People from all walks of life rent homes to make their lives simpler without having to own a home or apartment. Depending on where your property is located, you may get inquiries from potential tenants who wish to lease with roommates or co-tenants.
Leasing to them does not change much, but there are some key things you should know regarding co-tenant rights. Here, we will discuss 4 tips that landlords can follow to protect their interests when leasing to co-tenants.
- Know What a Co-Tenant Is
A co-tenant is a third party who is included in the rental agreement. In most situations, a landlord, a renter, and, a co-tenant will all be under the same rental agreement. However, there are rare instances when each renter may have a lease with the landlord.
Everyone who has their name on the lease is a co-tenant, and every adult residing at the premises (despite the relationship) should be listed on the lease.
The most important aspect is that each co-tenant has a leasing agreement with the landlord. The specific terms and circumstances that lead to such agreements may vary for each property, but none of them exist without some kind of legally binding obligation to you and your property. Similarly, all renters have the same co-tenant rights, which you must respect.
- Know the Difference between a Tenant and a Co-Tenant
An individual who rents one of your properties is referred to as a tenant. Two or more persons who rent a property jointly on the same or different leases are referred to as co-tenants.
You have probably already rented to two people in a relationship (i.e. a dating couple) in the past without realizing they’d be deemed co-tenants. In most cases, renting to co-tenants is the same as renting to a single person.
- Learn to Distinguish Between Co-Tenants and Roommates
“Isn’t that simply another term for a roommate?” some people wonder when they hear the word “co-tenant.” Although the terms roommate and co-tenant are sometimes used interchangeably, there are several key distinctions between the two. There’s also a term that has to be added to the mix: sublet.
As previously stated, co-tenants are two or more people who share a rental property. The landlord has signed an agreement with each of them. A sub-tenant is a renter who has agreed to pay a portion or all of the rent for a specified length of time. The sub-tenant has no connection to the property owner. Some landlords will accept subletting for a price, but not all. The main renter is still ultimately liable for the rent and the upkeep of the property.
In most situations, a roommate refers to a sub-tenant. However, depending on the situation, the term could also apply to a co-tenant.
The term “roommate” does not precisely define either of them. So, if you need to know what the roommate is to be treated as, you’ll need to ask for more information from the property manager.
- Learn How Co-Tenancy Works
Co-tenancy works something like the following:
- The landlord requires both tenants to sign a lease (or a combined lease).
- The co-tenants divide the rent as they see fit and make monthly payments to the landlord.
- All necessary utility bills are shared according to the wishes of the co-tenants.
- The lease’s terms and conditions must be adhered to in the same manner as they would in any other scenario.
As you can see, leasing to con-tenants does not have to be any more complicated than renting to a single person. It is critical to know when and how you are leasing to co-tenants so you can ensure the lease is fair, equitable, and binding for both sides.
A well-thought-out agreement can safeguard both you and your co-tenants’ interests, and that is just the kind of lease you want to prepare for your tenants!
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