Joint and Several Liability
This means that all the tenants named on the tenancy agreement are fully responsible for all the conditions of the agreement. This means that each tenant is individually responsible for all the rent and all the costs relating to any damages, not just their share.
This means that the tenants named on the tenancy agreement have the right to live in the property for the specified period without interference from the landlord, agent or anyone else acting on their behalf.
This clause implies that if the tenant (s) has not paid the rent for 14 days then the landlord or agent has the right to re-enter the property and take possession of the property from the tenant. In reality it would be illegal for an agent or landlord to take possession in this way, they would need to comply with their statutory obligations by serving notice and on expiry of the notice apply to the courts to obtain a court order.
This clause is included because the landlord or agent has to formally warn or inform the tenant that they may forfeit the right to remain in the property if they breach the tenancy agreement.
Access and Inspection
It is implied that with a minimum of 24hrs notice the landlord or landlord’s agent may enter the property to carry out an inspection, but you must still give your consent. It would be unreasonable not to allow entry as you would be preventing the landlord or their agent from fulfilling their obligations, but it should be a mutually agreeable time.
What does the term ‘tenant-like manner’ relate to?
The term refers to the court case of Warren v Keen in 1953 and is still applicable to this day. Lord Denning stated that:
“The tenant must take proper care of the premises. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler; he must clean the chimneys when necessary and also the windows; he must mend the electric light when it fuses; he must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs around the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must not, of course, damage the house wilfully or negligently… but apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time or for any reason not caused by him, the tenant is not liable to repair it.”
This means that, under case law, the tenant is expected to look after the property and carry out small jobs around the property themselves which the landlord is not responsible for.
So What Constitutes what constitutes a small jobs?
It typically means things we just need to accept as everyday life with a few examples being:
- Changing light-bulbs
- Changing batteries in smoke detectors
- Re-pressuring a combi-boiler having been given instructions on how to do so
- Bleeding Radiators
- Unblocking toilets and sinksKeep grass cut and sweeping up fallen leaves
- Taking care of pests such as ants and wasps during seasonal changes
- Wiping away excess moisture from windows due to condensation
As tenants, a good question to ask yourself would be, “if I owed the house, would I Google a contractor to resolve my issue?” If the answer is no, it would likely fall under ‘behaving in a tenant like manner”.