Is It Unusual To Not Sign A Lease Until The Move-in Date?

A rental lease agreement is a written agreement between a tenant and a property owner, or a representative of the owner, such as a property manager, that spells out the terms and circumstances of living in a rental property in exchange for rent.

Both parties must sign the lease agreement in order for it to be legitimate. If a property manager is representing an owner, the owner may or may not be included in the lease agreement, depending on your state’s rules.


A verbal lease agreement is frequently deemed legal and enforceable for a year. You have a month-to-month tenancy if the renter moves in and you accept the rent. Even if you’re only having a relative stay with you for a few months, having a documented rental agreement is usually a smart idea. If things go wrong and you need the renter to leave, written agreements will come in handy.


Before you move into a new apartment, you can sign your lease in person or online. If your landlord or property manager is present when you sign the lease, they should go through all of the relevant conditions with you. Make sure you get all of your questions answered and that you understand all of the terms of the lease.

If you sign the rental lease online using electronic signatures, it is your responsibility to read the whole agreement and ensure that you understand everything to which you are committing. Treat a rental contract signature like a checkbox for “Terms of Service.” The lease agreement is a crucial legal document.

If renters are unable to meet in person to sign the lease prior to move-in, managers and landlords who do not employ electronic signatures may choose to send a lease agreement to them. Some real estate may demand the tenant’s signature to be notarized if you mail a lease agreement. Alternatively, a lease may be sent or texted to a renter, who could then
print it, sign it, and return it to the management or owner.

See Also: Real Estate Financing And Home Mortgages Resources, Why Real Estate Investing Makes Sense, First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide


Having the renters sign the lease agreement first is a smart idea. This is especially true if the lease is being signed without the presence of the owner or management.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to deliver a lease agreement to a tenant:

  1. An accepted rental applicant receives an unsigned lease agreement from the owner or management.
  2. Applicant reads and signs the lease agreement, agrees to the terms, and returns it to the owner/manager. They accept the offer to rent the property by returning a completed lease agreement.
  3. The signed rental contract is given to the owner/manager, who also signs it. The contract is regarded as binding to the conditions mentioned in the agreement at this point when both parties have signed the lease.
  4. A copy of the signed lease agreement is sent to each party.


    A copy of the lease agreement should be sent to everyone who signed it. Tenants should store their copies in a safe location and refer to them as needed throughout the tenancy.

    Some landlords or property managers may charge the renter for an extra copy of the lease.

    Copies of a rental contract can be saved online and shared with tenants through a tenant portal, which they may access at any time using property management software.

    Signed lease agreements should be kept in great condition by managers and landlords. It’s a good idea to save copies of lease agreements for previous renters, at least until the tenancy’s statute of limitations has passed.

    A property manager may or may not deliver a copy of the lease agreement to a property owner, depending on the management agreement and any local restrictions.

    Is it possible for a tenant to back out of a lease agreement before it is signed?

    While it is inconvenient, a renter has the right to change their mind before signing a contract.

    Nothing binds them to pay rent the property until the tenancy agreement is signed, and they cannot be forced to do so.

    If a renter has already paid a security deposit before they decide not to sign the lease, you should refund it in full if they do not sign it. Because there was no agreement in place, providing you the security deposit early was a mistake on their side, but keeping this money would be problematic.

    However, if they sign a lease but refuse to move in, you have the legal right to pursue rent collection in some way.

    Continue to Move Forward

    When your renter wishes to end the lease before moving in cleaning, you may negotiate with them to reduce the financial impact on both of you on the move in day.

    You have the right to hold the security deposit and collect rent until the apartment is re-rented as the landlord. It is, however, your responsibility to reduce the time it takes to re-rent and locates a new renter.

    Even though this scenario might be aggravating, it’s usually a good idea to try to find a new renter rather than waiting for the previous tenant to pay you back. It can be difficult to collect, as it is with a lot of past-due rent. Concentrate as much as possible on the future.

Is it possible to get out of a lease in three days?

When a renter doesn’t get their deposit back straight away or landlord wants to give you a hard time about rent responsibilities, they might use their “right to rescind.”

This is a reference to a consumer protection regulation that compels financial institutions to allow consumers to cancel a loan after three days if specific conditions are met.

This entitlement, unfortunately for the renter, has nothing to do with lease agreements or rental properties.

If the renter tries to persuade you otherwise, refute the idea that you have the authority to revoke or cancel a lease agreement within three days.

Tenant Breaks Lease Before Moving In

If a tenant moves out, may the landlord keep the security deposit?

In most circumstances, if a tenant moves out, the landlord can keep the security deposit.

Whether or not this is achievable will be determined by two factors:

• The terms of the leasing agreement and legal contract.
• What are the state and municipal laws on security deposits?

If you are not sure about these, get a Newark property review of your contract and terms.

If your local regulations enable you to utilize the security deposit to repay unpaid rent if a tenant cancels their lease before moving in, you should include this clause in your typical lease agreement. It will be simpler to explain this to your renter if it is mentioned in the specific agreement that you and your renter sign if this case arises.

If you reside somewhere where the security deposit can never be used to fund rent, the security deposit must be returned to the renter in full when the lease agreement time ends. If you find yourself in this circumstance, you will almost certainly need to file a civil lawsuit to remedy the rent arrears and property abandonment.

A judge can then advise on how to go about collecting rent and what to do with a security deposit.

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