Joint and Several is not what you might think

Joint and Several is a legal expression.  You will see in your lease....
that you and your roommates are entering the lease "Joint and Several."  You will see it in other contracts, too (like marriage).  But for now...

What does that mean?
It means two things.
The first is that you are ALL responsible for ALL of the lease.  Like, if Biff  pays his 1/2 and Buffy does not.  Does that mean that Biff sits there, and the Owner gets all huffy with Buffy?

Not exactly.  Because Biff is responsible for ALL of the lease.

"That is SO not fair!"  There is fairness in it.  What would the Owner do in this case.  Try to put Buffy out?  Make Biff take a roommate that he doesn't know?  One that eats all the food, smells like sardines, leaves water running?  I don't think he'd like that at all.

No, The owner can't get involved in your domestic situation.

But that's where the "Several" comes in.  Several means that Biff can go after Buffy for what she owes.  She is contractually bound.  So Biff has some leverage there.

But mostly, you just want to hang with folks you know and trust, who keep their word, and get you the rent before it is due.  The property owner cannot do that.

(It goes without saying, but we will say it anyway:  These posts here talk about some of the legal issues in renting and contracts, etc.  THEY ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE.  We are not lawyers.  So if you need real legal advice please do go to a real lawyer.  We encourage it.  We always prefer informed clients.)