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I need clarification on what type of tenancy agreement my son will need.

 

He will be sharing a 3 bedroom house with two others. They will each have their own room but will share the use of bathroom/kitchen/living room. The house consists of a ground floor and an upstairs. Is it legal for the landlord to issue three separate agreements or should there be an AST for the main tenant plus two sub-tenants?

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I think that three separate tenancies is fine - though I'm not an expert. I did research this recently, and didn't find anything to the contrary. I have now got a house with separate tenancies in each room using a tenancy agreement form that I bought from a relatively trustworthy landlord-based website.

 

In many ways it is better for individual tenants - if one tenant wants to move on, he can do so without the other tenants being fully responsible for that tenant's rent, and they should each have individual deposits instead of making one tenant responsible for the deposit.

 

The downside is that it can lead to a different style of house - where individual people come and go, and the house is less of a home because the tenants don't know each other so well. Also there is no obvious "lead" tenant who the landlord can contact to discuss issues with the house. But that is resolved if any remaining tenants take the initiative to find replacements from their friends/colleagues (and many landlords would appreciate tenants taking that initiative), and they try to agree responsibilities and let landlord know who to contact about what.

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If your son only wants to be responsible for his "share" of the rent, he should sign an individual AST for his own room. If the three sign the same tenancy agreement, it will be a "joint and several" agreement and if his two flatmates don't pay their rent, the LL will be entitled to go after your son for the whole amount.

 

In an individual AST, your son will only be liable for damage caused to his room (or by him to common parts). In a joint AST, they will ALL be liable for ALL damage done to ALL areas, and as above, the LL can go after any one or all of them for restitution (if this is not covered by the damage deposit)

 

If the three of them sign the same agreement, the whole premises will be covered by "quiet enjoyment". If they sign individual ASTs, the LL will be able to enter the "common parts" (kitchen/bathroom/lounge etc) whenever he wants without giving any notice.

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