Did you know that Flatmate’s Day is celebrated all over the globe on March 24 each year? To mark the occasion, we’ve listed three common issues with shared tenancies, of which both landlords and tenants should be aware.
1. Is it actually a shared tenancy?
The first problem can arise when trying to establish whether you have a shared tenancy in the first place. Shared accommodation agreements vary.
A shared tenancy applies when one tenancy agreement is signed by every resident. The property is shared, and strictly speaking no one has exclusive rights over any part, although in practice tenants are likely to occupy one particular bedroom and pay their rent separately.
2. Rental payments
A joint tenancy means you are legally liable – individually as well as jointly – for the rent. All or just one of you can thus be held responsible for the entire property’s rent, so if someone doesn’t pay their share, the other tenants must make up the shortfall.
Not doing so can lead to the accumulation of rent arrears. The landlord might then take money from the deposit, try to recover the rent from any one party or even attempt to evict everyone.
3. When one wants to leave
If one tenant wants to leave, this can be problematic. If the shared tenancy is for a set term, then the agreement of the other tenants and the landlord is required to end it. Once it ends, it ends for all parties. If there is no set term, or this has ended, then notice can be given to end one resident’s tenancy without the others’ agreement- as long as the tenancy agreement doesn’t forbid this.