View Full Version : Public sector: Secure tenancy

30-06-2005, 13:12 PM
If someone signs a tenancy agreement & takes away the keys and test certificates and signs to move into the property on the tenancy date

But comes back and says she doesn't want the flat before the tenancy date on the agreement can she just cancel the agreement?

Or is there a secure tenancy and should she give notice?

I have a strong opinion on this but my colleagues disagree

30-06-2005, 18:44 PM
I have seen flats trashed (all windows smashed, all doors gone, and holes in walls ect) before the start of a tenancy, so just because the tenancy start date is not yet passed, does not mean that you have not moved in/caused damage.

In addition public housing bodies have strict criteria to meet when letting houses, and while you may imagine that it should be possible to treat it as a single void; because the tenancy has started you have to treat it as a seperate void, which means that a totally new selection process has to be undertaken, depending on the lettings policy this may take several weeks, with no ability to speed this up (hence why the notice period is required)

30-06-2005, 19:13 PM
I don't know if the poster has given full enough information here, but to give the keys to anyone on the signature of a lease rather than the day on which they are due to move in, is a bit foolish is it not?

There could be a case for the lease beginning on the day the keys were given to the prospective tenant as she could have taken possession perhaps? If she had moved in that would have determined the commencement date no matter what the lease stated. I feel the matter has been handled badly from a professional point of view so you ought to back down!

01-07-2005, 07:26 AM
Thanks for your replies

That's just what happened to me :mad:

I let the flat & set a tenancy date. Arranged to remove the security door etc
Then the tenant turned up & gave back the keys to my colleague. Who accepted them because the tenancy date hadn't passed. Now the flat has been trashed & windows broken. We are going to spend £100s repairing it. I think they should have given notice & a new void started. However they are back on the 'waiting list' with the same number of points as before.

After all once they had signed the tenancy we could only have taken it back by getting a possession order in court if they didn't want to give it up.

I know the tenancy would be void if they didn't move in BTW

Paul it is standard pratice to set a tenancy date in the future in my authority. In fact we always do it. When the tenants signs the agreement they agree to 'take up occupation by the date of the tenancy'. It had never occurred to me that this is wrong. I don't think it would be practical to give all keys on tenancy date because we manage 26,000 dwellings & don't have enough officers. About 2,500 lettings a year

Interesting thank you

01-07-2005, 07:58 AM
There is absolutely nothing wrong in post-dating the start date of a tenancy, but the mere act of releasing keys at the same time as obtaining their signature on the agreement might alter this. Remember it has to be "effective in possession", so the keys are giving the tenant access to the property which in my book is possession as it allows them access. I appreciate as a social landlord you are not issuing an AST but the same rules apply concerning possession.

01-07-2005, 08:47 AM

We are just allowing vulnerable poor people more time to move in & arrange their affairs: social fund loans, removal, carpets, decorating, gas, electricity etc

So there would not be a question of challenging their tenancy & they wouldn't argue that we should set an earlier tenancy date

I agree that in effect all I have to do is give them the keys & tell them they can move in & there would be a secure tenancy

I think the difference in emphasis is that we are a subsidised service so have more lea way.