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Re: Multiple tenants by Stephen (Washington (WA)) on November 3, 2017 @14:57

In the past I once rented to two unrelated women. When I received only half the rent I contacted them. The one who had paid claimed that it was not her problem that the rent was short; it was the other girl's problem. Since then I have added a form we named "Economic Unity" for any rentals involving unrelated people. The form says:

"We the undersigned, affirm that we are residing together as an economic unit. We recognize that each of us is fully responsible for the obligations of the economic unit including fulfilling all of the Rental/Lease Agreement and Rules and Regulations, until the rented dwelling is vacated by all, and until a resident is released by written authority of the Owner/Manager. Release always requires a move-out inspection.

We also agree that all Security Deposits will remain in the Owner's/Manager's trust account until the unit is returned to the Owner/Manager for re-renting purposes.

At the end of the Rental/Lease Agreement and/or vacating of the premises by all residents, the Owner/Manager will return the Deposit, less any rent, legal fees, cleaning fees, and damages still owing, to the tenant(s) named below."

The form was originally drafted by a lawyer but that was a number of years ago so I don't know whether everything is perfect, but I have never had to go to court with this form. The tenants all seem to understand that they aren't renting half (or in your case a third) of a unit.
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Re: Multiple tenants by Anonymous on November 3, 2017 @16:26 [ Reply ]
I think the term joint and several covers that in three words
Re: Multiple tenants by Anonymous on November 3, 2017 @20:58 [ Reply ]
I would be careful in using that lease clause. It appears to violate Washington State Fair Housing laws as it applies just to single individuals only. That's a violation of Marital Status, which is protected by State law. It might also violate SCRA Act and the Domestic Violence Act. Such a lease clause may also be in violation due to a disparate impact against single applicants.

Defending such a lease cause in Federal court or before an Administrative Law Judge would be next to impossible and expensive. As was stated " joint and several covers that in three words" and applies to everyone both married and single, thus no possible Fair Housing violation.
Re: Multiple tenants by Stephen (Washington (WA)) on November 3, 2017 @21:29 [ Reply ]
I grasp that "joint and several" would cover this but I'm aiming at the lowest common denominator. I believe that tenants who believe they are renting only a portion of the unit wouldn't understand "joint and several." My way spells it out for them.

In regard to whether this is discriminatory against some group (I'm unclear whether Anonymous believes this discriminates against married people or single people), a married couple would be jointly and severally responsible already. I'm adding that requirement to those who aren't married to each other. Does that discriminate against singles?
    Re: Multiple tenants by Brenda (Ny) on November 3, 2017 @22:41 [ Reply ]
    * a married couple would be jointly and severally responsible already*

    No, because one person could be listed as a tenant while the other is an occupant. I agree that the lease clause would be discriminatory and is unnecessary. You cannot have different terms for single applicants or tenants different from married couples. Marital status is protected under Washington state law. I would not risk having such a clause, it might just draw the attention of some fair housing group, which would cost much money to defend. Just too risky.
      Re: Multiple tenants by Stephen (Washington (WA)) on November 4, 2017 @14:21 [ Reply ]

      First, I'm bouncing this off a lawyer to see whether anything has changed since I originally got the form from a lawyer.

      Second, while you are correct that I could lease to a married couple and list only one as the tenant and the other as an occupant, I don't. Both are listed as tenants. Both sign.
    Re: Multiple tenants by Anonymous on November 4, 2017 @04:49 [ Reply ]
    Since marital status is protected by your state law, you cannot have different terms for non married or single tenants as that is a violation of your state fair housing.
    I would not used such a clause as it has the potential be found discriminatory somewhere along the way and be costly to my bottom line. It's up to the landlord to explain and insure that any tenant who signs the lease may be held responsible for the whole rent and terms of the lease. Any landlord should be able to explain that fact easily to a tenant.
Re: Multiple tenants by Anonymous on November 6, 2017 @01:50 [ Reply ]
I see a lot of problems with such a lease clause that could lead to financial issues for the landlord.

Not only does the possibility of the lease clause being in violation of Washington State Fair Housing Regulations, it also seems to violate both Federal and Washington State law concerning termination under the SCRA when only one tenant is moving out due to military orders. That tenant is due a settlement of the security deposit within 14 days of termination of the lease, whether or not any other tenants remain. The landlord cannot hold on to the security deposit until all occupants vacate.

The same could be said under the States Domestic Violence act, where the landlord is required to settle the security deposit within 14 days of the termination of the lease due to domestic violence, even if any other tenants remain in the rental. The landlord cannot hold on to the security deposit until all occupants vacate.

It also would not apply if the tenancy is month to month and only one co-tenant moved out while any other ones remained. The landlord would be required to settle the security deposit with the departing tenant.

A landlord could not hold on to the security deposit until all tenants vacated under such examples and nothing would require the approval of the landlord in writing. The requirement that a "release" requires written authority and a move-out inspection is not enforceable as it preceives to waive the tenants right to terminate a lease or rental agreement or face not being released. Nothing in Washington State law requires such a condition getting the security deposit returned. In fact, such conditions are in violation of the State security deposit laws.

Illegal lease clauses can allow the tenant to sue for damages and since the lease clause discriminates against single, divorce and widowed applicants or tenants, it violates Washington Fair Housing Law.

Lawyer written or not, it's a very risky and on it's face, a very discriminatory lease clause that no one should be using.

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