Joint and several liability, as it applies to rental leases, means that each lessee is responsible for the full rent amount, no matter how they choose to divide rent among themselves. In order to create joint and several liability between tenants, it must be established contractually, in a signed lease agreement, or by existing county or state laws.
Let’s say there’s an apartment with a total rent of $2000, which is split evenly between two roommates. If one roommate pays their share but the other doesn’t, they’re both still liable for the remaining amount due.
With the improvements to Cozy payments we announced last week, we’ve started sending individual payments to landlords and property managers, rather than one payment per month. This change allows some extra flexbility. Renters can now make one-time payments, and choose any day of the month to make their rent payment. Soon, residents will also be able to make payments via debit or credit card, and those payments won’t be held up by roommates who may choose to pay via bank transfer.
It’s important to note that, in these cases, Cozy serves as a payments processor. You still retain complete control over your lease terms, and its enforcement. Whether or not a landlord accepts partial payments has no impact on joint and several liability if it has been established in the lease.
If you aren’t using Cozy to collect rent yet, give it a try! It’s now the most flexible (and free!) payments system for landlords, property managers, and their tenants.