Official Notice of Approval
There needs to be an enforceable document that lets the tenant know they are approved and lists the terms of the lease and who to contact. This identifies the start date, move-in date, rent, deposits, fees, utility companies and other critical data for their occupancy. It puts their deposit at risk and identifies what happens if they change their mind. If you get the lease signed immediately, you probably don’t need this. We don’t get the lease signed until 3-4 days before move-in so we use this to “lock them in” without having to sign the lease immediately. We purposely delay executing the lease because we’ve had some tenants request the lease in advance and back out over something they don’t like (fees, charges, etc). For us it is a 2-step process. The Official Notice of Approval commits them and gets the first month’s rent. Then, close to the move-in date when they are less likely to back out, we execute the lease.