#AskTDS: "We are letting our property to four tenants - do they pay the deposit separately or together?"

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This article has been written in response to a landlord's question: "We are letting our property to four tenants - do they pay the deposit separately or together?"

When you accept a tenancy where four tenants will be sharing a property, you will either prepare a joint assured shorthold tenancy agreement or a separate assured shorthold tenancy agreement for each individual.

If you are renting the property as a joint tenancy, all tenants will sign a single tenancy agreement when they first move in.  In this instance, they will pay one deposit for the tenancy.  Even though in practice each may pay a share of this deposit, each would be equally liable for any rental arrears or damage, even if they didn’t personally cause it to occur.

Alternatively, if you are renting out the property on a room by room basis each tenant will have their own separate tenancy agreement and have paid their own deposit.  Each tenant’s liability will extend to their own private space such as their room and en-suite bathroom.  It will not cover communal areas such as hallways, communal kitchens or living areas.



“How do I protect a deposit for joint tenants?”

TDS only has the ability to adjudicate over the deposit. As the deposit money belongs to the tenant, we cannot then consider claims from the tenant regarding money they are owed by the landlord. If the tenant wishes to make a claim against the landlord, or wants to offset money they owe the landlord due to condition of property (eg didn’t pay full rent due to lack of heating) they will need to consider taking their case to court as TDS will be unable to consider such claims. For more information we recently wrote a blog on the subject of tenant claims.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; we offer both insured and custodial protection. We also provide fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.

TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps.

Posted by Debbie Davies on 25 August 2017

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