Oral Tenancy - Joint & Several?

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  • Oral Tenancy - Joint & Several?

    Is 'joint and several responsibility' automatic in a tenancy agreement, or does it have to be written into the agreement?

    If an oral periodic tenancy is created with 2 tenants (NOT statutory) would that be joint & several by default?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
    Is 'joint and several responsibility' automatic in a tenancy agreement, I would think not. or does it have to be written into the agreement?

    If an oral periodic tenancy is created with 2 tenants (NOT statutory) would that be joint & several by default? Probably.
    I think others need to give their thoughts too.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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    • #3
      Paul_f, that seems contradictory - ?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
        Paul_f, that seems contradictory - ?
        I agree that it seems contradictory and I think a single (ie joint) tenancy is the default position for orally granted tenancies.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
          Is 'joint and several responsibility' automatic in a tenancy agreement, or does it have to be written into the agreement?

          If an oral periodic tenancy is created with 2 tenants (NOT statutory) would that be joint & several by default?
          Joint and several liability is a natural consequence of what has been agreed between the various parties. So, if there is a joint tenancy, then there is joint and several liability. If there is no joint tenancy, then any liabilities are sole.

          The slight complication is that there can be a joint tenancy even when this has not been explicitly agreed but, rather, where this can be implied from the various circumstances of the letting. So, for example, there are various cases in which the landlord purported to grant sole tenancies to separate occupiers of the same building but where the court has held that the real effect was to create a joint letting because in practice exclusive possession was enjoyed by all the tenants together, the rent was effectively shared and the term of the occupation was same.

          Put another way, you cannot have joint tenants where there is not joint and several liability.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Preston View Post

            Put another way, you cannot have joint tenants where there is not joint and several liability.
            I agree, but is Snorkerz not asking whether an orally-granted tenancy (to a pair or group) can ever be anything other than a single joint one, i.e., could it be two or more separate ASTs?
            'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
              I agree, but is Snorkerz not asking whether an orally-ranted tenancy (to a pair or group) can ever be anything other than a single joint one, i.e., could it be two or more separate ASTs?
              No, I was asking in regard to this thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...158#post203158. I know a new thread is a no-no but I thought it might confuse the issue if I asked too many questions there.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                No, I was asking in regard to this thread http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...158#post203158. I know a new thread is a no-no but I thought it might confuse the issue if I asked too many questions there.
                In that case I'll shut up as that was a thread which completely baffled me!
                'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                • #9
                  The landlord in that thread was very confused and confusing. I dont think the conversation ever reached a conclusion, but the most likely interpretation seems to me to be that he granted a joint tenancy but then subsequently attempted to treat the arrangement as a group of sole tenancies. Either way he or she should have been much clearer from the start. If the objective is to create separate tenancies, then each tenant must have exclusive possession (of at least one room) in their own right, have a separate liability to pay rent and have term or period to their letting.

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                  • #10
                    Note the differences between joint and joint and several liability.

                    J: means that T1 may be sued for the entire debt/damages incurred by both T1 and T2. But LL cannot then sue T2 if T1 is impecunious or fails to pay.

                    J&S: means that LL can sue T1 for the entire debt/damages, and if T1 is impecunious or cannot pay, can then sue T2 for the same.

                    Joint liability is probably implied, but J&S not. I would imagine that the latter must be an express term.

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