Early Occupancy – Allowing Tenants In Before the Lease Starts


“Can we have the keys a few days early?”

Early Occupancy Agreement Lease Addendum

How often do your new tenants ask if they can have the keys a few days before the lease begins?

Many landlords are only too happy to start off on a good note with their new tenants and gladly grant them early possession.
But wait! Are you getting paid for those days? Many landlords don’t even think about what those free days are worth. (If you prorate the monthly rent by dividing the rent by 30 days, you’ll get the daily amount per day) – On the other hand, the tenants may be doing you a favor by taking the property “a few days early” by getting the utilities into their name instead of yours.

to Early Occupancy Agreement at Essential landlord rental forms pageMore importantly, many landlords don’t even realize the ramifications liability-wise when the they allow tenants to pre-occupy the rental before the lease begins.
Think about it.
What rights do tenants have when they occupy your rental, with the key you gave them, before the lease begins? They have all the legal tenant rights they can possibly have, without even being bound by the rules in the lease that hasn’t even started yet. Do you think tenants might use this time to try to re-negotiate the lease or demand certain things be done before the lease term starts? You bet! They think they’ve got you over a barrel – and they may!

The Early Occupancy Addendum (EOA) protects the landlord when tenants move in early.

  • 1. The EOA amends the lease start date to be when the tenants get the keys, obligating them to all the responsibilities and rules stated in the lease agreement.
  • 2. The Early Occupancy Addendum breaks down the daily and total value of the extra days rent. If you decide to give the tenant those days for free, I recommend you still add it up for them to see and cross it out. When was the last time someone just gave you a hundred dollars?
  • 3. It also requires that the tenants transfer the utilities they are responsible for into their own names before occupancy instead of using and/or abusing them while under the landlord’s account.

    to Essential landlord rental forms page with lease rental agreement, rental application, eviction notices, lease form, lease purchase option, furnished lease, apartment lease, pay rent or quit, notice to vacate, notice to terminate tenancy

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