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Three months ago my friend Bob moved into a flat paid for by Adam, an investor in the start-up company that Bob and others co-founded (long story). Adam signed a 6 month lease with the landlord.

Relations between Adam and Bob's company have now broken down. Adam is refusing to pay the remaining 3 months rent. Bob has been informally told by a friend's lawyer (another long story) that because he lives in the flat he is jointly liable for the remaining 3 months, even though he never signed anything. Is this true? I know Bob got this from a lawyer, but it seems strange so I thought I'd ask here.

Bob's company and Adam have no written agreement (yes, really), but the intention was for the rent to form part of Adam's investment in the company. Bob does have a shareholder's agreement with the other founders.

(I know this sounds weird. There is a culture clash behind it all, but its not relevant to the question).

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  • Was told this by who? Do Bob and Adam have some other agreement regarding funding that includes the rent? What does that agreement say?
    – Ron Beyer
    Aug 15, 2020 at 16:24
  • @RonBeyer I've edited the question to address this. Aug 15, 2020 at 16:40

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he is jointly liable for the remaining 3 months, even though he never signed anything. Is this true?

That seems unlikely. The lease is between Adam and the landlord. Although the lease might have language making all tenants jointly and severally liable, it would affect Bob only if it can be proved that he was aware of those terms when he moved in.

Your description does not elaborate on any agreement(s) between Adam and Bob. But Adam is not allowed to impose on Bob any obligations merely because relations between them broke down. Absent a contract between Adam and Bob, the question of whether Adam is entitled to any recovery from Bob could only be assessed on equitable grounds.

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