Can rent be charged if tenant has signed tenancy agreement but not collected keys and physically moved in?

I have got a very frustrating scenario here. The tenant (and us as landlord) has already signed the tenancy agreement, but has not collected keys nor physically moved in yet.

The letting agent keeps saying that rent cannot be charged unless and untill the tenant has collected the keys and physically moved in, despite the signed tenancy agreement, which in my view is an unconditional contract based on commercial terms. The letting agent says that this is based on what he has been told by the legal team of his regulatory body, which I found it really difficult to understand as it simply does not make sense at all - this effectively means that a tenant can potentially sign a tenancy agreement, holding a landlord up for months without moving in or collecting keys.

I am not sure if the interpretation of the law, if there is such law!, is correct?

Thanks all.

Has the tenant been contacted to see why they haven’t collected the keys yet maybe there is something that has happened

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Yes ive had this a few times , really p*****s you off.
In reality just re let it and move in and put it down to experience. You may have been lucky…

Sounds like the agent is making things up.

You are entitled to compensation if the tenant doesnt perform the contract and it can be equal to the full rent amount. However, the person doesnt yet have a tenancy, only a contract to supply one. Rent is quite clearly defined in the legislation as relating to a tenancy and if you intend to challenge the agents interpretation I would suggest you call a housing solicitor to check what you can claim and when. I should say that Ive only just had this thought and it might be completely off the wall.