Delay in Deposit/Rent Payment. What are my Options?

The contract has been signed and the tenant is due to move in in 4 weeks. However the new tenant is saying they do not want to pay the first months rent/deposit until the day they move in. I am uncomfortable with this because I am holding the apartment for 4 weeks.

What are my options. Can I cancel the contract if they don’t pay within a specific time frame. Can I demand payment before the move in date?


Hi Martin3

As I understand it the signing of the contract doesn’t become actualised until the payment of deposit/rent and the handing over of keys. It is unreasonable for you to hold the property empty with no form of guarantee that they will even activate the contract. If they walked away, I don’t think you would have a case, so logically the same should apply if you cancel the arrangement now. I wouldn’t be happy with such a long lead time myself - 2 weeks would be my max to hold a property without deposit. I would explain to them that payments take time to clear, you will have additional arrangements to make between then and them starting the tenancy, and ask what is the earliest they can pay deposit and rent. If it’s too close I would cancel the agreement. (I am not a lawyer!)

Presumably this has already been resolved,

However from the tenants perspective, this could possibly be from them misunderstanding the safety measures openrent provides. It’s likely they have delayed payment in this manner as a way to make them feel more secure about them paying until they have something tangible.

In this case, I would just highlight how Openrent secures it for them and that you do not actually handle the deposit and first month’s rent for this reason.

It however could be that they understand this but perhaps do not have the cash flow before their own deposit is paid back from their previous rent - did you try asking them for their situation?

I agree in your shoes it’s a big ask as if they are unable to pay, you have lost out time to market the property and a month’s rent - however I think its always important in these tentant landlord relationships that there is some element of trust from both parties - you are after-all embarking on what is essentially a partnership together and it always helps for both parties to be in sync and on the same side.