There is no legal right to a joint tenancy and it is the policy of St Albans City and District Council not to award a joint tenancy unless it is in our interest to do so.
If the council does agree to a joint tenancy then this is usually only at the start of a tenancy when an application for housing has been made and accepted in joint names usually with a spouse or civil partner (on production of a relevant certificate).
We will not allow a joint tenancy where either party owns or rents a property somewhere else and if we later find out that either party owns or rents a property elsewhere then we will take legal action to end the tenancy and evict both tenants.
Where there is a joint tenancy both parties have 'joint and several liability' for the tenancy. This means that both are equally responsible for all the rent and for any breach of the terms of the tenancy, even if they are not the cause.
This means that even if they agree to pay half the rent each, if one partner does not pay their share, we can recover the debt from the other partner.
You should be aware that either party can end the whole tenancy by serving Notice to Quit. If one person wants to move out and serves Notice on the Council this will end the tenancy for both parties. The Council may allow the remaining partner to have a new tenancy at the property, having not broken the terms of tenancy agreement and they qualify under the allocations policy.
Housing staff are unable to give advice to one tenant which is against the interests of another, and where any advice or information is given we should give it to both parties. Independent advice can be obtained from a solicitor or from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
If you want more information about your joint tenancy then please contact you Housing Officer.