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Tenants legal help – thinking of sharing with a friend?

It doesn't always work out well, sharingTenants sharing rented property

Lots of people share rented property and often it works out. However sometimes it doesn’t. You need to be quite cautious about sharing a property with a friend, as if it all goes wrong it can turn out nasty.  Depending on the friend of course.

Tenants – consider the following points:

  • How well do you know this person? Remember you will be sharing a home with them for quit a long time
  • Do you trust them? Remember, they will have access to all your things, when you are not there
  • Do they have similar standards of cleanliness to you?
  • Do they have any irritating habits which might drive you up the wall?
  • Are you certain they will be able to afford (or indeed are going to pay) their share of the rent? Remember, if you both sign a tenancy agreement together, you will be legally liable for their share of the rent, if they don’t pay it
  • Have you thought about how long you want to be sharing together? There can be problems if one person wants to leave and the other wants to stay on.

If you feel a bit worried, think again. It is a serious business renting property, and if it all goes wrong you could end up out of pocket.  Seriously out of pocket.

For example, if you get fed up with sharing with them and walk out, did you know that you will still be liable, not only for your share of the rent, but also for theirs? Legally you can still be liable for the rent months, and even years, after you have moved out!  In fact until either your co-tenant leaves the property and gives back vacant possession to the landlord, or until a new tenancy agreement is signed.

Only ever share with people you really trust.  If you are not sure, don’t do it.

Have you had any problems involving joint tenants?  Have you known anyone have to pay rent after they have moved out?  Do you have any tips for readers?

See more help for tenants on Landlord Law.

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Important note. If you are reading an old post, remember that the law may have changed since it was written.

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One Response to Tenants legal help – thinking of sharing with a friend?

  1. I remember living with about 5 other people and even though we know each other really well from school it was still an experience. The levels of cleanliness, meal times and just consideration for each other were all very important.



About the post author:

Tessa Shepperson

Tessa is a lawyer and specialises in creating products and services which help landlords and letting agents learn and understand landlord & tenant law. For example, she runs the Landlord Law website (now in its 14th year) and is a director of Easy Law Training Ltd and Your Law Store. Tessa also sits on the Property Redress Scheme Council. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and messing around on the computer. You can also find her on Google

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Tessa is an English lawyer specialising in residential landlord and tenant law.

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