Signed contract 4 days ago, now landlord is unresponsive?

Good evening, everybody! Apologies in advance if this is nothing I should be worried about, but as an expat, I’m not as versed in how renting works in the UK as I should be, and the search feature held no helpful answers.

My partner, guarantor and I signed a contract to rent an apartment on Monday after our referencing had been completed and our holding deposit had been sent; now it’s Thursday and we have yet to hear back from our landlord. I understand that they don’t have to sign right away, but with how OpenRent works, it’s impossible for us to send the deposit/first month of rent before they sign.

We’re supposed to be moving in on the 7th of June but also don’t know where we’re going to collect the keys from yet, which I need to enquire about. All our utilities have been sorted for us already as well, and I’ve sent our landlord a message 2 days ago asking if everything looks alright on their end— it doesn’t look like they’ve seen it and we’re still waiting for a response.

Again, I’m terribly sorry if I’m panicking over nothing, but we’ve already cancelled all other viewings and I’m really worried we might lose this apartment again as I might lose my job if I can’t move to this location in time. OpenRent’s support team advised me that “the vast majority of tenancy setups complete within 14 days of the holding deposit being placed”, but what do we do if it doesn’t? I’m really hesitant to chase up our landlord since I don’t want to seem pushy or annoy them. They usually responded really timely before this.

Thank you for your help in advance!

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Did you meet the landlord when you viewed the property? What did he say regarding moving in ?

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Thanks so much for your response. The landlord wasn’t present at our viewing, only the tenant that lived there before. He was only able to respond to questions about the property itself, I’m afraid. The only information I got is that the house will be available from the 9th of June, and that I’d be asked for the first month’s rent with the contract, but as I said before, that’s not possible before everyone including the landlord signed.

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It must be frustrating and stressful for you because the LL hasn’t responded by way of a simple message. LL has paid for referencing though and so presumably wishes to go ahead with the tenancy. You could maybe try to contact Openrent again regarding your concerns and to double check the status of your holding deposit (which should be no more than one weeks rent ) Be careful not to send any rent and security deposit money until you’re absolutely happy you are actually paying it to the correct party as there are a lot of scams about regarding rental property.

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Once again, thank you so much for your help. This does reassure me even if just a little bit. The holding deposit seemed fine but I will send OpenRent another message and perhaps chase my landlord up again after the weekend should I have not heard back by then, and will double-check any upcoming outgoing payments. Have a good weekend!

It may be that the landlord does not realise your urgency as its a month before occupancy date.

I would message asking them to please sign, as you need confirmation of the tenancy for work purposes.

They may be on holiday and thinking its ok to respond when they get home.

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which would be an amber flag to me, if not a red one. If a LL is struggling to respond to you before you’ve even moved in given that the situation is very much to their advantage, you might want to imagine how lax they might possibly be if you raise an issue such as maintenance while you are in the property.

Hopefully you haven’t put all your irons in this one fire…

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When it does arrive, make sure you have an independent inventory on the property

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OR usually send a stream of messages regarding credit checking. If some don’t get answered it slows everything up.
You are expats you say.
Does LL know this.
What references have you given?
OR is no good with non UK contacts.
Things may well have ground to a halt.
What do OR say?

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Hi everybody,

Thank you so much for all your insights into this. Yes, our LL is aware I’m an expat (lived here for 6 years, partner is a british citizen) and I have right to remain as well (all evidence was provided prior to signing), so that thankfully wasn’t an issue.

It turned out our LL actually was travelling and they didn’t have the time to communicate with us until this week. They met with us in person to answer all our questions, signed the contract, and we now opened an easier channel of communication with each other so we don’t have to rely solely on OpenRent.

Again, thank you for your help! I really appreciated all the different viewpoints and opinions.

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