There are various types of housing contracts. Most students agree to an Assured Short Hold Tenancy. The words 'Assured Short Hold Tenancy' (AST) will be written at the beginning of the contract (also known as agreement).
If you are living in a house with other people and all the tenants sign the same contract; the tenancy is known as a ‘joint contract’. This means you will be 'jointly and severally' liable for rent or other costs; for example, if one tenant (named on the joint contract) does not pay their share of the rent, the landlord has the legal right to ask the other tenants to pay the outstanding rent in addition to their own share of the rent.
If the housing agreement is ‘individual’ (only you sign it); you will only be liable to pay your own rent.
If you share some of your accommodation with your landlord such as the bathroom or kitchen, you are generally known as ‘excluded occupiers’. Excluded Occupier is a term used in housing law which helps to identify an individual’s housing rights. Excluded Occupiers have very limited rights and the information provided in this leaflet does not apply if you are living with your landlord.