the tenant has not been given keys and hasn't otherwise taken possession of the property then it doesn't matter if the contract has been signed in advance, the tenancy won't start until possession is taken (ie keys handed over).

            This means the contract cannot be enforced, the tenant can't force the landlord to give him/her possession and the landlord can't make the tenant take possession.
            Just to clarify; you are saying if a contact has been signed and witnessed as a deed in advance of the tenancy date, then it can be inforced by either party (no keys as yet given)?
            All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

            * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

            You can search the forums here:

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Bel View Post
              Just to clarify; you are saying if a contact has been signed and witnessed as a deed in advance of the tenancy date, then it can be inforced by either party (no keys as yet given)?
              If it's properly executed as a Deed ,and says so explicitly, no "consideration" is required and it is legally binding.
              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


                #8
                Gotcha Jeffrey.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                You can search the forums here:

                Comment


                  #9
                  Sounds like Benefit fraud to me! .. This tenant is trying to claim for 4 weeks they are not living at the address!

                  HB comes into play the first Monday after the council receive the forms. I always date my AST for the Monday after the tenant has "moved in" usually they move in over the weekend anyway. This way the tenants can get the form to the council just before the "commencement" of the tenancy and HB is then calculated from the start of the tenancy.

                  What your tenant is suggesting is a full 4 weeks before they move in which is wrong.
                  GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

                  Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    sorry i think i have explaned the last post badly.

                    the tenant wanted to sign the AST on the wednesday before moving in on the friday this ment she could take to the benfit office on the thursday as she would not have time on the friday.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      AST signing

                      Does an AST have to be witnessed?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Rootsey View Post
                        Does an AST have to be witnessed?
                        Only if it grants a fixed term of more than three years, when it needs to be a deed.

                        Also, if it is for three years or less and includes a guarantee it is advisable for it to be by deed to ensure the guarantee is enforceable.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi

                          This may not be what you had in mind, but if you intend to sign the AST before the tenancy start date and you want it to be binding, its best for this to be done by deed as well, since an AST not created by deed only takes effect in possession (which usually means when the tenant actually moves in).

                          Preston

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Whilst it is true that a tenancy not created by deed does not take effect until the tenant takes possession, it is not true that a tenancy agreement not made by deed is not binding.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                              Whilst it is true that a tenancy not created by deed does not take effect until the tenant takes possession, it is not true that a tenancy agreement not made by deed is not binding.
                              Please untie these [five] nots, for the benefit of laymen, and restate!
                              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

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