Assuming the tenants are not in partnership or members of any form of legal entity, the starting point is that each tenant must provide a separate declaration or statutory declaration. However, Schedule 2 to the RRO 2003 provides that such declarations can be made by someone authorised by the tenant.
It is clear that the reason for this provision is that companies can only make such declarations through an authorised person. However, what is not so clear is whether a group of individual tenants could use the same process.
At the time of writing, we are not aware of any case law on this point. However, our interpretation of the legislation, is that it should be possible. With the caveat that if a landlord is to accept a statutory declaration made by only one tenant, the landlord should be satisfied that the tenant has done so with the proper authority of all the tenants i.e. by way of an express statement from the person making the statutory declaration.
Dion McCarthy, Trainee Solicitor