When to issue deed of surrender and new contract

My tenant asked to be released from their AST a few weeks early, I told them this could be done only if a suitable tenant is found and committed to start a new tenancy.
I have now found someone to take a new tenancy and want to make sure I am covered for a smooth transition and not end up in a situation where someone changes their mind before legal commitments are in place and I end up with both sets of people expecting to live at the property at the same time or neither.
In which order should I get the following commitments; formal request to quit from outgoing tenants, signing the AST with new tenants and taking deposit and first month’s rest, conluding a deed to surrender?

There isnt a foolproof way of doing this. If your tenancy agreement allows the tenant to serve notice during the initial term then you could ask them to do that and agree to accept short notice if you wish. However, that doesnt guarantee the new tenant will then sign. If there is no provision in the contract, then a tenants notice during the fixed term would be invalid and if you just accepted it, I’m not sure it would be enforceable.

The only certain way to end a tenancy during the fixed term is to all sign a deed of surrender at the moment theyre leaving. However, it would lose its legal effect if signed early. So if your new tenant is willing, they would then sign their tenancy agreement after this. If you give them the agreement early, it would need to be marked subject to contract.

Thanks David.
So, if writing a contract now with the new tenants to become effective after the deed of release is made, I would need to write some sort of "subject to deed of release of tenancy agreement ending [current tenancy end date]?


I would just give them a draft at the moment without dates. When your existing tenant gives you a specific date and time they wish to leave, you can get a deed of surrender drawn up for that date and then prepare the contract for the new tenant to begin after that. I would then hold onto that and everyone can sign it on move-in day. I would also offer the new tenants the opportunity to bring the first months rent and deposit in cash on the day if they dont wish to pay it before they sign.