Sharing a Rental Property: Your Rights and Responsibilities

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic it is more evident than ever that many of us are tenants sharing a property with someone else.

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Now, more than ever, it is important to understand the rights and responsibilities you have as a tenant in a privately rented property, and these are set out online at the government’s own website.

There are commonly two types of tenancies, known as joint tenancies and separate tenancies.

Joint Tenancies

When entering a joint tenancy, you must have confidence in those you are sharing the property with in order to avoid disputes about paying the rent and ending the tenancy.

You should also be on the same page when it comes maintaining the property and getting your deposit back. In the case of the latter you should agree on the state of the property when you enter the lease. By using property condition assessment report software, both you and your landlord will be protected. You will find that property condition assessment report software is available from various suppliers.

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In a joint tenancy it only needs one individual to breach the agreement for all signatories to the agreement to be liable. If one person is evicted, all tenants could be asked to leave. Any joint tenant can also end the tenancy for everyone in the property by giving valid notice. Those remaining must negotiate a new agreement with the landlord.

A lead tenant should be nominated to deal with the landlord, and where a deposit is paid that person will receive any monies returned under the tenancy agreement, and they will re-pay other joint tenants.

Separate Tenancies

These tenants will have their own rooms, which they must look after, and they share responsibility for communal areas.

Under this type of agreement there will be one person responsible for utility bills. Make sure they are reliable and making the payments.

If an individual breaches the agreement they alone could be evicted, with other tenants unaffected. Similarly, tenants can give notice at the end of a fixed term or by giving sufficient notice under a periodic agreement, without affecting the rights of other tenants in the property.

In this kind of tenancy deposits are returned to individuals, and deductions for any damage to their space will not affect other separate tenants.

 

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