ej_topmost
Property Hawk

Should I Get a Tenant Guarantor

Rebecca Brough of Fidler and Pepper Solicitors asks whether landlords need a tenant guarantor, and explains how they work.



The advantages of a tenant guarantor
 
Many landlords are now considering whether to have a guarantor to a tenancy agreement

 - the reasons for this may be that they don't want to take a deposit, or they are renting to young people who may not have a credit history, making it difficult vetting tenants.

The advantage of having a guarantor means that there is another person who can stand in the place of the tenant in respect of any breaches the tenant has caused, such as rent arrears or damage to the property.  It can also act as a deterrent - not many tenants want to have to explain to their guarantor why they have breached the terms of the tenancy.
 
If you are considering having a guarantor, you need to ensure that you get the right guarantor, and also that you get the procedure correct.  

Checking the guarantor

Firstly, when considering a guarantor, you need to ensure that the guarantor can stand in the place of the tenant in respect of the liabilities. It is no good having someone who is has no money or assets - you might as well not bother.  When taking on a guarantor you need to credit check them, just as you would the tenant.  I would advise ensuring that the guarantor is working, and/or, has some assets.


 
Legal documents

Once you have decided on your guarantor you then need to make sure you follow the correct procedure.  Firstly,  you need a Deed of Guarantee drawing up. This should clearly sets out the guarantor's liabilities. You also need to ensure, that the guarantor has had the opportunity to read through the tenancy agreement. I would advise that the tenancy agreement is attached to the Deed of Guarantee, as then there can be no doubt.  The guarantor needs to have the opportunity to take the documents away, and read through them, and if necessary, obtain independent legal advice.  They should not feel under any pressure to sign the agreement.  

Although the Deed of Guarantee Form should state that the guarantor is responsible for the full period of the tenancy, many guarantors look at the fixed period on the tenancy agreement, and think that they are only responsible for the fixed term.  It is therefore worth pointing out to them, that they are responsible from the date the tenant moves in, until the date they move out, whether that be in 6 months or a couple of years down the line.
 
I would advise keeping a note of the date you give the guarantor the documents, and any conversation you had with them.  This information may prove crucial at a later date.
 
The reason you need to give your guarantor the opportunity to take the Deed and Agreement away and get advice if they need it; is if they were to bring a claim against you, they cannot argue that they felt pressured into entering into the agreement.  There have been cases in the Courts that have found that the guarantor was knowingly mislead into signing the Deed of Guarantee, and didn't realise what they were signing; or felt under pressure to sign the document, so the tenant could have the keys. 

In one case recently, I was consulted by a landlord who was trying to pursue the guarantor.  The guarantor's defence was that they attended the property on the day the tenant was moving in and met the letting agent, who handed over all the documents for signing. In this case, the guarantor argued that they did not have the chance to read the document and get proper legal advice, and as everyone was ready to move in, they felt they had no option, but to sign.  In the end the guarantor didn't have any assets, so the landlord did not continue with the claim.  Had we gone before the Judge, my view is that the Judge would have found that the guarantor was under pressure to sign the Deed, and would of ordered in favour of the guarantor.

Claiming against the guarantor


Should your tenant unfortunately breach the tenancy agreement it is often worth contacting the guarantor and letting them know what the position is. You may find that the guarantor will have a word with the tenant, and before you know it your tenant is behaving again.  If the situation isn't resolved; you should first concentrate on what action you need to take against the tenant to end the tenancy.

Once you have secured possession of the rental property you can then assess your losses, whether this is rent arrears, damage to the property, or both.  When you know what your losses are you can then consider bringing a claim against the guarantor.  The first course of action after this would be to write to the guarantor setting out the losses.  Hopefully, the guarantor will pay straight off.  If the guarantor doesn't pay the money owed, you will then need to bring a claim against them in the Courts.  In most cases your claim will be for less than £5,000, so any claim will be in the Small Claims Court. You will need to include a copy of the tenancy agreement and the Deed of Guarantor with the Court papers. 

These will then be served on the guarantor. If the guarantor admits the claim you will get judgment for the sum you are claiming.  If the guarantor defends the claim they have to set out their reasons.   Should they claim that they didn't understand what they were signing, this is where you can show the Court that you gave the guarantor plenty of time to read the documents before signing them and advised them to seek legal advice.  If the Court find that the guarantor had plenty of time to read the documents and seek advice; the only other defence open to the guarantor is that they don't owe the amount you are claiming.  It is for you to then prove the losses to the Court as you would in any other claim.  Should the Court make a Judgment in your favour the guarantor will be given a time to pay the sum owed; if the guarantor doesn't pay the money you can then take steps to enforce the judgment.  Enforcement can be by an Attachment of Earnings Order, a Charge over their property or the Bailiff seizing possessions to sell.

If you require any advice on using guarantors and the legal requirements please contact me at propertyhawk@fidler.co.uk.

Rebecca

For more general advice on tenant guarantors:

Do I need a tenant guarantor
Using a guarantor
Tenants deed of guarantee expired?


Landlord insurance - professional rates and portfolio discounts



Comments (5)

rent guarantor
Great report. But is the guarantor guarantee transferable ? I bought a property which had existing tenants who had a guarantor. I assumed all the legal rights of the tenancy transferred but on reading your report I am not so sure. The tenants and their guarantor had signed the tenancy contract, but no copy of guarantor was in the legal pack. Their was a letting agency and my next question is whether that agent should have kept copies of everything, including any deed of guarantor ? If so, for how many years must letting agents keep documents on file.
#1 - DEREK - 02/15/2013 - 13:03
Guarantor
You don't need to bother with all that deed of guarantor etc.
All yout need to do is take out an RGI policy on the guarantor.
The RGI company will sort everything out.
This is the solution if a tenant fails a RGI check.
referencing on it's own is useless unless it will qualify for RGI.
#2 - Paul Barrett - 02/15/2013 - 17:16
guarantor plus deposit
I have just taken a young couple as tenants with one parent as their guarantor but I've also taken the usual 6 weeks deposit money. I never considered not taking a deposit & they never suggested not paying it. Hopefully it wont come down to using either the guarantee or the deposit money!
#3 - Ann Graham - 02/15/2013 - 17:23
Struggling for a guarantor
I'm at the opposite scale as I don't know someone who could do this for me. And have to move to private property. No guarantor no property...
#4 - Michael - 02/15/2013 - 23:21
Struggling for a guarantor
Hi Michael, I sypmpathis with your situation. What landlords always appreciate is an open and honest approach and a tenant who is keen to demonstrate that they are a good risk. If you go to a landlord with your bank statements and show that you are on a sound financial footing hopefully they will take an understanding approach.
#5 - PROPERTY HAWK - 02/16/2013 - 05:20
Name
E-mail (Will not appear online)
Subject
Comment
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
»
This comment form is powered by GentleSource Comment Script. It can be included in PHP or HTML files and allows visitors to leave comments on the website.
Most popular landlord information and FAQs

 

What rental yield should a landlord try to achieve?
Accelerated possession - Section 21 Notice
Non payment of rent
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
How to prepare a property inventory
Grounds for possession of a rental property
Fair wear and tear on a rental property?
Filling out a N5B form for possession
Landlord insurance advice
Letting to students
How do I choose the best tenant?
Should I use a letting agent?
Commercial Mortgages

Whole market search.
Instant personalised quote.
Rates updated in real time.

Find the most suitable mortgage for your individual requirements using our advanced buy-to-let mortgage finder.

Search
News and Advice for Landlords

MAGAZINE
To help landlords get into the Christmas spirit, our trusted insurance partner, Alan Boswell Group ha...
Landlord Freehold Ground Rent Investments Many landlords are attracted to investing in proper...
Hello, I am Amy Castleman, a specialist Housing Solicitor at Premier Solicitors in Bedford. M...
One of the biggest issues that landlords face when tenants move out is the oven clean. Why is...
Should landlords let to students? Students can make good tenants & here’s why: ...
The risks of a leak in an apartment block To date I have bought two apartments in residential...
The three pillars of successful residential investment I’m often asked by newbie landlo...
This has been a question that has pre-occupied me for several years.  By instinct I don’t l...
I noticed recently there have been some significant repair bills coming through as the age of my buy-t...
“To furnish or not to furnish your rental property, that is the question” The dif...
‘Rent to rent’ sometimes known as rent2rent is the latest get quick scheme dreamt up by th...
What are tenancy renewal fees? A tenancy renewal fee is ostensibly the charges made by the le...
Cleaning Deposit Disputes between a Landlord & Tenant One of the most regular a...
If I had a pound for every time over the last 25 years of renting property and more recently running P...
Dates play an important part in a landlord’s life.    Pict...
Over the last two years, the property industry has seen an increase in the number of disputes between ...
Before you turn off thinking "oh yeah it’s another plug for  landlord insurance,"...
A vital part of being a successful landlord is to get the right tenant. In fact if the truth be known,...
For property investors, particularly first time property investors there a huge number of potential in...
BTL landlords are often portrayed as money grabbing, evil, exploitative beasts. We are accus...
How I started my property portfolio I started my portfolio back in the early 90's. We had jus...
INVESTORS CHECKLIST For potential property investors there is a huge amount to take...
We have spoken before about the life of a student landlord, but here's a little bit more advice for th...
Lease options are all the rage in some landlord discussion forums having usurped BMV or Below Market V...
Property gurus & experts The rise in the buy-to-let residential investment market has bee...
  Advanced residential investment strategies Buy-to-let investment is pretty st...
For landlords with residential investment property it’s rapidly approaching that time of year &n...
Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) on the 6th April 2007 it has been a legal r...
It seems timely with the deadline for paying and submitting your self assessment t...
Lee Sharpe from TaxInsider.co.uk looks at the implications for property businesses considering incorpo...
This modern day ‘knight’ of the urban realm can be hero or cowboy depending on the one you...
I'm fascinated by 'financial engineering' and how every so often, quirks of timing cause financial opp...
Rental period confusion One of the most confusing aspects of let...
Caveat emptor for the non-linguists means ‘Let the buyer beware’.  Loosely translate...
Property Hawks Property Manager software is mainly designed for individual buy to let landlords to man...
Here we go again. The leaves are turning a riot of oranges & reds before we descend headlong into ...
Landlords could be forgiven for feeling a little brow-beaten. Over the last 12 months, we hav...
The Government have produced a new Section 21 Notice. We have updated the version of our free...
A number of users have contacted us to share their concern over the proposed tax changes in the Budget...
Is Landlords Boiler insurance worth it? Getting your boiler fixed can be costly for landlords...
Landlords looking for a buy-to-let mortgage will face more restrictive lending criteria in the future....
Cash Back Offer Landlords looking at taking out a buy-to-let mortgage want to look at the Pro...
The Chancellor has not been overly generous to landlords and the buy-to-let sector in his Summer Budge...
PM3s is the 4th generation of our Free Property Management Software. The software has been free to use...
Section 21 Notices are about to change as a result of the Deregulation Act 2015.  Rebecc...
Following the election result. many landlords are breathing a sigh of relief.  Economic stability...
Landlords should be fully aware of the importance of being adequately insured. I know it's a pain to s...
Taxing Concerns for the Buy-to-Let Market The UK’s property market was given an unprece...
I hate change and regulation.  Most of it is badly thought out, counter productive & pointles...
The latest legal case to unsettle the traditional certainties of a landlord’s world is the case ...
Private Rental Sector – Party Policies The big day approaches and finally it will be yo...
Changes that came into force this week (6th April) (see for instance http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32087038) now allow many ...
When selective landlord licensing was introduced  by the Housing Act 2004 it was intended to be a...
My small claims court experience My case came about because my tenant stopped paying the rent...
Rents are rising. Great!  According to the Rentindex they are up over 2.5% over the last year. ...
My tenant has always been an exacting type but it's now getting beyond a joke. Every few week...
Most landlords know that they need specialist landlord insurance.  Why? Because household policie...
It's been a while since I've sold one of my buy-to-let properties, but the potential of a new buy-to-l...
Christmas is a time for reflection and after over 20 years in the landlord game I've seen a fair few c...
Landlords are never off duty.  Last week I was in the middle of a patisserie class of all things ...
Tenants are getting more politically militant! They are mobilising, pulling together, and forming grou...
After 12 years of owning and renting out a flat, the freehold landlord has decided they want to start ...
Refubish to let – finance is key 'Refurb to let' is the latest trend in buy-to-let acco...
The the referendum and the party conferences of the past few weeks have thrown politics back into the ...
We have warned landlords before about the purges on landlords. The cash strapped Revenue periodically...
My problem tenant has gone, and finally I have possession of my rental property. ...
What interest rate should a landlord charge on late rent payments? My problem tenant has fina...
Tenancy Deposit Scheme disputes Tenancy deposit disputes are a messy business, so we asked th...
My tenant has left - time to celebrate? This week I was greeted by a text from a friend/neigh...
Revenge Evictions –time to act? 'Revenge eviction' is a new concept to me .  It&rs...
Letting agent questions I’m just in the process of selecting a letting agent.  I&r...
Buy-to-let hotspots are the ‘talk of the town’ right now.  Clearly we are in some kin...
Letting agents are not the ‘favourite kids’ on the property block. Landlords tend to view ...
Landlords should get fixed up I have been eyeing the latest developments in the economy and t...
What are the new court fees for possession? The court fees for landlords obtaining possession...
What are my allowable expenses? I’ve been contacted recently by several landlords who w...
Solicitors are costly. I'm all for landlords using their initiative and avoiding paying unecessary pro...
Section 21 notice dates – where are we now? Rebecca Brough our resident expert from Fid...
People frequently ask me what is my biggest tip on how to be a successful landlord. The answer is simp...
Not all our users realise that having signed up to our website they are FREE to start using our Proper...
I've been hit recently by a range of maintenance issues on my buy-to-let portfolio, including a number...
We are just a couple of weeks into 2014, so I thought I’d take a look at some of the best deals ...
OMG!  It's here again.  The ‘bloomin’ personal assessment tax deadline looms lar...
It looks like ‘Austerity’ …..‘Prudence’s’ long lost sister is on ...
The Section 21 Notice has not been the easiest of things for landlords to get right. Using the right o...
In the week that the Land Registry released historic data going back 18 years, I thought I would share...
Rebecca Brough solicitor at Fidler and Pepper highlights the potential dangers and consequences of the...
It appears that landlords are starting to fight back over unfair licensing charges by some local autho...
Access to finance is key When I started as a landlord the key for me was access to ...
Prospective property investors thinking of dipping their toes into the residential property market, or...
Longer tenancies?  Sounds like bliss to most landlords. Most of use love the thought of long-term...
The section 21 notice is a powerful tool. It is the one document that gives a landlord the certainty o...
When is a landlord not a landlord? Well the obvious answer is when they are a leaseholder.  ...
Creeping landlord licensing is on its’ way affecting many landlords.  A perfect example is ...
I was talking to one of the waitresses in my local.  She is so excited! She’s ...
Tenancy agreements are our thing.  We have been providing a free tenancy agreement to the landlor...
The latest projections see no immediate end to the long run of low interest rates.  This week Mar...
Our Property Manager software has come on leaps and bounds since we first developed it as free propert...
In these tough financial times some landlords may be looking at how they can pull in a few extra quid ...
The Government's latest proposals are to introduce a statutory obligation on landlords to check whethe...
Many landlords have been thrown into confusion over the last few months as tightening legislation and ...
I love being a landlord.  I’ve recently set up another new business.  I work ...
According to figures from the Dogs Trust, 46% of the population currently own a pet.  Now assumin...
Recently, I was talking to a new landlord about their first ever tenants.  They had been chuffed ...
Should I use a letting agent? The perennial debate amongst landlords is should I use a lettin...
Landlords who may be thinking about buying into purpose built student accommodation should stop and th...
Landlords are increasingly often under a time pressure. With the burgeoning regulatory requirements of...
Most of us ‘hard bitten’ landlords get fed up with the endless splurge of meaningless head...
Are rents about to fall? Landlords have been insulated from many of the harsh economic winds since the...
Tenancy Deposits – ESSENTIALS I’ve recently had a scare over one of my tenants de...
The queen is dead! Yes off course I'm referring to Margaret Thatcher.  Now she never sai...
Landlord Insurance Minefield My landlord insurance falls due this month.  As u...
We have frequently expressed opposition to a blanket landlord registration scheme - the ‘so call...
We’ve all had it - the phone goes, it’s one of your tenants’.  Do you:...
Better The Devil You Know?   I've recently advertised my rental property follo...
I was contacted this week by a fraught landlord who was the subject to a negligence claim from their t...
The buy-to-let mortgage market has gone from bust to boom again over the last few years.  With le...
This is a regular discussion point amongst many landlords.  Those that have been dissatisfied wit...
It's a landlords’ dread!   A nice respectable looking tenant, with a good...
Rebecca Brough of Fidler and Pepper Solicitors asks whether landlords need a tenant guarantor, and exp...
The thing with managing a portfolio of buy-to-let property is that for much of the time you don't have...
Brings Threats and Opportunities Many landlords are adopting a wait and see approach to the G...
Severe rental arrears fell by almost 16 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 according to data from ...
Should a landlord let their tenants smoke? Landlords are acutely aware of the bad smells and ...
New Year celebrations are well and truly over, so it’s back to work, and for many landlords, sma...
I was thinking today, what would be the top 5 things I would wish for next year as a landlord.  S...
You may think that as a landlord you are not liable for your tenants’ water bill. Well up until ...
I can't begin to explain how fraught the last few weeks have been.  Most part time landlords will...
The buy-to-let mortgage market has been in the doldrums for several years after the ‘crash&rsquo...
Rebecca Brough of Fidler and Pepper explores the world of fees and charges in respect to a landlords ...
Don’t forget your section 213 notice! Property Hawk has been urging landlord not to forget about...
You are just about to let your buy-to-let.  So what are the essential bits of paper work that you...
Is there such as thing as the ‘fair wear and tear’ of your buy-to-let property? ...
Landlords looking to obtain possession have two basic choices when trying to get their buy-to-let prop...
So it all goes wrong!  The tenant moves out (disappears) and owes you months of rent.  They ...
We recently had a enquiry on the Landlord Forum asking whether it was a good idea to serve a section 2...
Landlords seeking possession frequently have to decide between the merits of using a Section 21 notice...
Renewing a tenancy is one of the most straightforward aspects of managing a tenancy.  But many la...
Getting possession of a rental property when your tenant falls into rent arrears Th...
I read recently on a landlord forum a suggestion from one disgruntled tenant that landlords should be ...
My latest round of tenant gripes has hit me after a relatively quiet period. I suppose it was...
After launching the new version of the property management software we felt the actual site pages look...
Rental yields have always been a critical metric when evaluating a buy-to-let investment and they are...
Any landlord who follows London politics will not have escaped the fact that the private rented sector...
I was chatting this week to my joiner Steve. He was having a nightmare! Steve had done most o...
The Co-op announced last week that it was stepping up lending into the buy-to-let mortgage market by a...
Legislation should be in place by the end of the year to allow landlords to benefit from the Green Dea...
It's January which means only one thing for most landlords, yes it’s time to get to grips with t...
As the year comes to an end many landlords will be drawing up their plans for 2012. With the ...
I was contacted several weeks ago by one of our longstanding users. Kevin wrote to highlight ...
I'm like the majority of small landlords in that I have opted to use the Deposit Protection Scheme (DP...
Europe is at it again! Not content with their crazy project “Euro”  putting ...
You might be aware that I’ve had a number of new tenants recently. This has i...
It’s a great time to be a landlord. Many of us including me are making record rental pr...
I was contacted last week by a landlord looking to gain access to their bu...
I’ve written before about landlords not needing to use a letting agent. We al...
It's been a while since I've had a new tenant move in. The new tenant seems amiable enough. A middle a...
My landlord insurance fell due at the beginning of this month. DAMMM! Yet again the dilemma. ...
It is possible to get a company to fill out your N5B.  This will cost anything upwards of £...
Most landlords use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement to let their property. So how long ...
I've been looking at some recent enquiries from landlords who use our Property Management software to ...
Most landlords who let a property that is tenanted will not be liable for council tax.  This is b...