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How far in advance should we have new tenants sign a lease?

We have tenants who want to move out mid-May (their lease is up on June 30). Not a problem - current tenants referred qualified tenants to us and we are about to approve their application.  My question is this:  How far in advance can we have the new tenants sign the lease and put down their first/last months rent and refundable security deposit?  I would prefer to have the new lease signed and monies in hand by May 1?  I that allowable/acceptable?    I do not want to let the current tenants out of their lease only to have the new tenants back out at the last minute.  Advice or suggestions on the situation are appreciated.
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You can do this as soon as you would like, any money still owed at move it would be exchanges the same time you hand keys over. Make sure that the new tenant receive the key on or around the lease start date and no sooner. This gives you time to be able to make any updates or repairs needed.
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