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When sharing a house turns sour

Sharing a rented property can be fun but it can also be a nightmare if it all goes a bit pear-shaped. You need to have a good think and take some things into consideration before you jump in.

Most landlords like to put all the tenants on one tenancy agreement within a property as it means less admin for the landlord and that the landlord receives the benefit of the joint and several rule, but sometimes each tenant may have their own individual tenancy agreement. The individual tenancy agreement is often used if the tenants don’t know each another and maybe will be living in the property for different lengths of time. This is easier to handle when it comes to any rent arrears as each will only ever be liable for their own share of the rent.

Some basics to consider; Can you get on with your co-tenants - as you may have to put up with them for a long time. Each will have their own idiosyncrasies … who’s the tidy one, who’s the messy one, who loves to eat garlic for breakfast, who… I think you get the point.....

Next, how well do you know them and can you trust them? The rented property may not have locks on every room door so they will have access to your room and all your personal possessions. You will need to pick your contents insurance very carefully as a result of this.

The most important thing maybe is will they pay their share of the rent every month? If you have all signed the tenancy agreement you ALL both liable for the whole of the rent. SO be sure you know they can afford it as the landlord can sue you for ALL of any rent outstanding even if you have already paid your part of it and one or more of your co-tenants haven’t causing you to go in arrears! As explained in another article this is known as ‘joint and several liability’ and basically, it means that all the tenants are equally liable under the tenancy agreement for all the obligations in that tenancy agreement and not only the rent but damage and other matters also.

Finally as mentioned earlier – are any of your co-tenants liable to want to move out at a different time to everyone else – before –after etc, as there can be problems if one tenant wants to stay on and the other wishes to leave – dealing with the deposit, any damage, rent arrears etc.

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