If you're letting your property to more than one tenant, you should either prepare a joint assured shorthold tenancy agreement or separate assured shorthold tenancy agreements for each person.

If you decide to rent the property as a joint tenancy, all tenants will sign a joint tenancy agreement when they move in. If this is the case, the tenants will pay one deposit for the tenancy. Even though they might only contribute a share of the deposit each, a joint tenancy agreement means they're liable for each other's actions - for example, if one tenant does't pay their rent, the money owed can be deducted from the deposit as a whole.

Alternatively, if you're renting out the property on a room by room basis each tenant will sign a separate tenancy agreement and pay their own deposit. This means each tenant's liability will only extend to their own private space, such as their bedroom and ensuite bathroom. It will not cover communal areas such as hallways, communal kitchens or living rooms, etc. If there is dirt or damage in a communal area, it will be difficult to deduct money from a deposit unless the tenant responsible admits liability.

How do I protect a deposit for a joint tenancy agreement?

If the tenants sign a joint tenancy agreement, you should only add the details for the tenancy (e.g. address, tenancy start date, etc.) to your SafeDeposits user account once. You should include the names and contact details of all tenants.

After we've received the deposit, we'll send you and all tenants a deposit protection certificate to confirm the deposit is protected.

As part of adding the details for the deposit, you'll be asked to select one tenant as the 'lead tenant'. This tenant will be responsible for participating in the repayment process at the end of the tenancy on behalf of all the tenants. We recommend that you speak to the tenants before you choose the lead tenant to make sure everyone's happy.

For example, if John, Paul and George sign a joint tenancy agreement and collectively pay £600, you should:

  • Add the details for the tenancy once

  • Have all three tenants and their contact details listed

  • Choose one person as the lead tenant

  • Pay £600 into the deposit account

How do I protect a deposit for separate tenancy agreements?

If the tenants sign separate tenancy agreements, you should add the details for the tenancy multiple times for each tenant. The name and contact details of each tenant should only be listed against their separate deposit account.

For example, if John, Paul and George sign separate tenancy agreements and pay £200 each, you should:

  • Add the details for the tenancy three times

  • Have John listed against the first deposit account, Paul listed against the second deposit account, and George listed against the third deposit account

  • Pay £200 into each deposit account