Possession should not be handed over until a written lease is in place. Without a written lease there is no certainty of the terms of the lease for the lessor or the lessee. The legislation is complex and can be interpreted differently. This can create unexpected results for both lessor and lessee.
If there is urgency in granting access (and there often is) then create a temporary lease. It is a prudent practice to create a temporary lease with a term of only a week or two while the paperwork for a longer standing and more complex lease is being drawn up.
This is different to a pre-lease agreement which is an agreement to grant a lease. Its like a heads of agreement for a lease. It is used when the lessor and lessee have shook hands on leasing a property and the main terms such as rent and term have been agreed. The pre-lease agreement puts this in writing so that the lessor can go away and have a lease drafted. A good pre-lease agreement will contain all the information to allow the lessor’s lawyer to draft a lease with a minimum of fuss. Pre-lease agreements can be downloaded for free from www.kalde.com.au.