Thanks. from what you say, you have signed a joint and several tenancy agreement jointly with some other individuals. a joint and several tenancy agreement means that the landlord can choose to pursue all the tenants jointly or any particular tenant individually for all the obligations under the tenancy. If you are still a tenant then it follows that the landlord can choose to pursue you either individually or jointly with the other tenants for damage caused to the property even if you did not personally cause it. This is because when signing the tenancy agreement, you will have almost certainly agreed to terms which state that you must return the property in the same condition you took it save for wear and tear or words to that effect.
However, this is not the end of the story. It is of comparatively little help now but it could have been possible for you to seek a replacement tenant to take your place and take over the tenancy agreement rather than continue to pay rent yourself which must have presumably added up to quite a sizeable sum over the last couple of years. If you ever find yourself in a similar position again, you can consider this as an alternative.
However in terms of where this leaves you. the first issue is that it is for the landlord to prove damage has been caused by the tenants (it doesn't matter which of them) not for you to prove that no damage has been caused. So the starting point is that you can ask the landlord for a copy of a professionally prepared inventory signed by you all when you moved in or other conclusive evidence as regards ***** ***** of the property when you moved in. unless the landlord can conclusively prove the state of the property when you moved in, he will find it very difficult to sustain a claim against any of you.
If the landlord can prove the condition of the property and accordingly, prove that it has been damaged, then he has the basis to pursue a claim which may find you liable. However, if you can demonstrate that the damage was not caused by you, you could raise a counter claim against your co-tenants that they opay for the damage.
in other words, if the landlord can prove the above damage, he may be able to make a successful claim against you but you in turn would have a claim against the other tenants as it was they that caused the damage.
The first move is for the landlord to provide the above proof of damage. If he can't conclusively prove this, his claim is unlikely to go anywhere. Many Landlords fail in such claims owing to lack of documentary evidence
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