I’m often asked by our landlords and tenants alike when to sign a tenancy agreement. We’ve been working on a number of new tenancy agreements this week and we have a few excited tenants who’ll be moving home over what is predicted to be an ‘Indian summer‘ weekend.
Before I’ve explained the pros and cons of when to sign a tenancy agreement, most landlords I talk to either sign the day before the start date or on the actual day of the tenant moving in.
In my opinion, leaving it to the last minute to secure the tenancy is a little too to risky for me.
Secure a tenancy in advance
Most tenants are required to give their current landlord a minimum of 4 weeks notice to vacate the property. Before they do that, they usually try to find a property to rent to move to first before notifying the current landlord.
Once a property that is suitable has been found, they then start the application and the tenant referencing process will begin. At this point, the tenant usually notifies their current landlord that they wish to move on and ask if they would provide a landlords’ reference.
As the new landlord, you would be confident that the references are underway and your property is removed from the market as ‘Let Agreed’.
Referencing a tenant usually only takes around 3 – 4 working days. We would obtain a previous landlords reference, an employment reference and a 6 year financial credit check. Once the references are back and both parties are keen to progress, at this point we would draft up a tenancy agreement.
Best time when to sign a tenancy agreement
In the scenario above, the tenants are now looking to move in a few weeks time and the tenancy agreement has been drafted. If the references are positive and it’s all green lights, I’d recommend getting your tenancy agreement signed as soon as possible.
Once the tenant and landlord sign the tenancy agreement it becomes far more difficult for either party to withdraw. Without having a signed agreement, the tenant could withdraw anytime before the start date leaving you with weeks of lost rental income.
In terms of the first month’s rent and deposit funds, this can be paid to the landlord or agent either the day before or on the day of handover. We always seek to have cleared funds in our client account at least 24 hours before the start day of the agreement.
Using digital tenancy agreements
Here at lettingaproperty.com, we use a digital tenancy agreement that can be signed by all parties in a matter of minutes.
For new tenancies and renewals, we aim to have the agreements signed by all parties as soon as we have agreed on a move in date or an extension of renewal. This means that our landlords have peace of mind and a tenant secured.
If you would like some assistance in drafting your next tenancy agreement, please call us on 0333 577 8888 – we’d be happy to help!