Joint tenancies

If you signed a tenancy agreement with another person (your names are on the same document) then it will be classed as a joint tenancy. They are common amongst students and families as everyone is likely move in and leave at the same time.

Since joint tenancies rely on mutual trust, you should only enter a joint tenancy with people you know well. This will help to avoid disputes over things like rent payments and getting the deposit back.

Make sure everyone plans to stay at the property for the period of the fixed term; everyone is equally liable on a joint tenancy for the rent. This means that you are all legally responsible for all of the rent, not just your own portion, even if someone else leaves.

Responsibilities of joint tenants

Since joint tenants are under one agreement, they all share the same responsibilities and face the same consequences as if they were one tenant. This means that everyone must look after the property and follow the terms of the tenancy agreement. If one person breaks a term in the tenancy agreement then everyone is liable, not just the guilty tenant.

Joint tenants should also elect a lead tenant who the landlord or letting agent can correspond with.

Ending a joint tenancy

You cannot end a fixed-term tenancy before it expires unless the tenancy agreement has a break clause, or all the joint tenants and the landlord agree to end it.

After the end of a fixed term tenancy, any one of the tenants can leave by giving their own notice, leaving the remaining tenant(s) automatically responsible for the full terms of the contract.

Furthermore, once a tenancy goes periodic (a rolling contract when the fixed term ends) any one tenant can give notice on behalf of all the tenants whether they like the decision or not. If the non-signing tenants elect to stay on, then they have to pick up the entire rent each month and the landlord will still need a court order to evict them.

Couple packing boxes getting ready to move
What to do at the end of your tenancy

If you want to move out of your rented home, you might be wondering what you have to do. This guide will help make sure your everything is in order before you pack up.

Getting the deposit back from a joint tenancy

When a deposit for a joint tenancy is protected, only one tenant is named (the lead tenant). Since joint tenancies are technically one tenancy, there is only one deposit but it can be made up of payments from each tenant. Once the tenancy ends, the deposit will be returned to the lead tenant.

It is the lead tenant’s responsibility to distribute the returned deposit to the other tenants accordingly. The deposit scheme, landlord or letting agent cannot assist with this once the deposit is returned so make sure you know who the lead tenant is and agree on how to split the returned deposit.

Safe lock dial.jpg
Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) explained

The Government introduced measures to make sure tenancy deposits are protected whilst they are with the landlord or letting agent. This guide covers everything you need to know.

Separate tenancies

If you signed a tenancy agreement where only your name features on the contract, it will be classes as a separate tenancy. They usually occur when you move into a shared property that is already occupied. Being on a separate tenancy will likely mean you’re living with strangers. 

Students socialising in the kitchen
Living with housemates

Housemates with different lifestyles can take some getting used to so our advice aims to help maintain a positive, amicable living space whilst renting shared accommodation. 

Responsibilities of separate tenants

Separate tenants must look after communal areas of the property such as kitchen and living room and are responsible for the specific area of the property they rent, i.e their bedroom.

Ending a separate tenancy

Unlike joint tenancies, if an eviction were to occur, only the tenant named on the eviction notice would have to vacate the property. 

If you are a separate tenant, you can leave your tenancy by giving notice once your fixed-term ends or by giving the correct notice on a periodic tenancy. Since the tenancies are separate, no other tenant will have to leave the property and the landlord will look to find a replacement tenant.

Getting the deposit back from a separate tenancy

As a separate tenants you are entitled to the deposit you paid, minus any deductions. Only damage which occurred in your room can be deducted from your deposit, you can not be charged for damage to another tenant’s room unless you caused it. Deductions may also be taken for any damage in communal areas.

Are you Propertymark Protected? 

ARLA Propertymark Protected logo

If you're searching for a property to rent, you need an agent that you can trust and rely on—the quality of the agent makes a real difference. Our members have voluntarily chosen to become regulated by Propertymark to showcase their commitment to higher standards. Use our search to find a Propertymark Protected letting agent in your area.