Do you have you signed a lease but no payment? You might be in a bit of a pickle.
Jane advertised her rental property in Calgary and connected with Bob, who lives in Toronto and will move to Calgary in September. Jane processed Bob’s application and felt reasonably comfortable renting to someone she hadn’t met. After signing the lease. Jane emailed Bob instructions to pay both the 1st month’s rent and security deposit. Bob refused to send Jane any money. Jane persisted but Bob said he would only pay once he had moved into the property.
Jane told Bob she would not allow him entry until he had paid the rent and security deposit. Bob told Jane he didn’t feel comfortable paying thousands of dollars upfront for a property he hadn’t yet seen.
It’s a bit of a catch 22. Your future tenant may not be feeling very secure handing over thousands of dollars to someone he/she barely knows without a rental agreement. You are uncomfortable accepting a signed lease with no payment.
Can Jane refuse Bob entry to her rental unit?
Unfortunately, if you and your tenant signed a lease, even with no payment from the tenant, you must give them access to your rental property. Jane must grant Bob access. Once you’ve both signed the lease — you’ve got yourself a tenant for the duration of the tenancy. What’s worse, since they’ve moved in, even if they haven’t paid you a dime, you’ll then have to follow the eviction process to oust them.
There is a small ray of light. Jane and Bob can end the lease before Bob moves in, as long as they have stated this agreement in writing. Just be sure to keep copies of your documentation for the required 3 years.
The moral of this story? Be sure to only sign a lease only after receiving payment. If the tenant is nervous of your identity, provide proof of title.
Remember- signed lease but no payment = tenant. Be sure to bypass this mishap.
Nelda Schulte is a property investor who is passionate about helping investors who self-manage have profitable investment properties through resources and education. If you struggle with the wrong landlord forms, or worse yet, no landlord forms check out Nelda’s 10 Essential Editable Landlord Forms that help you separate the good tenants from the bad and increase your property’s profitability.