First month's rent before signing contract

My legal representative advises me that I must receive first month’s rent and deposit balance before signing the contract. I understand this is not possible unless I proceed with the tenancy off-platform.

I would like to keep the benefits of Rent Now (such as free deposit transfer and free rent collection) but also would like the security of knowing I am paid before signing. Ideally, Open Rent would receive the rent before the signed contract is released to all parties. What is the sequence?


In order to benefit from our deposit registration and rent collection service, you will need to set up the tenancy using Rent Now.

Since the contract establishes the tenancy and confirms details like the deposit and rent amounts, we can only accept payment of the deposit and first month’s rent from your tenant once everyone has signed the contract.

We will send your tenant payment instructions immediately at that stage.

There is more information about this on our Rent Now explainer page here (I’ve linked to the relevant section):

We can’t support payment before contract signing - so if you wanted to do this you would need to agree with the prospective tenant to cancel Rent Now. Our deposit registration and rent collection services aren’t available if you decide to do this.