Purchaser gaining access to property BEFORE settlement

Hi everyone,

Could I please have your views on the following situation?

I have paid a deposit for a 2-bedroom apartment, it is due to settle in about 4 weeks. The old tenants have vacated the property already and it is currently vacant.

I would like to have tenants in the property as soon as possible. Ideally, it would be great if I could have a lease commence the day after the settlement.

However, I understand this could be risky in case the property does not settle on time. So I have been told it would be better to have the lease start say 7-14 days after the settlement date just to give myself some lee-way.

I understand normally, tenants need to give at least 4 weeks notice to the landlord before termination. So for me to get tenants into this property within 14 days after settlement, I really need to start advertising and holding open houses.

I have spoken to some PMs who suggested I write to the vendor or vendor's agent to seek permission to:
be able to advertise the property from next week
use the sales photos from the current owner
show prospective tenants through the property with an agent

What are the chances the vendor would agree to this? and what would he expect from me in return (if anything)?

Do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you so much in advance!!!
Only the selling agent and vendor can answer that question.
All people on SS can do is offer an opinion as to what they would do in their position.
Ideally you should have reached an agreement at the time of making the offer and signing the contract. You have no leverage, now. If they allow access to the property, it will be simply goodwill on their part.
If the selling agent offers property management service, they will quite likely go in to bat for you with the vendor, provided you sign up with them. Unless they are particularly generous and good natured. But remember, we are talking real estate agents here :)
Good luck in your quest.
Thanks Rob.

That's a very good point. I really should have negotiated it BEFORE paying the deposit!!!! Very disappointed I did not think about that! :mad:

Unfortunately, the agent that is selling the property has indicated they will no longer manage it so I have to find alternative PM.

I think the best thing I can do is to just ask, and hope the vendor and his agent are reasonable.
Why dont you ask the vendor to let the property out , as they will recieve a couple weeks income and it will cross over to you auotomatically after settlement
If the terms are not negotiated before signing the contract it is unlikely that you will be able to have early access. The vendor may let you let the property on the proviso that they recieve the rent until settlement.

The last property we bought the property manager listed the property as 'available soon' and collected names. As soon as the property settled they got back to the interested parties and a tenant moved in within a couple of weeks.

If the property needs attention before leasing then again you can approach the vendor for early access to fix up. However again this is at the vendors discretion.


Thanks everyone for your input, they are very helpful to me!

I did think about coming to some agreement with vendor for the property to be let out now ... but settlement is 4 weeks away, and it is unlikely we'll be able to get a tenant to move in and start paying rent within such a short period of time ... the maximum the vendor will get is probably one week of rent so I think there's not enough incentive there for him to agree to this ... (but I might flag it just to see what he says ...)

It seems what I should do now is try to list the property for rent on the basis it is available soon and get a list of interested parties ... I guess it will take another fortnight to month or so after settlement before I get the tenants in ... I will have to foot the mortgage for that period myself ouch! :(

It's a shame I didn't address this before I paid the deposit ... I've learnt a very important lesson.
What are the chances the vendor would agree to this? and what would he expect from me in return (if anything)?

Depends how savvy the Vendors are. If they are switched on, they will say yes to that sort of Purchaser's request every time.

If I was your Vendor, this is what I would say ;

You can have early access to the property and do what you like to the property as soon as you want - tomorrow at 8am if needs be....no problem at all.

Just make sure you are here at 7am tomorrow and sign a complete binding waiver releasing Vendor from all costs and liabilities, sign that the contract is unconditional, and hand over ALL of the dosh, not just the ratty little deposit. As soon as you do all of those things, you'll be in like Flynn. Until then, don't bother me.
Check that for a start. Here it is 14 days and may be in other states as well.

Amadio you make a good point, I shouldn't just assume things.

I checked Tenants NSW website

Tenants can give 14 days notice to terminate on a fixed period lease, or 21 days on a continuing lease. Mmm ... the latter is probably more likely ... I will need to budget to pay for at least the first month's mortgage without tenants contribution.
Just ask and see what happens.

We were pushed for time once and leaving for the USA the day after settlement. Lovely vendor allowed us in three weeks prior to settlement and gave us written authority to pull up carpets, start painting etc. We asked them to visit and see what we were doing, which they did.

It had been this lady's home as a girl and her mother had lived there until she went into a home and it was put on the market. Once they visited, they said "go ahead and keep going". We had bought with a clean "cash" contract so were justing waiting on settlement.

We ripped out the bathroom and a wall, hoping to get a tenant before we left. We ran out of time and didn't have the bathroom finished, but we tried very hard.

There was certainly some risk involved, especially as we were spending money on a house that we didn't own, but I like to live dangerously :D.

Our solicitor did suggest not asking for early access from the vendor's solicitor as she said they "always" tell the vendor to refuse. We went direct to the vendor via the real estate agent, and had no problems at all.

As others have said, it all depends on the vendor, but it is worth asking, especially as you don't sound like you are "ripping out walls" but just wanting access to have open inspections for potential tenants?

It may be ideal to have a couple of days for your own benefit anyway. What happens if something occurs on settlement day, what happens if it does not happen till 5pm that day, what happens if you open the door and realise it still needs to be cleaned or something you may want to fix up. I know it is good to have someone in there on day 1 but you may want to build a couple of " just in case days" up your sleeve. In saying that as mentioned by other posters if it is for investment I always get it written into the contract that I can show people through and have never had a vendor say no, but always have starting date 7 days after settlement.

I have had two instances this year where I was able to do something on the property before settlement.

One was a block of land,I bought and had a soil test done before settlement.I asked the vendors through the REA and it wasn't a problem.

Another were the flats in NSW where I had to agree on some conditions before I could get access to the property early.

1:The conditions were that I had all insurances / liability policy's in place.
2:I was only allowed to enter the property in working hours and take the keys back to REA every afternoon.(I never took them back;))
3:I had to agree not to seek compensation for any improvements on the property if the sale didn't go through for any reason.
4:I wasn't allowed to do any structural alterations to the property :(