Common problem, common question.
Unfortunately, the question is usually posed by a weepy-eyed do-gooder that wears their heart on their sleeve and was only too happy to vouch for a loved one, no questions asked. That’s usually the problem, no questions were asked.
I’m pretty sure a lot of guarantors don’t fully understand what their legal responsibilities are until they’re actually forced to step up and swallow the consequences of their duties.
Being a Guarantor is no joke, and it’s probably the only selfless good deed in this snake-oil industry. I’ve yet to witness anyone gain any joy from being one, so it’s important to fully understand the risks of being a Guarantor… before actually agreeing to be one. It’s not exactly rocket science.
I’m no expert in this field, but I’ve read many cases from both external sources and comments left on my blog, so I’ve managed to pick up a few nuggets of information. From what I’ve aware, there are a handful of ways in which a guarantor can actually stop being a guarantor, which are as follows:
- The landlord allows the guarantor to surrender their legal obligations as a guarantor. In this case, the guarantor should get this in writing from the landlord.
- If the Deed of guarantee contains a termination provision (allowing the guarantor to withdraw on say two months’ notice)- the provision can allow the termination during the fixed term.
- If any term of the tenancy changes (e.g. rent increase) the guarantee will automatically come to an end.
- Death of either party.
- If a new tenancy is entered into, the guarantee will automatically come to an end, unless a term in the guarantee states an automatic continuation.
In most cases, the conditions above depend on the wording of the Deed of guarantee, so it’s important to read the terms with due diligence, and seek legal advice if uncertain.
If anyone believes any of the above to be untrue, or can expand on any of the escape routes, please let me know. Also, has anyone successfully or unsuccessfully got out of being a guarantor? If so, which route did you go down?