OpenRent Community

Can I add an addition tenant after the contract has been signed?

The situation is that I have 4 tenants who would like to rent my property. We’ve done the reference checks for them and their guarantors already and everyone has signed the contracts with the exception of one tenant (although her guarantor has already signed).

It’s been 2 months now since they have first paid the holding deposit so I think it’s only fair that I now give them a fixed date when the contract needs to be completed. The tenant that hasnt signed now wants another viewing before she signs the contract although she hasnt given me her availability when I asked for it about a week ago. This, to me, sounds like there’s still a possibility that this tenant changes her mind.

What I am thinking of doing is giving them until Friday to complete the contract and if they havent I would like to propose removing the 1 tenant who hasnt signed yet and completing the contract with just the 3 tenants. My question is if the removed tenant eventually decides that she would like to proceed then would it be possible to add her back on after we have completed? If so, how would you do this? And would I have to go through the whole referencing process again?

Hi Jose,

When an application is in its contract signing stage, we regularly remind tenants of their need to sign as soon as possible - even where a tenancy begins at a later date (for instance, in September for cases of student lets).

What you’re suggesting in terms of setting a deadline sounds sensible to me. Making the tenant aware of the deadline should hopefully get things moving - particularly if they want to live with their co-tenants!

In the event that you remove the tenant from the application, tenancy set-up completes, and they change their mind about signing/living in the property, a new Rent Now application would need to be initiated.

We appreciate this isn’t as smooth as it could be. So should it come to it, it would be simpler for you to arrange this directly with the tenant(s).

Having said all that, if in this scenario the tenant decides to proceed before tenancy set-up completes (a few days after move-in), then you can easily add them to the contract.

This article explains how to do this.

Hope this all makes sense! Let me know if it doesn’t and if you have any other questions.


Hi George,

Thanks for your reply. I’m not sure I understand. When does a new Rent Now application need to be initiated? and what do you mean by “it would be simpler for you to arrange this directly with the tenant(s)”?

What constitutes as a tenancy complete?

My concern is that at this moment if they change their mind all I have is less than £200 while I have missed out on any potential tenants during these couple of months. It would be great if OpenRent collected a higher holding deposit especially after the Tenant fee ban or propose a deadline for completion of contract signing.

Hi Jose,

A Rent Now application is initiated when a tenant (and their co-applicants) place a holding deposit on the property - it’s the first step in this process.

This has already happened with your tenancy.

A tenancy with us completes when we transfer you the first month’s rent, and this takes place 7-14 days after move-in:

If for instance you remove this one tenant, and they want to move into the property after tenancy completes, an entirely separate Rent Now application needs to take place. So the same procedure would need to start from scratch essentially.

Not ideal, I know! This is something we’re working on improving.

A simpler alternative to the above is you arranging for this off-platform with your own paperwork. I’m not legally trained here so can’t personally advise on this I’m afraid.

In terms of the holding deposit, we appreciate that some landlords may want to request a larger sum, and we don’t have an issue with this - it just needs to take place directly with the tenant(s):

We regularly chase applicants to sign the contract, and it’s naturally in everyone’s interest for this to happen as soon as possible.

As our tenancy agreement states, payment of the final balance should be made as soon as the contract is signed, so we suggest reaching out to the co-tenants to gauge whether this particular applicant is going ahead.

Sorry this hasn’t been the smoothest of processes - the port of call now is reaching out to the tenants to get things moving here.

In the event that the tenancy isn’t going ahead, the holding deposit would be forfeit, and myself or the team will always be at hand to assist. Just drop us an email!