Joint tenancies

Rent, rights and repairs

Joint tenants are all responsible for:

  • making sure the whole rent is paid

  • looking after the property

This is sometimes called joint and several liability.

Agreeing how things should be split will not end the joint and several liability but can help if there are disagreements further down the line.

Paying rent

Only sign up to a joint tenancy if you are confident the other tenants will pay their rent. This is because the landlord can ask any joint tenant to cover rent arrears.

Damage to the property

Joint tenants are all responsible for any damage to the property, so the landlord could choose who to ask to pay for it.

The landlord does not have to ask the joint tenant who has caused the damage to pay for it.

Paying bills and council tax

You can agree between yourselves how to split the bills. The person whose name is on the bill will be legally responsible for it. If the bill is in more than one person's name, everyone named on the bill is responsible for paying it.

You may not have to pay council tax if:

  • everyone in the property is a student

  • the council has said that the landlord is responsible for paying it

Repairs

Any joint tenant can report bad housing conditions and ask for repairs.

Disputes with housemates

It's not uncommon to have disagreements when house sharing. Check what you could do.

Being asked to leave

Joint tenants cannot force each other to leave or exclude one another from the property, for example by changing the locks.

The landlord cannot force one joint tenant to leave without ending the tenancy for everyone.

Last updated: 29 September 2022

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