My understanding of the rationale behind joint and several liability is that the tenants would be most knowledgeable how to fairly distribute a cost amongst themselves. My question is what can be done to make sure that one person won't be held accountable for everything? For example I've heard stories where the landlord evicts everyone and sues one tenant for the remainder of the lease.
My question is would the following be considered legally binding? Sure the landlord could have all the tenants sign the lease agreeing to join and several liability, but then could the roommates amongst themselves sign something to say that each is responsible for his/her own rent?
For example say a landlord rents a house with 5 bedrooms. The landlord has each tenant sign a lease that says "each tenant can be charged as an individual or all tenants can be charged as a group", but then the tenants amongst themselves each sign an agreement saying "each tenant agrees to be responsible for their own portion of the rent". Then if one tenant doesn't pay, would the landlord be forced to go after them in court, or would whoever ends up getting sued by the landlord be able to go after the person who didn't pay, or would it not really make a difference?