What exactly is a Joint Tenancy?
A joint tenancy is an agreement whereby you have the option of having two or more than two individuals for the same tenancy. In this agreement, all of the involved individuals have an exclusive possession of the complete property together, and they have equal rights of the rented property.
Joint Tenancy agreement is a legal agreement between the landlord and all his tenants. According to this agreement, all the tenants are equally responsible for adhering to all of the terms and conditions mentioned in the Tenancy Agreement.
An important point to note here is that a joint tenancy is not something similar to ‘tenants in common’ agreement, although they appear quite similar and often cause a lot of confusion.
What is ‘Tenants in common’?
This is something similar to a joint tenancy in context to two or more than two tenants living under same tenancy. However, here each tenant has exclusive ownership of his own specific bedroom within the property. He can also make use of their communal areas.
Important Requirements for obtaining Joint Tenancy
- Each tenant must be of 16yrs of age or older
- A single legal document is used to hold the tenancy of all the tenants.
- The starting and ending dates for all the tenants must be the same
- All the tenants must exercise equal rights to the whole property
- All Tenants must be entitled to possess the entire property with equal rights
Liability for Joint Tenants
All the tenants involved in a Joint Tenancy are normally liable in a joint manner for any damages to the property or rent arrears. This just means that if any of the joint tenants violate any of the terms and conditions of the joint tenancy agreement, the landowner has all the rights to make a claim against all of them, or even against the individual tenant. This is considered as a great advantage for the landowner in this regard.
Joint Tenancy Guarantor
Each of the tenants will have a different Guarantor that will provide additional security to the landowner.
How to Change the Joint Tenants
In case, you want any of the joint tenants to leave your property and/or you want to rent out your property to new tenants in place of any of the older joint tenants, you need to include a new tenancy agreement. This can be easily done by Deed of Variation, which can be attached to your Tenancy Agreement, or you can prepare an entirely new Tenancy Agreement for this purpose.
How to end a Joint Tenancy
For ending a joint tenancy, you must give a written notice to every individual joint tenant; assuming that this notice complies with the tenancy agreement with regard to the termination date of the tenancy period.
What to do in case of arrears at the time of ending the joint tenancy
As already mentioned, liability of tenancy will be shared evenly between all tenants in joint tenancy. If there are any types of arrears, each one of the tenants in joint tenancy will be considered responsible for the amount overdue. This is precisely the reason why it is often recommended that you should be extra careful when you opt for joint tenancy.