Here is a question to the blog clinic from Ian on joint and several liability under a tenancy agreement
I am aware of most of the ins and outs of my daughters tenancy agreement.
She is just coming to the end but one guy owes nearly £1000. I appreciate that we are jointly responsible for these arrears but does the landlords agents have any responsibilities? E.g
1. Letting us know that there were long outstanding arrears
2. Make some effort to get the money off non paying tenant
It seems that as we have communicated with them over issues that they are coming just for us to pay the outstanding balance.
I am afraid not. It is arguable that the landlord may have a moral duty to try to get all the tenants to pay their share but he does not have any legal obligation.
In fact even the moral obligation argument is a bit shaky – why should the landlord be put to a lot of trouble just because tenants have chosen to share with someone who has proved unreliable? He has performed his part of the bargain by providing the property for them to live in.
It is VERY important that responsible tenants make sure that they are sharing with other responsible tenants. You are effectively guarantors for their share of the rent.
Mind you, you may have a claim of your own against the non paying tenant if you have to pay their share of the rent as well as your own. So you can threaten to sue them if they don’t pay up.