Sometimes there may be several people concurrently in residence in a rental property, but responsibility for the rent might be defined in a couple of ways:
- All tenants are on the same tenancy agreement, and equally responsible for the rent.
- Each tenant may have his/her own independent tenancy agreement.
These arrangements are referred to as Homes of Multiple Occupation, or HMOs.
All tenants on same tenancy
The first scenario is typical if a tenancy is for a married or co-habiting couple, where the husband and wife are both named on the same AST and responsibility is shared. If the husband normally pays the rent and defaults on this, then his partner is legally responsible.
To achieve this, set up the tenancy with the first tenant (often referred to as the primary or lead tenant), and then add the second tenant and additional tenants via the Tenancy > Full Details menu. On this details page select Options > Set Tenants and then choose additional tenants to associated with this tenancy.
An alternative may be to define the tenant name as the two tenant's names, e.g. John and Jane Smith. You can use the Company / Partnership tenant type in this case to specify the full name if you prefer, e.g. Mr & Mrs Smith.
In ShowHouse, all transactions are performed with the lead tenant, i.e. rent receipts can only be received from the lead or primary tenant.
Individual tenancy agreements
This second scenario is more typical in student tenancies where each tenant in the property has their own individual agreement which is independent of the other students. If one tenant falls behind on their rent then that is related to their tenancy only, and completely separate from other tenants.
To achieve this, simply add individual tenancies for each tenant with only that single tenant listed.