Doc Wordinger lives and works in central Manchester. He has a fondness for golf, poker, fine literature, art, and film.
Read This Before Being a Rent Guarantor
You’ve just been asked by a desperate son, daughter or friend to act as guarantor for the rent on their new apartment. You’re their last hope, the only person who can save them from homelessness. But you’re not exactly sure what is expected of a guarantor, or what it even is. It sounds risky and potentially expensive. If this scenario is familiar and you’re experiencing some of these doubts, this article is for you.
So What Actually Is a Rent Guarantor?
A guarantor for rent on a residential tenancy is somebody who acts as surety by legally agreeing to take over the financial obligations of the lease in the event that the tenant defaults. This often means that a guarantor is liable for any rent or property damage that the leaseholder has failed to cover. A letting agreement like this provides a form of insurance for the landlord that covers his losses if the tenant refuses to cough up the rent or simply vanishes into thin air.
Being a rent guarantor is high risk, low reward. Worst-case scenario: you get saddled with someone else’s debt. Best case scenario: the tenant you are sponsoring pays all the rent, in a timely manner, and lavishes you in eternal gratitude.
And Why Would Somebody Need One, Anyway?
There are a number of reasons why a landlord or letting agency might ask the potential tenant for a guarantor…
- They’re a student or a young person with no credit history.
- They’re the unfortunate owner of a poor credit score due to previous defaults, court orders or even bankruptcy.
- They’ve just started a new job or don’t earn much money.
- They’ve moved around a bit or have just returned from abroad.
- They can’t obtain a sparkling reference from a former landlord or agency.
A prospective tenant might find himself in the bizarre predicament of having a secure, handsomely paid job yet still needing a guarantor, possibly due to a disastrous credit rating or former nomadic lifestyle. If they can’t find somebody to stand surety, shopping around other letting agencies in town is a sensible move; each company has different criteria for judging who is a worthy leaseholder or a credible guarantor. If that fails, they are left with few options although offering six months' rent upfront is usually a deal-clincher.
Thinking of Being a Rent Guarantor Yourself? Stay Sharp and Read on…
Claims against guarantors are on the rise and prerequisites for standing surety are becoming more stringent. It might be a requirement that you are a homeowner and you will almost certainly have to prove that your income is over a certain threshold. For example, the landlord/agency might demand that your yearly salary or income has to be a minimum of fifty times greater than the tenant's monthly rent payments. Therefore, if the monthly rent was £400, you may need a minimum income of £20'000 to be considered as a guarantor. On top of this, it will be a necessity that you have been in your current job role for at least several months, possibly longer.
In order to complete an application, the agency carrying out the check will ask you for some or all of the following information:
- Your name and date of birth.
- Your national insurance number
- Your contact details including duration of stay at your current address.
- Your employer details such as the name of the company you work for, the contact number of your manager or HR department, your salary and length of time in current role.
- Your bank details.
Armed with this information, the agency will seek assurance that you are suitable to act as guarantor by carrying out a background and employment check. This entails contacting your employer to confirm your salary and the date you began the job. Depending on the criteria of the agency performing the verification, they may also carry out a check on your credit history.
- Take note: If a credit check is performed, fingerprints will be left on your credit file. Several credit checks carried out in a short period of time can lower your credit score.
The Guarantor Agreement
The second part of the process, once you’ve been green-lighted, involves checking and signing the Guarantor Agreement. It is important that you are clear about your obligations as guarantor. Be vigilant and ensure that you understand the wording. Ask the landlord or agency for clarification if necessary and as an extra safeguard, you could always run the agreement past your solicitor or legal advisor.
Before signing the agreement, make sure you know the answer to the following questions:
- Who are you agreeing to act as guarantor for? This might sound like a stupid question but if you are the parent of a student, you need to be certain that you are only liable for the rental obligations of your son/daughter and not the entire student animal house.
- In financial terms, what is the extent of your liability?
- How long will your term as guarantor last? What happens in the event that the tenant wishes to extend their tenancy agreement once the initial contract has expired?
- How quickly will the landlord or letting agency contact you if the tenant misses a rent payment?
- What course of action will the landlord take if the tenant stops paying rent or moves out from the premises without giving formal notice or adhering to the tenancy agreement?
It is also worth noting that if you are required to fill out an online application, the actual legal agreement might be tied in to the same stage of the process where you submit your personal/employment details for approval. Again, make sure you are absolutely clear. Each agency has a different system of application and there is no common formula for the wording of a Guarantor Agreement.
Before Being a Rent Guarantor, Make Sure You Can Answer Yes to the Following Four Questions:
- Do you completely trust the tenant whom you are agreeing to sponsor?
- Are you financially capable of taking over the obligations of their lease if they let you down?
- Are you comfortable having an employment and credit check performed on your name?
- Do you fully understand your responsibilities and liabilities, as outlined in the Guarantor Agreement?
For many people, being a rent guarantor is about lending a helpful hand to family members and friends. But it can turn ugly. Make sure you minimise your exposure to risk, and be prepared to take a hit if things go wrong.
Read More From Toughnickel
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Doc Wordinger
Breanna on April 26, 2019:
I'm a tenant not a guarantor. My father is the guarantor, and he signed from May 2018 to this August 2019. This goes into a little more personal territory, but I think it's necessary to fully understand the situation at hand. I moved a way from home because he is manipulative, emotionally abusive, verbally abusive, and sometimes physically. I give up on trying to find justice for his abuse. The last time I tried was in my senior year of high school 3 years ago. He's a firefighter, he was arrested and had to show up to court. He was never incarcerated the protective order was pointless. It pretty much said he could see me, but he couldn't put his hands on me again because he would be automatically convicted then. He's a good manipulator and gas lighter, so he tried to convince me that I could also get in trouble for throwing stuff claiming it almost hit my brother. (It didn't he'll do anything he can to change his story to claim innocent.) In the past there were 9 dcf cases. In the end he was un convicted and was promoted to chief training officer at his department. So I was determined to get out. I went to a college for students with learning disabilities and flunked because I was beside myself with unanswered questions, confused memories, piled up childhood stress, etc. I ended up going back to my mom's house. She's a good person and she's also been through a lot, but I can't grow there I tried. I convinced him to sign a guarantor lease so I could find a job and get a therapist. I'm in trauma therapy for C-PTSD, and I'm doing a lot better. Now my father is complaining about financial issues, blaming me for being an unruly child who in his words, "should have been arrested." I'm just trying to continue healing and survive. He told me to f off, and to grow up and now I'm going to have to deal with rent on my own because he's not paying. He legally signed, and at this point I'm definitely holding him to it. My new job doesn't pick up enough hours until June. I was set before with another job I enjoyed. The manager was a good a man, but too trusting. His business partner stole from him and he was forced to close so I no longer work there. I've been told to get another part-time, but I don't think I can mentally handle another part time job. The job I was doing I felt like I was doing meaningful work, and I didn't feel over stressed. What I'm trying to figure out is there anything I can do to make sure he pays for rent until the lease ends or I can afford it? Another thing I want to know is there anything can do to wreak more havoc and stress on me financially?
Mark on February 06, 2019:
My daughter has no heat in her apartment and the landlord ignores her as a guarantor do I have a right to complain to landlord?
Kelly on July 25, 2018:
My daughter asked me to be a guarantor for her while she does her masters degree and I was fine with this till the agent sent me an email stating “I also need to highlight that all tenants are joint and severely liable so while you are only providing a guarantee for Tanner you will be liable for the full rent of all tenants and any damage that they may cause.”
Bonkers! Who in their right mind would sign as guarantor on a joint tenancy? You may as well pay the rent for the whole house (which wasn’t disclosed) for a bunch of random strangers. How can agents and landlords think that this is OK?
Tom on July 25, 2018:
I was wondering does being a guarantor for someone link your credit score as I've heard this is the case. Thanks
Yvette rolfe on April 28, 2018:
If I act a guarantor for my daughter, do I have to complete a tenancy application for as well as my daughter?
David on March 10, 2018:
Excellent advice put simply
Lauren Matthewson on August 13, 2017:
Hi everyone! Not sure if you will see this but I need help.
I'm getting my very first flat at the grand age of 26. I'm going to Uni as a mature student in September, but am currently full time employed. My credit check came back through clear but needed a guarantor due my work being minimum wage and not enough hours for an affordability check.
So I asked my Mum as I thought this may happen, she has a good income of 27k+ and has a had a mortgage for 24 years, I had to provide her proof of earnings and an annual mortgage statement. However the mortgage statement showed an arrear of £220 from last year which has now been paid. They are now saying she is not a suitable guarantor! Even though the landlord is happy for it to go ahead, you e just gotta tick the boxes. But I've paid £300 holding deposit which I don't want to lose and £250 in furniture.
Hi I went guarantor for my sons girlfriend they split up he moved out she stayed in it then left it empty but still keeping the keys built up a hefty back lash of rent arrears which I have had to pay on January 24, 2017:
Hi I went guarantor for my sons girlfriend for their flat, they split he left she stayed then left it and stayed with her mum but kept keys and didn't tell landlord built up a hefty arrears now I am having to pay I have paid half and due to circumstances I physically can't afford to anymore what will happen to me. Susan
peter on November 29, 2016:
If you go guarantor for you son, how long are you liable for the comsequences?
Suziedoo on November 01, 2016:
Can you be a guranntor if you live France and family member lives in the Uk
Tina on August 25, 2016:
I signed as guarantor for a friend who has not paid for three months. I have been advised that I signed an agreement, rather than a deed. do I have rights to not pay?
justin foxton on July 04, 2016:
My friend ask me to be a guarantor for him ,I agreed,so went online and gave a few details ,like name where I worked ,where I lived.Then didn't hear anything back ,like if I needed to go sign agreement and legal documents to be the guarantor
.My friend said that's all they needed was a few details online on there site?can they do this or do they need my signature to be legally binding ?
jay on July 04, 2016:
Can you be a guarantor just by filling online application?or do you need to sign signature to make it legally binding
Cemal on May 20, 2016:
Can an insolvent person be a guarantor within a commercial lease? and what if he doesn't display the facts of his insolvency to the landlord?
l'm pretty sure that is contract fraud and makes the contract void.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on June 10, 2015:
Neil - This will depend on the wording of your guarantor's agreement. At the very least, you are probably committed to remaining as guarantor until the tenancy agreement is next up for renewal. You could try appealing directly to the landlord or letting agency, and then seeking legal assistance if necessary.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on June 10, 2015:
Wayne - To answer question C regarding the guarantor's credit rating, please see this short Q & A on Experian's website - http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askja...
Regarding questions A & B, I think it would be prudent for your family member to seek direct legal advice. They should ensure they have a copy of their guarantor's agreement and the original tenancy agreement. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on June 10, 2015:
Joan - This is what you are signing up for as a rent guarantor; in the event of unpaid rent or damage to the property, you become responsible for the debt / costs. Did your sister pay a deposit before moving into the premises? You should ask the landlord for a list of the repairs he intends to carry out and the estimated cost. The original deposit may cover these costs. You would still be liable for the unpaid rent though.
neil on April 07, 2015:
Hi can i get out of being a guarantor .i did it for a family friend 2 years ago and things aren't what they were anymore.i need to sign off the agreement is it possible or how much notice do i need to give thanks
wayne on March 15, 2015:
If the tenant gives notice are you released as a guarantor at the end of the notice period or is it just that, a notice, and still liable until keys handed back and tenancy terminated ?
I explain a predicament a family member (England by way) has got themselves into. They signed as a guarantor for 12 month leases but understand it auto renews, not questions there. Person they are guarantor for has handed in 2 months notice (possible to do as been there 6 months) but has now told family member that they can't get out as nowhere to live so are going to squat after the notice expires. Obviously the landlord will take her to caught but
a) what are the liabilities in respect of rent after the notice period has expired ?
b) are they fully responsible whilst tnt squats, and who will be taken to caught and incur the costs, tnt or guarantor ?
c) Will the guarantor also get a bad credit rating in this scenario ?
joan on March 12, 2015:
i gave the landlord the key back on behalf of my sister,he now says i am responsible for unpayed rent and repairs
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on February 17, 2015:
I'm sorry to read about your predicament. The thing that really stands out for me is the behaviour of your roommate, who appears to have no conscience whatsoever. He effectively knows that he can live rent-free until he is evicted while you and your other roommate acquire mounting debt on his behalf. I really feel for you and your second roommate because this guy is a heartless freeloader.
I think your case demonstrates the importance of understanding contracts and legal obligations before signing. Unfortunately, I can't help you from a legal standpoint. You note that there are some ambiguities about the contract and it would certainly be beneficial if a legal professional could read through the agreement and determine whether you have a case. Obviously this would be expensive. Have you looked into whether there are any charity or state funded services in your local area that may be able to help?
You've already offered to pay the outstanding rent on behalf of your roommate on the condition that he moves out. He refused, and it shows that he has absolutely no shame or sense of guilt. Additionally, you've appealed to your landlord for help without success. This reflects poorly on your landlord because he should be willing to work with his tenants to find solutions to difficult scenarios such as this. Accepting your payment of two months outstanding rent, then starting eviction proceedings against your freeloading roommate, should be an acceptable compromise.
Is the freeloader in employment? I DON'T advocate that you try this, but if I found myself in your shoes, I would be tempted to appeal to the freeloader's employer. The likely outcome is that they will refuse to become involved. However, they may question him directly about his behaviour and force him to realise that it is unacceptable. It's a long shot, and something that I might try myself, but again, I couldn't recommend this action to anyone else.
I'm really sorry that I couldn't be more helpful. Good luck Ann and please keep us updated.
Anna on February 17, 2015:
One last thing I want to mention, Doc, our lease addendum is vague about the terms of being a guarantor and there is no actual sentence saying that we are the specific guarantors of our problem roommate.
There is a single clause saying that "We (name) (name) (name) is in the understanding the credit rating of (name) is below standard and all shall be responsible for the rent $ in one check in full for the monthly rents."At the bottom of the page, next to our names it says Tenant & Guarantor - and just Tenant next to our roommate with bad credit. Although it has the word guarantor next to our names, nowhere does it specifically state in our addendum that we are specifically his guarantor - only that clause I typed above makes any sort of inference. And nowhere does it explain what being a guarantor entails. The next clause just says that all tenants are equally/individually responsible for rent.
Moreover, one of the "guarantor" roommates moved out and our stated rent was actually reduced from what is written on the addendum. Does that in effect alter our lease tenancy agreement even though no additional addendum was issued?
Do you think we have a case to fight if the terms weren't laid out specifically and we weren't clearly named as his specific guarantor?
I don't think we were ever clearly told what it meant to be signing as guarantors - the property management company automatically wrote that we were guarantors onto our addendum without really going over what it meant. We should have been more cautious, but what's done is done. The terms weren't clear.
Anna on February 16, 2015:
Hi Doc Wordinger,
I see you're based in the UK, so don't know if you're familiar at all with how it works in the US. My roommate and I signed a lease addendum to add our third roommate - and we were listed as guarantors for him. Regrettably, I did not understand what that really entailed when I signed the addendum. Were we supposed to get an actual guarantor agreement or did our one page lease addendum stating that we were his guarantors suffice?
Our problem now is that he's two months behind on rent and has refused to leave even after we offered to forgive his rent. We've put in our notice, but were told that even if we vacate and he ends up squatting behind - we'll still be on the hook for rent. Additionally, our landlord said if they need to evict him, they'll evict all three of us even though we've already vacated.
Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and I regret having signed blindly. Do you have any insight as to what we can do?
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on February 12, 2015:
Thanks for sharing your story Laura. It shows that there's ALWAYS risk involved when acting as a rent guarantor, even between family members.
laura on January 31, 2015:
Hi, my partner is guarantor for his daughter, but they have not spoken for about a year. He got a letter off her agency saying that she had informed them her housing benefit she was claiming as a single mum had stopped and to contact her father as he was guarantor. He has contacted her and she has told him she has done it on purpose to make him pay. (Even though her partner works, and shouldn't be living there) her tenancy agreement was for 6 months initially. My partner was told after the 6 months were up he could sign himself of. Now dhe is in arrears I don't think the agency will let him sign himself off now.If he offers to pay the £ 675 arrears, will he be able too. Also when he signed they never gave him any copies of what he had just signed for !
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on August 05, 2014:
Jennifer - If your uncle has a poor credit rating then it all depends on whether the landlord runs a credit check on him (even if he doesn't, your uncle would still need to meet other criteria relating to his income). It is highly likely that a credit check will be carried out so you might want to consider looking for somebody with a better credit rating to act as your guarantor.
Becky - Check out this link to Experian's website explaining how acting as guarantor might affect your credit rating. http://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/questions/askja...
This is obviously a messy situation that is causing you a lot of anxiety. Do you trust your brother to keep his promise? Have you spoken to him about the worry this is causing you? If he intends to go to court then he should start proceedings ASAP. It would be a prudent move to ask your brother to pay you the three months rent arrears which you can hold until the outcome of the court proceedings. If your brother wins, you return his money. If he loses, you pay his outstanding rent. If in doubt, seek qualified legal advice or speak to a free service such as Citizens Advice Bureau. Good luck.
Jennifer Givens on July 21, 2014:
I'm going to try my uncle as a guarantor but he has no credit score will he still be eligible to be my guarantor?
becky8750 on July 09, 2014:
Hi, I was hoping someone could give me some advice.
I am a guarantor for my older brother who has stopped paying his rent due to his house being unlivable for the past 3 months (they haven't paid for the last 3 months). The landlord came in last week and fixed it all up, and is now asking for the 3 months rent that they owe. My brother intends to go to court over the matter (he has all the photographic evidence and had the council in the assess the unlivable circumstances).
As his guarantor I am contractually obliged to pay if he doesn't, he has told me if they lose in court, he will pay all of the fees and rent owed. He said I don't have to attend or be involved, I will just be a name on a paper.
Can I feel safe in this promise? The landlord has already called me to ask if Im going to pay and I said no I support my brothers position.. can I expect harassment? letters? Will my credit rating be effected for being involved at all?
Thank you in advance for any advise or links to information I can read about this matter..
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on March 24, 2014:
Nay - The guarantor provides a legal guarantee to a landlord to pay outstanding rent if the tenant defaults on payments. A guarantor is often required for a tenant with bad/no credit history.
Kay - I'm sorry to read about your problem with your brother's unpaid rent. From what I can gather, you are not disputing the unpaid rent. Have you checked the wording on your guarantor agreement because it seems that the letting agency are within their rights coming to you first. Perhaps you could arrange a three-way meeting involving yourself, your brother and the letting agent. If in doubt, always seek qualified legal advice. Regarding the damage to the property, I would always request written and photographic evidence of any damage incurred including a breakdown of repair costs.
Dwayne - Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I think this comes down to the wording on your guarantor agreement. Does it specifically state that you are only responsible for 12 months? I would ask the landlord or letting agency to forward you a copy of the agreement that you originally signed. If it is ambiguous, then it would be sensible to seek legal advice. It should be pointed out that, in the UK, a guarantor usually retains liability when a tenancy agreement is renewed (unless otherwise stated in the guarantor agreement).
Dwayne on March 05, 2014:
I acted as a guarantor for my nephew 3 yrs ago they said after a year I would be no longer responsible but things have gone south and they are calling me to pay his bill. please advise if you can
Kay on February 04, 2014:
I acted as a guarantor for my brother, he has recently moved out and I have received a letter to say that he is £950 in rent arrears and that the flat has been left in a bad condition - and that I am liable. They letting agent terminated his contract and renewed it back in 2012, so I asked to see the guarantors agreement - which does unfortunately state that I am liable through renewals and extensions.
After speaking to my brother he has informed me that he has not been contacted regarding this matter and that he feels they are trying to intimidate me into paying what's been said as he says that it is not true. I offered to go into the property to put right the state of the property but they say as the keys have been handed back the insurance won't allow me to go into the property.
My brother is willing to come to an agreement with them and arrange a payment plan, surely I be the final point of call not the first
I am willing to come to an arrangement with them but my brother wants to deal with it himself and is quite distressed that they contacted me first, where do I go from here? Any advise would be greatly appreciated
nay on January 30, 2014:
Is the guarantor against the person or there house
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on March 10, 2013:
Hi Susysue. I'm sorry to hear about this. I think it is completely unfair for an 80 year old woman to be faced with such a predicament. A system that allows this to happen needs amending. If her son had already paid several years of rent by the time she reached retirement age, I really see no reason why she shouldn't be freed from her position as guarantor on retirement. I'm sure many people (especially landlords!) would object to this but it does seem unethical.
I'm afraid that it does sound like your mother is legally bound to paying the £900. However, I would certainly seek legal advice first. After scrutinising the original tenancy agreement and circumstances, a professional may find grounds for appeal. Good luck.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on March 10, 2013:
Hi Michaela. It sounds like you moved out of your house three months early because your flatmates were difficult to live with. I completely understand why you would want to move out. Everyone has a right to feel comfortable in their own home. Regarding the unpaid rent, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration such as what the original tenancy agreement says about leaving the tenancy before the end of the twelve month term. The landlord originally told you not to worry about the unpaid rent because of the guarantor but then went back on this and asked you to pay the outstanding money. This suggests to me that he knows the guarantor is legally liable for the rent but when she raised objections, he decided that it might be easier to pursue you for the money instead. Although I don't know much about your circumstances, it does sound like you have a moral obligation to pay the outstanding rent whereas the girl's mother (the guarantor) has a legal obligation. The legal obligation is really the only thing that matters here. Matters are complicated further by the fact that you were forced to abandon the tenancy by the behaviour of your flatmates.You have my sympathy.
If you live in the UK, your deposit should be held in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. If the landlord wants to take some, or all, of your deposit, you have the right to appeal and your money will remain within the scheme until the matter has been resolved. You can't rely on this deposit to pay rental arrears because it might be used to pay for any damage to the property or unpaid utility bills. Having said that, I would appeal to the landlord and ask him to consider your deposit when calculating your outstanding rent. If he is reasonable, and willing to use his discretion and show compassion towards your unfair treatment by your former flatmates, he might accept; this would reduce the liability of the guarantor to six weeks of rent. She might then be persuaded to cut her losses and face up to the fact that she has a legal obligation for this rent, and back off. Unfortunately, there are a lot of 'maybes' involved. I strongly advise that you contact Citizens Advice Bureau or seek professional legal advice if necessary. If you are a student, your university or Student Union services might be able to help. Good luck.
Michaela on March 01, 2013:
Hi I have recently moved out of a 3 bed house. The lease was a joint fixed for 12 months & on the 10th month I decided enough was enough having previously been on to my landlord about the current housemates and there antics it got me now where so I upped and left. The landlord said not to worry about paying the rent as one of the housemates mum is a guarantor. However the landlord sent word that I have to pay rent even though I have moved out. I have a a guantor this girls mum surely she is responsible for the rent arrears (2 months) I am due deposit of 6 wks back at end of tenancy can't she just take it from that? She is threating legal action to get this money off me? Does the mum (guarantor ) have a case or is she trying to scare me?
susysue on February 06, 2013:
looking for advice, my mother signed as a guarantor for her son 20 years ago, nothing to worry about she thought he had a good job and her son, but now 20 years later he has lost his job through drink, she has just had a letter asking for £900 in rent arrears, this is an 80 year old woman, does she have any protection, advice greatly needed here please
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on October 22, 2012:
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Your liability for rental arrears will depend on the wording of the original tenancy agreement and guarantor agreement. You should have been provided with a copy of these documents prior to signing as guarantor for your daughter. It is pretty standard for a guarantor to automatically retain liability during any continuation of tenancy but there are always individual factors to take into consideration.
Please scrutinise your Guarantor Agreement and look for anything that refers to your obligations in the event of a fixed term tenancy being extended. Ask a friend or an advisor at Citizens Advice Bureau to take a look at it too.
It is also worth pointing out that if the tenancy extension that was signed by your daughter differed from the original tenancy agreement, and you were not notified of these changes, this may end your obligation and release you from the agreement.
I think you will find the link below helpful.
LYN G on October 22, 2012:
I stood as guarantor for my daughter so she would have somewhere to live. When her six month lease expired I assumed that was the end of my liability. I was sent a guarantor renewal form which I did not sign. She renewed her lease anyway and fell behind with the rent. Her landlord says I must pay this. Is it true that your liability goes on even if you do not renew the guarantee.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on September 24, 2012:
I'm sorry to hear about your predicament.
If your parents agreed to act as guarantors for the total rent of the property (as opposed to your share only) then I am afraid that they are committed to continuing with this agreement.
A solution to this problem depends on how reasonable your landlord is willing to be. I would suggest that you write to him/her explaining your dilemma and see if you can work out an agreement between you.
Before doing anything, speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau first.
I wish you luck and I hope this problem is resolved quickly and amicably.
Croween on September 24, 2012:
2 months ago I split from my husband and im currently living at my parents. I have given him this amount of time to find a place but no luck and Im still paying the rent even though im not living there. So it looks like I will have to find a new place. The only thing is the tenancy agreement is in both our names and my mum and dad are the guarantors. Can they remove their name from it when I do? I don't want them to be chased for the rent.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on September 09, 2012:
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on August 29, 2012:
If you are named as the sole guarantor in the guarantor agreement or equivalent document then I am afraid you will remain as the guarantor for your friend regardless of your personal situation. I think it would be sensible for you to discuss your recent unemployment with your friend so that she can arrange to find an alternative guarantor when her tennancy is up for renewal.
Claire, UK on August 29, 2012:
I signed as guarantor for a friend's rent last year after she left her husband. She is self-employed and had no rental history. At the time I had a well paid job in my husbands business. He is now selling this business and I will be unemployed. Am I still liable as her guarantor?
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on August 23, 2012:
Hi Suzanne. I can't give you a 100% definite answer here but I can say that it would be very unusual if your sister was prevented from renting a flat because she was already a guarantor. For starters, in the UK, being a rent guarantor does not appear on your credit rating or hinder your ability to obtain credit. In some circumstances a potential landlord might ask if you are already a guarantor but this has never happened to me personally. Check with Citizens Advice Bureau or your local equivalent organization. You could also conduct some research with local letting agencies and see if their application forms ask whether you are already a guarantor. Whatever the outcome, I hope you manage to arrange a guarantor for your new home.
suzanne on August 23, 2012:
hello i have a small question. i have asked my sister to be a guarantor for me as i only work part time. now if she is a guarantor for me can she still go any rent a property her self ? xxx
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on July 31, 2012:
That is seriously unjust. I have never heard of anything like this before. In which country do you live Jim?
In the UK, any guarantor requirements are settled before the lease is signed. During the period in which the guarantor is checked by the agency or landlord, a holding fee or deposit may be paid to reserve the flat or building. If the intended guarantor does not meet the requirements of the landlord then the holding fee is usually lost. But I have never heard of a case such as yours where somebody is held liable for the entire leasehold after failing to produce a satisfactory guarantor.
Finding a solution to your problem depends on which country you live in and how the letting market is regulated. It really is a legal question and you may have to consult a lawyer. But first, stay online and post this question on a relevant law or tenancy site/forum. Please re-check the wording of your lease agreement too because your letting agency could simply be trying to scam you. If this is the case, you might be able to force them to back down by asking them to specifically interpret the part of the lease agreement that forces you to honor the full lease.
Did you research your agency online before signing the agreement? If not, do so. Are they a reputable firm or is there evidence that suggests they are untrustworthy? Perhaps there are other people who had similar problems when dealing with the same agency.
Although I have experience acting as a guarantor myself, I am not familiar with the specific legalities of the letting markets in various countries and states. Keep researching online, post this question in a legal forum and see if you can get the agency to back down. If not, you will have to consult a lawyer. Good luck and let me know what happens. Sorry I couldn't offer more help than this.
jim on July 31, 2012:
I have a serious problem that needs immediate action. I recently signed a lease for a place that I really would like to live in. They have been giving me the runaround with my guarantor. I gave them my mother as a guarantor, but her credit is subpar so they rejected her. She is the only possible guarantor I have. They claim that because of this I can not move in, but am still held liable for the lease. I couldn't care less at this point whether they either just let me move in or tear up the lease, but I refuse to pay for a lease and not move in. What can I do?? Any advice but be a huge plus!! Thanks so much.
Doc Wordinger (author) from Manchester, UK on July 20, 2012:
Thanks for you comment Monica. It's easy to run up a bad credit rating then turn yourself around, get a decent job but suddenly find yourself failing a credit check and have your potential landlord asking for a credit check based on things you did 5 years ago.
monicamelendez from Salt Lake City on July 19, 2012:
Yeah if they really need a rent guarantor to be able to rent a place...you are at high risk of getting hosed. :) Definitely not a good idea. Where I live there are about a million places that wouldn't check your credit anyway. Maybe that isn't the case in a lot of other places though!