Over the last few weeks, I have heard the idea that HMO tenants should be on a joint and several tenancy. There seems to be the idea that, this could be a guard against VOA rebanding and off load some responsibility on to the tenants and bind them together.

I have to say – I have always found the idea intriguing, but my gut feeling told me it was a bad idea.

In terms of the VOA, if walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…its probably going to be rebanded if the duck has a load of kitchette’s & ensuite’s inside it…irrespective of the type of tenancy!

Then I saw a comment by Des Taylor yesterday that succinctly summarised the case against J & S tenancies. I reached out to him and asked if I could share his thoughts – and he kindly accepted.

Just to be clear: Joint and Several single tenancy agreements bind the members of the agreement together financially and one contract.

So here is why it is a bad idea


  • Strangers become jointly and severely liable for each others rent - this is risky. It could put off a lot of your applicants especially if your competitors are issuing individual tenancies.

  • When fighting for non-payment of rent all tenants can get a CCJ - if it goes that far – which seems deeply unfair.

  • Administratively, it is messy:

From the agreement, as it is between constantly
changing between tenancies.

It will have partial assignments continually.

Deposit protection situation is very piecemeal.

  • There've been court cases about how much of a quagmire this can become.

  • From a management point of view it is dangerous too:

Managers will be restricted from access to the
common parts, without notice, from which you have
responsibilities under the management regulations.

The advice from Des Taylor is - from a legal and practical point of view, each tenant should have their own tenancy.

I agree with him, it seems really unnecessary and risky to put tenants on J&S tenancy.

Let me know what you think...it would be good to hear other thoughts on the topic. This only applies to professional lets, not student lets.

#hmo #hmolandlord #hmoproperty #homtenants