How Do I Stop Being A Tenant Guarantor?

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 the tenancy has become periodic and the guarantor has agreed to the extension then the guarantee becomes continuous. Otherwise, the guarantee will come to an end after 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?

13 Comments - join the conversation...

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Mary Hogan2012-09-21 11:19:10

I am really amazed at the condescending tone of this and other write-ups on Being a Guarantor.
I have every sympathy with property owners (I hope to be one myself one day)but the laws on Guarantorship are grossly unfair.
As I was coming up to reirement, I knew I couldn't afford to run my home with my two children aged 28 and 30 in it. I downsized and put my children into separate accommodation, guaranting their rent for 12 months. Then, I made it clear to them, they were on their own. That was two years ago.
My daughter - no problem. My son, on the other hand, regularly 'forgets' to pay his rent, and I have to. He can afford to pay it, but why should he when he knows I will, rather than go to court - and I'll still have to pay it anyway? I signed up for 12 months. My son signed up for another 12 months, and even though I was not asked, it turns out I am still guarantor, and will be until HE decides to leave. I have no say. How can this be fair or right? My son has me over the proverbial barrel.
What should happen is this: I am guarantor for the 12 months I signed up for - no small print should be able alter the main thrust of the agreement. After 12 months, I am asked if I wish to continue. If not, the landlord can let the tenant stay with no guarantee, or the tenant has to leave and the Landlord is free to get a new tenant. I know if he was under threat of eviction, he would pay his rent. He loves his flat.
But, of course, this doesn't suit the landlord, who wants the convenience of a sitting tenant. And I, like so many good-hearted parents who genuinely wanted to give their children a help to start off, I will have to pay til I am in my grave, or on the street, whichever comes first.
How on earth can that be right on any level? If I buy a watch with a 12 month guarantee, I don't expect the seller to guarantee it forever!
The law, as they say, is an ass!

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ruphilyn2012-10-17 12:04:38

It's all up to you if you will be a guarantor or not because being a guarantor has also responsibilities and you should know your rights about being a guarantor.

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Michala2012-10-20 19:06:51

My tenancy and my homeowner gurantors contracts ended in sept, is my homeowner guaranto still liable?

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Steve2013-05-08 00:44:03

I signed a six year commercial lease and went personal guarantor. THe landlord locked me out when I missed three months rent repayments. Did the landlord terminate my lease? The landlord wants me to payout the balance of the lease as guarantor. Can he do that if the lease has come to an end by the actions of the landlord?

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Jenny2013-06-06 23:24:04

I am guarantor for my daughters rent which started on 1st March 2013 for a period of 6 months. She has paid her rent on time very month since. I have just been made redundant. Am I still responsible as her guarantor and will I still be able to be her guarantor? I'm worried that now I am unemployed she may lose her flat.

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kay Jeffrey2013-08-01 17:26:01

Hi I wonder if you can help me i have a daughter in university she has never worked so when she has finished university if she wanted to rent a house or a flat would we have to sign as guarantours for her and can you tell me howlong she would have to work before she could rent a house or a flat it would help if I new about this many thanks K J Jeffrey

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amy2013-10-03 07:40:39

My mum is guarantor on my sister's house the think is my sister and her boyfriend don't won't anything to do with the family and have had the police sent to my mums where she has had to sign a contract saying she isn't allowed anywhere near the property or have any conections with my sister (boyfriend very controlling) where will my mum stand of coming of being guarantor as the police said she not allowedanything to do with them

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AJPL2013-10-13 16:18:08

My mum was forced into signing a commercial lease as guarantor when my sister and I were out of the room. She had cataracts at the time and was known to be retired. The witness worked for the landlord and the second it was signed it was whipped away and we have only just seen it over 4 years later. At the time she was not able to read correctly and they pushed her into signing when both my sister and I had left the room to see to my baby boy knowing having heard that we told her not to sign.

Should this be legally binding still. She did not agree to the terms of what they also changed the contract.


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Emma2013-11-06 12:18:22

A guarantor is signs the lease with you and takes on your financial obligations under the lease. He chooses to become bound to the lease. Of course he has resposibilities and rights!This often means that a guarantor is liable for any rent or property damage that the leaseholder has failed to cover.

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LLK2013-11-19 13:54:30

Myself and my husband are guarantors and holders of the lease on a commercial lease which comes to an end in August 2014. When we signed up the landlord said not to bother with solicitors and if we wanted to get out at any time we could give him 3 months rent to exit. Stupidly we believed him. The contract was signed by a witness but not witnessed by us. He keeps agreeing to our exit plans but the denies he ever agreed to them. What can we do?
Also there have been problems with the building-leaking roof- since we moved in last year. Only now is he repairing it as he know our lease will end in August.

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andrea tinkler2014-02-19 16:29:08

I have my sons landlord requesting payment as he states i am guarantor. I have never signed anything, although the landlord has sent me a signed guarnator letter ( no witness or landlord signature). Im retired and have no desire to be a guarntor for anyone. How legal is this please?

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Paul2014-03-22 16:56:15

Does anyone know if the guarantor becomes bankrupt are they required to pay or stand over there agreement. Thanks

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Charmaine2014-04-04 19:59:13

My gurantour signed a 6 month shorthold tenacy agreement does this mean even though she has never signed another agreement 2 years down the line she is still classed as the gurantour liable 2 pay charges ?


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