This is the procedure of handing the property from the landlord to the tenant. At this stage, your estate agent will assist you to check the internal and external condition of the property, check the inventory, take details of meter readings, etc. A detailed hand-over report will be prepared and a copy given to both the landlord and the tenant. At the end of the tenancy, a similar procedure is carried out, known as a "hand-back".
Usually equivalent to one month's rent and generally paid subject to contract (to the landlord's solicitor) when an offer is made on a property and prior to receiving a draft Tenancy Agreement. This deposit becomes the first month's rent when the Tenancy Agreement is signed. Sometimes, the amount of holding deposit may be as much as three months' rent. This deposit is usually fully refundable in the event that the Tenancy Agreement is not signed by both parties. Sometimes, the offer letter may be signed as a binding contract.