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Do I need to sign tenancy agreement and pay first months rent etc. as soon as my offer is accepted?

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425 views 2 replies latest reply: 14 September 2015

Hi guys

Currently got an offer on a flat which has been accepted and I’m about to pay the holding deposit and fill out the reference forms etc. 

My problem is that because I have a large overlap between my old and new flat (due to circumstances out of my control) I won’t really be able to afford to pay the big deposit plus first month’s rent that you need to pay on signing the tenancy agreement. However, if the move in date is for the end of the month (after my pay day) it will be no problem. So my question is, once you’ve had your references etc. accepted and agreed a move in date (and paid the holding deposit), do letting agents/landlords generally try to rush you to sign the agreement and pay the rest of the fees straight away to lock it in? Or would it be fairly reasonable to say to them let’s sign the agreement the day/day before move in?

Any advice would be gratefully received.



Remember that a contract is formed when there is, “Offer and Acceptance”, the terms of the offer are always negotiable. Why are you being asked to make a, “Holding”, payment prior to the formation of the Lease Agreement and signing of the same by the parties to it? Take a look at the Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 Section 1. The Holding Deposit or fee could be considered to be an illegal commission. If you accept the offer of the Landlord then make it, “subject to contract”, to be entered into at a mutually determined date by the parties. Then and only then do you pay your reqired deposit.   Hope that helps a little.


Hi Simon

Yes, letting agents will usually try to rush you into paying it and as far as I know a holding deposit is normal practice (the holding deposit is the first month’s rent). However, the big deposit (by which I assume you mean the security deposit) is only required when the tenancy agreement starts – that’s when you receive the keys, that’s when the property is made available to you and so there is no need to pay it over to them more than a day or so in advance of that point – if that. Letting agents will often hit you with the ‘it’s policy’ but that’s just because they want to hold your money in their bank account and cream off the interest. I have been renting for more than a decade and I have always paid the deposit over on the day I have received the key (deposit payment first).

If they make a fuss it might be worth pointing out that the deposit protection (i.e. the scheme protecting your deposit cash) only starts on the same day as the tenancy is signed so why would you pay the deposit before that day and leave it unprotected?

Hope that helps.


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