Joint tenancy -


I have a prospective tenant and his guarantor refusing to sign the standard openrent contract due to them not wanting to be liable if others refuse to pay rent etc.

What should I respond back with?

I am not happy to enter into individual agreements with the individual tenants as it is too time consuming and want one point of contact.


Hi David, it’s it’s quite common for tenants and guarantors to be put off by joint and several liability. It is indeed a bit of a risk for the signatories, but it’s standard practice and usually they can be persuaded.

You have already mentioned one option — sign individual agreements with each tenant. But yes this does make things more complicated. If you’re unwilling to do this, then I would tell the tenant and guarantor that the property will only be let on a joint tenancy and that the AST was readable before the holding deposit was placed. Therefore the assumption throughout the tenancy creation process so far has been that the tenancy would be a joint one.

You could also reassure them that it is quite rare that tenants do not pay their rent, and even rarer for a decent landlord to pursue anyone other than the tenant who did not pay. Landlords’ biggest motivation for pursuing rent arrears via the courts is often from a sense of justice as much as a desire for financial compensation, so it would be rare for a landlord to pursue good tenants for money owed by bad tenants.

In general, it’s a shame that people are forced, by the affordability of housing, to live with people they don’t trust enough to actually pay the rent!


find someone else who is willing to do what you want