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Question

Moving in a Tenant (England)

The order of steps in the tenancy process, when at a distance

25 Feb 2016 | 5 comments

Tenant, guarantor and I are all in different places. I’d like to get as much as poss done remotely so that on check-in day all that has to be done is keys, meters, smoke alarm, stop tap and trip switches.

Anything wrong, please, with:

  1. G signs before independent witness, both sign digitally, email agreement to me, all well in advance;

  2. T and I sign tenancy before independent witness each, all sign digitally, email agreements to each other, all in advance. Can it be dated as day of signature, with particular attention paid to start and end dates as suggested in your article?

  3. T pays 1st month rent on move-in day by bank transfer before keys handed over. So start date and date of first full payment of rent in step 2 above are both move-in day.

  4. What if T pays by bank transfer on day before move-in day? Start date will be move-in day but first full payment of rent stated on tenancy agreement is date before move-in date (say 5th of month) and thereafter rent is to be paid on 5th of month?

Answer

5 Comments

  1. guildy

    My apologies for the delay in replying. I’ve been hosting training all day.

    I have copied the questions and answered below each:

    Anything wrong, please, with:
    G signs before independent witness, both sign digitally, email agreement to me, all well in advance;

    No problem with that – you should also sign and witness. Guarantee can then be dated. Make sure the guarantor has also seen a copy of the tenancy before signing

    T and I sign tenancy before independent witness each, all sign digitally, email agreements to each other, all in advance. Can it be dated as day of signature, with particular attention paid to start and end dates as suggested in your article?

    Yes, no problem and leave dating agreement until you have signed after tenant – that will be the date of agreement.

    T pays 1st month rent on move-in day by bank transfer before keys handed over. So start date and date of first full payment of rent in step 2 above are both move-in day.

    Fine

    What if T pays by bank transfer on day before move-in day? Start date will be move-in day but first full payment of rent stated on tenancy agreement is date before move-in date (say 5th of month) and thereafter rent is to be paid on 5th of month?

    Paying early is not a problem and no need to change tenancy dates. It was still “due” on the day after. The fact they paid slightly early is still them effectively paying on the day mentioned in the tenancy. You were just holding “money” for a day and then the day after it became rent. They could pay a few days early if wanted and it wouldn’t matter.

  2. JungleProperty

    If the signatures are done digitally and remotely, how can you be certain the deeds are signed ‘in the presence’ of anyone?

  3. guildy

    Agreed but equally we have to get some work done! That would be fraud if they were to witness it themselves and insert a false name and address of the witness.

    I was interested to see how a solicitor dealt with this situation with me recently where I was letting a commercial unit on a five year lease so it had to be made as a deed. The tenants solicitor wanted to do it all remotely like described above (but not a guarantor, just the lease) and trusted that I had witnessed it.

    In the case of the guarantor in this original question, arguably the guarantor could say “the guarantee is invalid because it wasn’t properly witnessed”. That would be the only reason it’s invalid and yet that would be an admission that it had been fraudulently witnessed by the guarantor so they would likely be liable anyway under damages for the criminal offence of fraud.

  4. JungleProperty

    Good answer as ever. With things like The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 and other start of tenancy activity to take care (e.g. Going through inventory)!of I am not sure the cost/benefit of step 2 is jumping out at me unless you knew beforehand that not all the tenants would not be present on the day the tenancy starts in which case the pre-signing is a necessity. E-mail the tenant a copy of the TA beforehand and wet sign the agreement yourself before the Check-In and the tenant signing on the day will add 1 minute? to the process without the messing around setting up a digital TA

  5. Danny

    Thanks Adrian for yoou reply.

    To Jungle: T G and I are all in different places. I am on a different continent. A relative will be helping me with check-in.

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