Co-debtors—joint and several liability from a property perspective
Co-debtors—joint and several liability from a property perspective

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Co-debtors—joint and several liability from a property perspective
  • Joint and several liability
  • Who can be sued?
  • Release of one debtor
  • Reservation of rights
  • Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995
  • Covenant not to sue

Joint and several liability

Where a covenant is given by two or more persons, they may be liable:

  1. jointly

  2. severally, or

  3. jointly and severally

The applicable liability is a question of construction and depends on the intention of the parties as evidenced by the terms of the relevant document. The presumption, in the absence of express provision is that liability is joint. An example of joint liability is two persons who are jointly the tenant under a lease. An example of several liability is the liability of the original tenant and an assignee of a lease to pay the rent. For liability to be several, special words of severance, while not absolutely necessary, are advisable.

Who can be sued?

Where liability is joint, if one person is sued he can insist on the others being joined in. Where the liability is several, however, the liability is owed by each person separately and each can be sued separately. If liability is joint and several, eac