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 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?

99 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Showing 49 - 99 comments (out of 99)
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Elbee 15th August, 2017 @ 17:36

If you are 'just the lodger' in a house owned by your wife it seems unlikely that any claim can be made against the house or your wife. But you/she should get legal advice to check. It rings alarm bells that your wife has concerns about your being a guarantor. Make sure you know just what you are signing up for and that you understand the risks. It is not something you should do lightly.

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Susan 4th October, 2017 @ 01:26

I have been in my rented property for 5 years 6 month I got made redundant I am claiming universal credit which will not be sorted untill end of October as it takes six weeks my rent is now due my landlord is going to take my guarantor to court for rent money as I can’t pay it until my claim for universal credit comes through this is not fair it is not my fault

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Gary 4th October, 2017 @ 10:51


Your so called friends wouldn't tell you this sort of thing, but your BEST friend would.

So here goes....

Your Landlord has a tenancy agreement with YOU!
Not the Local Council or Job Centre Plus.

Regardless of your situation, your guarantor has vouched for your credit worthiness.

ie: They have vouched that you will honour the agreement and if you won't, then they have legally promised that they would.

For a landlord to have got to the, "Take em to the cleaners", County Court stage, their payment requests must have been ignored by your guarantor, which is even more frustrating.

It means that the Deed of Guarantee signed, was a 'ruse' by your Guarantor to establish a tenancy without sufficient guarantees for the Landlord, because they won't meet the promise made in good faith.

That is a bloody piss take by both of you.

Universal Credit offers a forward payment scheme for those in hardship, that means you should always apply for it, because you will always be in hardship, if you are on it.

You can't expect your landlord to bank roll the Universal Credit System, for Gods Sake.

Make some sort of contribution to your arrears, offer a bit of your time for money etc.

Don't just sit on your arse watching Jeremy Kyle, show your Landlord that you are sincere.

Stop trying to get out of your obligations and put some effort into making good the problem you have caused.

Yes, you have caused it, Universal Credit isn't at fault, its always been shite, its not breaking news, is it?

Google part-time cleaning jobs in your area, there is probably about 600 on Google that came on line since Monday.

I just did it for Wirral and there were 69,600 vacancies in 0.59 seconds.(Wow!)

Become an parcel driver,(98 vacancies) pizza parlour maid (32 vacancies), Care home operatives etc.

The pay is basic, basic, but it still helps you keep a roof over your head.

Once you hit 8 weeks arrears, your landlord can apply to a County Court for a MANDATORY eviction and a Money Order against your so called 'guarantor'.

So if you make a genuine effort, your landlord might be a bit more sympathetic.

Or you can just blame Universal Credit, like all the other contract breaching tenants that I deal with on a daily basis.

Universal Credit is designed to cause stress, that's the point! It was designed that way - you are supposed to be better off in work than outside of it.

It might only be £1.50 a week better off, but you cant spend a lifetime on it, so the sooner you are off it the Better.

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Isobel 11th November, 2017 @ 08:50

I have just agreed another year tenancy, starting December, which will mean 5 years in this property. I moved in after separating from my then husband, and the agents asked him to be guarantor, which he signed up to. I was OK with that, I could understand why, and neither of us complained about it. Since then, I have paid my rent in full and on time every single month, regardless of how strained my finances are. I have a F/T permanent job, the salary covers rent & bills, and I am happy where I live. I take good care of the property, and have done lots of work in the garden (which was a mess when I moved in) and carry out minor repairs myself. I get on with the neighbours, feel part of the wider community, and have every intention of staying here as long as possible. I am almost 60, now divorced, and believe I am a good tenant. So, when the agents mentioned they were asking my ex to sign a new guarantor agreement, I must admit I felt a bit miffed. Why do I still need one? Can I ask for this to be dropped now, given I have demonstrated a good track record and have never given either the agents or the landlady any cause for concern or complaint? I don't really want to have anything to do with my ex, and I'm sure he doesn't want to remain responsible for me (which I agree with!). Any advice very welcome.

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Elbee 12th November, 2017 @ 22:48

Susan, I am sorry to hear you have been made redundant. However, this is what your guarantor signed up for. I agree with the previous contributor that you should try to pay whatever you can towards the rent to avoid the guarantor having to pay. Presumably you got some redundancy pay, and it is wise to have at least 3 months salary in emergency savings to tide you over in just this kind of situation till the UC kicks in. Good Luck finding a new job. Keep your landlord and guarantor upto date with your situation. No one likes surprises.

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Elbee 12th November, 2017 @ 22:53

Isobel, glad to hear you have been a responsible tenant. It's worth asking your landlord if they'd be happy not to have a guarantor in the circumstances. Alternatives are to find another guarantor, or to pay a lump sum of rent in advance (6 months is usually acceptable). I do understand neither of these are easy but thought I'd point them out. Good luck.

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Pat 21st November, 2017 @ 20:20

Hi I went gaurentor for my niece for short stay private rent that was two years ago , now she's in difficulty she has three kids, she's not managed full rent but gives what she can for last few weeks , I was working then but now I'm retirired and in bad health how does this effect me , I won't renage on responsibility like my niece she's devestated it's got to this stage ex husband pays nothing towards kids , they are going to evict her in Jan any help please thank you ,,

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Amanda Jane Plummer- 21st November, 2017 @ 21:07

Hi Pat,

I am sorry to hear about the position you and your niece find yourselves in. Does your niece receive housing benefit? If not she could apply. Another thing is have either of you spoken to the landlord and tried to explain the situation? I assume it is a private landlord could your neice not speak to the council about any help and or housing that may be available? What about citizens advice? Has the landlord already approached you or been to court for an eviction order? These are things you need to think about. I really hope my suggestions gelp a little bit. Also, it might be an idea for your neice to contact child maintenance. Hopefully, they could have him pay directly into her account otherwise they charge but only if he will not pay and they have to take it from source.

Good luck

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Elbee 22nd November, 2017 @ 09:18

Dear Pat, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. As guarantor, you will be expected to pay any rent that your niece has not been able to cover. You may want to do that sooner rather than later to avoid the additional burden of going to court. Like Amanda, I suggest your niece investigates what benefits she's entitled to and contacts the child support agency to try and get some money out of the ex. I suspect that won't be a quick process though. It will be hard for your niece to find another private landlord if she has rent arrears so she will probably have throw herself on the mercy of the council. This is a horrible situation and you have my sympathy. Wishing you all the best, and I hope your health improves. Elbee

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stuart 22nd November, 2017 @ 21:38

Hi i have a twist to this, As a Guarantor who is assured that the tenant they are guaranteeing is good and will pay and we be an outstanding tenant. But what guarantees does the Guarantor have ? we all know things can go very wrong through no fault of their own redundancy, problems with benefits, ext. My main question is, Can the Guarantor draw up an agreement contact with the tenant that any cost incurred can be redeemed/recovered at a later date ?

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Amanda Jane Plummer- 22nd November, 2017 @ 22:33

Hi Stuart,

I know what you mean but that would be outside the tenancy and nothing to do with the landlord. I would imagine it could be done maybe even with a witness and / or a solicitor.It would also no doubt depend upon the relationship between the tenant and the guarantor. It might be a family member. In that case would you really like to keep to suca document and if for some reason you are not paid back would you be prepared to enforce it? Hope my reply helps but, of course I am not an expert but have done some contract law and been stung by a commercial landlord previously.

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Bridget Frew 17th April, 2018 @ 09:00

My husband became guarantor for our daughter and her fiancé. As they are now a married couple will they need to amend the lease to change her name and will her dad still be liable as guarantor?

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Betty 17th April, 2018 @ 12:35

I went guarantor for my grandson, his partner and their two children.I asked before signing what would happen if the pair split. I was told by the estate agent, and all concerned were present , that that would mean a new tenancy. My grandson was made to leave the property after paying the months rent in advance for June 2017. There was no abuse of any kind, the partner just did not want him anymore. After several requests to the estate agents,they still will not remove my grandson,s name from the lease and refuse to draw up a new tenancy even though they would have filled in new Housing benefit forms for the partner, who now gets tax credits as a single parent. There is also a new boyfriend who moved in two months after the separation. I do not think the estate agent is passing on the letters to the landlord. How can I stop being a guarantor? There never was any problems with rent or damages to the property before and as far as I know after the split. BUT I now wish to stand guarantor for my grandson and he needs his name taken off to be able to enter into another tenancy. HELP PLEASE. By the way I am retired so no income other than Old age pension.

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Linda 17th April, 2018 @ 13:35

Dear Bridget

If unsure, seek advice from a lawyer but I think no, you don't have to tell them of the name change (though it would be courteous to do so), and yes your husband is still liable as guarantor.

I hope this helps.


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Linda 17th April, 2018 @ 13:36

Dear Betty,

So sorry to hear this. It must be a worry for you. Have you tried talking to the estate agent yourself? Perhaps drop in and see if they will explain why they haven't drawn up a new tenancy agreement. Otherwise I think you will need to consult a solicitor.

Just a word about acting as a guarantor for your grandson again - given your low income, are you sure you are able to cover the rent if anything happens? You might want to think very carefully before entering into another agreement. However trustworthy your grandson is, he could still get made redundant, or fall ill, and then you would be liable for his rent.

Good luck.

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Betty 17th April, 2018 @ 14:47

Hi Elbee, Thank you for your comments.Yes I have had many telephone conversations and written numerous letters to the estate agent, advising of the wording on the lease ,which says certain changes to the original occupants and how it would be in the best interests of the landlord to have a new lease drawn up. My grandson and I have done all the necessary advisories but the only answer I get is to seek advise about my duty as a guarantor. The estate agent is very rude and I do not think she has been passing on the copies I sent in a separate envelope as the last two were sent 1st class signed for and only the one addressed to the agent actually was signed for. The lease states that all letters written to the landlord and addressed to the agents will be deemed as being received. I was quite happy to stand as guarantor as I knew my grandson was a responsible person. He pays the correct maintenance for the children he has them two days a week and feeds them. The problem we have is that if the new boyfriend and another sub tenant (advised another person living at the property by the estate agent) decide not to pay the rent or do damage to the property then the agents are saying that I am liable but I did not sign up for this situation, I signed as the grandson his partner and two children live in the flat, the names as written in the lease.The estate agent has gone back on her word that should they split then it would be a new lease. I cannot understand why she will not have the grandson s name taken off the lease when the housing benefit forms would not have his name on the HB claim. According to the estate agent there has never been a rent increase? This would be another reason for a new lease. I despair.

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Gary Dully 17th April, 2018 @ 17:56

Betty, firstly, you should obtain Independent Legal Advice about this matter.

The way I am reading this, is that you are the guarantor for a lease agreement for parties A&B.

If either one of A or B has 'Legally' ended the agreement and it was a Joint tenancy, the whole tenancy has legally ended for both parties A&B, followed by the guarantor.
Any debt or damage at that point you are all still liable for!

If its in the "Fixed Term", nobody can end the agreement, without all other parties consenting to it, that includes the guarantor.

Lets say Party A stays and Party B now lives elsewhere, if the tenancy is still in its "Fixed Term", then party A or B & Guarantor are still liable.

Outside the fixed term, it can change.
If your grandson wants to end it, he gives 4 weeks Written Notice, after which the tenancy "Legally" ends, for all of you.
Get the service of the notice witnessed by any adult over the age of say 25 and get them to sign or photograph them doing it.(Hand deliver it to the agent)
If he doesn't want to give notice, (rather stupid), he can leave on the last day of the "Fixed Term", but he had better get the procedure right or it will fail.

If he is past the "Fixed Term", no notice is valid, unless its in writing and is a minimum of 4 weeks duration, from a tenant or 2 months duration from a landlord.

The remaining party B and possibly C,D,F or whoever, need to draw up another agreement and obtain another suitable guarantor.
Because the Joint tenancy ends as soon as the proper written notice expires.

If the "Fixed Term", (Usually 6 or 12 months), is still running, your stuck.
If there are sub-tenants, without consent by the Landlord, that is a breach of tenancy and you would be liable and so would your grandson and his girlfriend.

If the landlord is accepting rent for the property, from anyone other than party A&B or their agent, the landlord is breaching the tenancy, by disturbing your grandsons quiet peace and enjoyment etc and is liable for breach of contract.

By accepting rent from an additional tenant, they have created a "Tenancy by Statute" and the additional party is entitled to protection by the state, from eviction.

If the landlord is living there, there shouldn't be any AST agreement, in that case its called a 'licence' and requires usually 1 -4 weeks notice to quit from any party, dependant upon the original agreement. If its not stated, then its deemed to require a "reasonable" period of notice, (usually the rent interval).

If the ex-girlfriend is humiliating your grandson, its NOT the landlords fault, she is breaching the agreement, but all parties are liable, until the tenancy legally ends.

Its a mess, because people are re-writing tenancy agreements in their skulls and not on paper.

That's why being a guarantor is risky, but not as risky as it is for the landlord, who probably wonders what the fu*ck is going on, who is this in my property?, are they allowed to live there?, have they passed the "Right to Rent" checks?, why am I in this effing business?

Your grandsons love life, should not form part of that contract, it should have been signed by adults, not 15 year old kids!

So somebody needs to get a grip, that is an asset worth maybe £100,000+ and the people, you have vouched for, living in it, are a bunch of irresponsible buffoons, that need to realise, this isn't a game!

The courts will side with the person NOT in breach of the contract, they wont give a fig about who did what, to who and why?

I hope that helps!

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Betty 17th April, 2018 @ 19:44

Thanks for your comments Gary. First I must say the grandson is not really worried about the new boyfriend. He says he is a good guy and has no worries about the fact that his relationship has ended. The problem is that although the grandson has written giving notice of him ending his tenancy, also kept the agents up to date on all matters. The agent (Not the landlord) refuses to take his name off the lease saying "he cannot walk away from his responsibilities", they have been informed by e mails telephone calls and letters that he was forced to leave the property. It was either leave or create a hostile situation and he would not allow his children to be in such a situation. The landlord does not live in the property it is a self contained flat. The agents mentioned a name of someone living there but say it has not been confirmed by the ex partner. This is nearly a year on and the grandson's name is still on the lease? The occupants of the flat are not irresponsible buffoons they pay the rent on time and no damage as far as I am aware.
This is not a fixed term tenancy it is a shorthold tenancy for 6 months.

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Gary Dully 18th April, 2018 @ 09:26

In which case Betty, the letting agents are taking the piss, or don't know what they are rambling on about.

The law is simple,
If your grandson has gone into a contractual periodic tenancy, it runs from one payment period to another, to another, to another and so on. (Periodic).
If he signed for 6 months, and your now in say month 7+, it is now a periodic tenancy or contractual periodic tenancy, BY LAW!

If he is still within the 1st 6 months, the agents are correct, he cannot escape his liability and should give written notice for the last day of that "Fixed Term", (6 months), although by law he doesn't have to, for that one particular day, he would be bonkers not to.

Once past the 6 months, his tenancy turns from an AST to a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, By LAW!, unless another agreement is signed into.

So if his rent day is a Saturday and its weekly, he gets a new weekly tenancy on a Saturday and it ends every Friday. That's 52 periodic tenancies a year!

If its monthly, it ends the day before his rent date and starts again on his rent day. That's 12 periodic tenancies a year.

He ends any 'Contractual Periodic Tenancy', by giving a MINIMUM of 4 weeks written notice, BY LAW!

That's it, no permission required from the landlord.

Get it in writing, serve it, (deliver), on the agent, witness it being done or get them to sign the receipt of it.

4 weeks later that tenancy has legally ended, FOR ALL PARTIES that signed it!, he must however, give back the keys so he cant be accused of "Holding Over", (Different Subject).

The liability is for the period up and until that notice end date, for you, him and his girlfriend.

Meanwhile, the landlord, or his agent, should, create another tenancy agreement, (Fixed Term 6 month AST), for anyone else living in the property afterwards, make arrangements for security etc.

As for your guarantee, most say, that it carries on for as long as a legal tenancy exists for the property, but I don't know the wording of your deed of guarantee.
So if the joint tenancy ends, so will your guarantee, unless you signed something unfair, in which case seek legal advice.

After the notice it will end, by LAW!

The agents are talking crap.

If they ever dared to make a legal challenge, it would probably be struck out.

Get Independent Legal Advice, from Shelter, CAB etc.

There is also a Government Booklet on ending a tenancy issued by the government,
"Notice that you must leave
a brief guide for landlords and tenants"

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Carolyn 27th April, 2018 @ 09:49

If tennant is commiting crimes would the letting agent need to know? Would they give notice to the tennant?

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Gavlaaa 21st May, 2018 @ 19:20

Never do it , you have to realise why they are a risk and what type of people they are . I have had my fingers burnt .. just ff em off . I wish I did , its now affecting my credit score and they want to take me to court because they never paid the rent in full which was agreed .

got money for drugs and beer though eh

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Pops 25th June, 2018 @ 13:58

My wife signed as guarantor for my son in August 2017 and was told it was for 6months, she stated that after that period she intended to retire, at the time of signing she fitted all criteria to act as guarantor, ie earning above the required amount requested, after 6 months she had not heard anything so wrote to the letting agent stating that as of 6/7/18 she was retiring & no longer fitted the criteria to act as guarantor even though we thought the initial 6 months was up on 1/2/18
On Friday 22/6/18 she received an email from the letting agent requesting an electronic signature to continue as guarantor, she has refused stating she no longer fits the requirements & would be unable to pay any debts, this is not a case of off loading a deadbeat just completing the initial agreement & doing the right thing by informing everybody concerned as she stated this was going to happen back in August 2017.
Surely she is now released from any obligation as guarantor .

Many thanks.

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Caro 26th June, 2018 @ 17:15

Can you pull out of being a guarantor before the tenancy contract actually begins? Student let that has suffered irrevocable breakdown between the parties before they have even moved in. AST I understand we can’t get out of but can I withdraw as a guarantor as the contract hadn’t yet started?

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Elbee 26th June, 2018 @ 17:31

Hi Caro, you need to read the contract, but typically the guarantor contract runs alongside the tenancy, so if the tenancy goes ahead so will the guarantee, and then its nigh on impossible to get out of. Seek legal advice if you are unsure. Good luck. Elbee

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Lizzy 19th October, 2018 @ 17:33

Hi I acted as guarantor for my daughter and her boyfriend when they took up a lease on private rented accommodation. The reason a guarantor was needs was because neither had rented before, both living with parents previously. They have rented without issue for over 18 months. I an due to retire next year so have drafted a letter to the landlord to say that I want to withdraw as guarantor, for no other reason than I would not be in a position to cover the rent if there was to be a problem. I don't envisage that there would be but who knows,. If he refuses to release me from the contract then I assume that the only way for me to get out of this would be for the couple to give notice and then to leave the property? Since they have now renewed for this period with no problem, I hope they would be given a chance elsewhere without a guarantor, does anyone know?

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Elbee 19th October, 2018 @ 19:05

Hi Lizzy,
Its unlikely the landlord will release you from your obligations unless there is another guarantor who can takeover. Yes, tenants leaving would certainly release you but they may find it hard to rent somewhere else without a guarantor, depends on the landlord and their circumstances. Paying rent up front may be an acceptable alternative to a guarantor but the tenants would need to find at least 6 months rent upfront. Good luck and enjoy your retirement.

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Kay mcmanus 10th November, 2018 @ 11:47

Hi in early 2014 my dad signed to be a guarantor for myself and husband to rent a house from a private landlord. Since we moved in we have never missed a single payment or been late. My dad is due to retire next year and is concerned about his responsibilities. Whilst I can assure that there will never be an issue with unpaid rent he would like to know if that we have been renting for nearly 5 years without a single issue if he is still required to be a guarantor. I don’t want him to worry so said I would See if anyone can give any advice. The reason a guarantor was needed in the first place was due to debt when was with an ex partner that I became liable for.

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Elbee 10th November, 2018 @ 13:31

Hi Kay, the short answer is that your dad will still be the guarantor for as long as you are in this tenancy. Possible ways out, find another guarantor or see if, given your good record, whether your landlord might be prepared to do without a guarantor (unlikely I fear), or if feasible,could you pay six months rent up front instead of having a guarantor. Good luck Elbee

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Sarah wakefield 8th January, 2019 @ 14:14

I stupidly became my friends guarantor in 2017 as they were about to beconr homeless. Her and her husband have 3 kids. At the time I thought I was doing a good thing by helping them. Until Nov 18 they had been paying their rent and had no problems. But, since Nov 18 I have had letters from their letting agency about the arrears which is over £1,000. I know that I am liable for this but I just don't know how I'm going to pay for it as I'm struggling a bit myself as my hours at work dropped quite a lot since I signed the garantee.
Would I be able to get out of being the guarantee once I've paid the arrears off?

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Elbee 8th January, 2019 @ 16:16

Hi Sarah, sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately all too common. I assume you have spoken to your "friends" about the arrears and how they have arisen/how they are going to pay their rent in future. It will depend on how your guarantor contract is written but usually they are set up in such a way that you can't get out of it. You may end up owing a lot more money, until eventually the landlord ends the tenancy. Your best bet is to seek legal advice as soon as possible and try to persuade your "friends" to pay. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news and just hope others thinking of becoming guarantors read this so they know how things can easily turn out badly. I wish you the very best of luck.

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Karen 31st March, 2019 @ 17:39

My husband and I signed up to be guarantors for my daughter and her boyfriend. Six months have now passed and they've gone into a periodic tenancy. All this is fine under the terms of the deed of guarantee. However we have heard from my daughter they have increased the rent without contacting us. Is the guarantee still valid?

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Elbee 31st March, 2019 @ 19:03

Hi Karen,
You would need to examine the wording on the guarantee but the answer is almost certainly "yes". Usually rent increases are covered.

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Monika 22nd May, 2019 @ 07:09

Hi, I've agreed to be a guarantor for my friend, I did it first because I feel like I can trust her because she is working full time in my factory, she have a extra job at weekends at shop and she is receiving a universal credit for he two teenage kids, she is going through divorce with her husband. The only thing is I dont feel like I want to do it, she signed the agreement, she moved to the property 3 days ago, 5 days ago she told me that she got message from the agent that I can't be her guarantor because Im working part time, I thought its over but just yesterday she told me that they told her that I can be her guarantor, Im not happy about it at all. She said that she have some paperwork for me to sign. Have to say that all this renting process is very unprofessional from very beginning, many misunderstanding, after filling the form for guarantor agency start sending me emails and treating me as a tenant, but as I found on internet its working this way. I dont know what to do now because even if I said I trust her its always some risk but I am a single parent, my son is 5 years old, Im working part time, receiving a working and child tax credits, child benefit and housing benefit, many times struggling with payments and now this big responsibility is like seriously scary and the fact that the agency is acting not clear. I told my friend that Im not sure do I want to do it, but she puts kind of pressure on me by telling me that I dont trust her and I its looks like I have no choice, I dont know what to do now, because Im worried about the future of myself and my son but I dont want to take this risk. Can you give me some idea please. Thank you in advance.

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Gary Dully 22nd May, 2019 @ 07:53

If you don’t want to be a guarantor then the answer is simple.... don’t do it.

Your so called “Friend” is already calling you names for Gods Sake.

How come out of a population of about 70 million in this country, she can only find you to legally vouch, on paper, her ability to maintain the terms of a tenancy agreement?

No mother, father, employer, friend, ex neighbours are willing to take the risk.

What about a local council bond or a deed of assurance etc?

Being a guarantor is voluntary, not mandatory.

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Elbee 22nd May, 2019 @ 14:03

Dear Monika, sorry to hear you have been put in this awkward situation. Gary is right - don't let yourself be bullied into this. The consequences could be dire for you and your son. Who do you value more - your son or your so called friend? From what you have said about your situation you are not really suitable to be a guarantor anyway. Say no, firmly and clearly and don't change your mind. Well done for reaching out for help - now stay strong. Good luck.

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Monika 22nd May, 2019 @ 17:15

Thank you both for your opinions.

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Pauline 26th May, 2019 @ 23:59

I'm about to become a guarantor for a family member. I'd like to know if my responsibilities will include being liable for unpaid council tax and utilities as well as rent and does my responsibility end after the initial 6 month term as I dont want to be guarantor after that. Thank you

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Gary 27th May, 2019 @ 00:56

Your guarantor for the landlords benefit, not the councils or utilities suppliers benefit.

However, many deeds of guarantee state that your liabilities will continue for as long as the tenant remains a tenant of the property and not just the initial fixed term.

Does the person you’re guaranteeing suddenly go rogue after about 6 months or something?

This is so frustrating when dealing with guarantors, they need to understand that landlords rights to regain control of THEIR PROPERTY requires a county court order and is an absolute nightmare of a process, that takes up to 5 months.

if the tenant they take on is a bloody idiot.

You are about to guarantee someone the landlord doesn’t know or possibly has never met.

Is this person an absolute twat or a fine upstanding citizen?

You know this person, would you give them control of an asset worth £100,000+ That you owned?

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Elbee 27th May, 2019 @ 07:34

Pauline, you shouldn't be responsible for the bills but you could be responsible for more than six months. As Gary points out it can take a long time to evict a tenant in the event of problems and you are also likely to be responsible for the costs of any damage if the tenant can't/won't pay. You need to read the contract very carefully and ensure you fully understand what you are signing up for. Usually it's very difficult to get out of these contracts and you could be liable for years and years. Unless you have lots of money behind you,and total trust that the tenant will do their utmost to pay their rent whatever the circumstances then don't sign. Remember you may be called upon to pay up through circumstances that are out of the tenants control - if they lose their job, or get sick. Think about it really carefully and seek legal advice if you are unsure. Good luck.

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Debbie 29th July, 2019 @ 19:48

I have just found out my vulnerable son has been talked in to being a guarantor for a friend he knew from college. My son has been living with his auntie in the lake district for the last 3 years and came home in March after a mental health breakdown. He has become guarantor since he came back home, and has been sent an electronic sign. He doesn't leave the house and is on universal credit.
It has only become apparent as I found and email from the housing landlord company stating his friend owed £467.64 of outstanding multiple installments towards his guarantor service fee and another email today, stating a default notice that it has gone up to £530.00 and default of rent. Obviously I am in full control of all my son's paperwork and emails, since May this year due to another breakdown and crisis team becoming involved.
I have not logged on to his emails for a while, but looking at the e-document there is no address of ours on there only my son's email address.
What is the standing on this document? As (a) vulnerable adult(mental issues and not responsible for own money)
(B) cannot look after himself, never mind take care of somebody else's rent.
I for one think it is unenforcable and the legality of it is non-existent.

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Elbee 29th July, 2019 @ 21:38

Dear Debbie, I think you need to seek legal advice asap. This sounds like too complex an issue for this forum. Sounds like the friend and landlord, or whoever set this up have acted very unprofessionally and unethically and the contract may well be unenforceable. I wish you and your son all the very best and hope he recovers from his health issues.

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Gary Dully 29th July, 2019 @ 21:59

Hi Elbie,

1. Seek legal advice
2. Was the deed signed, witnessed properly ? (If not, its void and not a valid deed).
3. Get hold of his “friend “ and ask him WTF are his or her intentions?
4. Apply pressure to the tenant and see if they surrender the tenancy, in writing, without a repossession hearing.
5. Offer some sort of offer to the landlords, in writing, for full and final settlement.
6. No landlord in their right mind uses a guarantor that has no status. It could be the case that the tenancy was obtained by deceit, misrepresentation or fraud.
7. Stop blaming the landlord, the bloody tenant has knowingly caused this mess and unless the tenancy is surrendered the landlord has no choice than to start court proceedings to get legal possession of their property back.
This aspect is not a debatable matter, it will end up in front of a judge.
8. Hope this helps.

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Elbee 30th July, 2019 @ 07:07

Hi Gary, thanks for your input, I agree with the points you have made. Would just point out that I wasn't blaming the landlord (I was careful to say 'or whoever set this up') and I didn't get the impression the original questioner was either. I have been landlord, tenant and guarantor and seen it from all sides and there can be unethical and foolish behaviour from any of those parties. I don't know enough about this case to apportion blame anywhere. Hope that clarifies things. Have a great day.

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Craig bradwell 2nd August, 2019 @ 16:50


My dad was guarantor but has retired and told lettings agents he will no longer be guarantor. They have told me the tenant either get a new guarantor or goto deposit tenancy. I have disabled son and everything setup and don't want to move we'll won't be able to afford deposit. What are chances landlord will let me stay having been a great tenant for flve years and at one point nearly 500 in credit on rent

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Gary Dully 2nd August, 2019 @ 20:47

Hi Craig,

If your dad signed a deed of Guarantee, normally they state that it cannot be cancelled even if he dies or becomes bankrupt.
That’s because he just effectively made you homeless on a whim.

That isn’t fair on you or your landlords is it?

So you have been offered a way to renew a tenancy and you take the view that because you’re occasionally ahead in rent, it matches the asset value of your landlords property or a potential eviction process of about 5 months duration.

If your landlord is a sentimental old idiot, they may accept your history as making you an ideal tenant.

Quite frankly I have little sympathy for guarantors that ruin tenancy agreements.

But what matters is what he signed in good faith.

If the deed was witnessed and he declined to take independent legal advice at the time, signing to say so, he’s still a guarantor.

Give your landlord a break and offer some sort of security for gods sake.

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Benji 3rd August, 2019 @ 19:36


If your Dad doesn't trust you enough to pay your rent, why should your landlord?

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Prenumbra 19th August, 2019 @ 21:48

I am curious. If only notice from a tenant or his death (if he/she does not want to move from the house but do not pay for it) can only finish being guarantor, so the law forces guarantors to kill the tenants because it cannot end another way... What if a tenant moves to Africa but he will not notice his rent agreement or he will go to the prison, what then? This will never end? This is the best business for landlords ever, he/she will not evict that tenant because the guarantor will pay rent forever even the tenant is not there. Is it right? Is only the death of tenants free guarantor?... Crazy law...Force for precedence...

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Liz 20th August, 2019 @ 05:55

Hi I posed the question and eventually what happened was that I approached the landlord to say that since I was retiring, I could no longer act as guarantor. I pointed out that the tenants had been faultless for nearly two years and said that I hoped he would allow them to remain without me being a guarantor. He finally replied by email to say this was fine. Of course I am holding on to a copy of that email!

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Gary 20th August, 2019 @ 07:32

If the tenant goes to prison they are protected from eviction by the law, provided they pay the rent or the guarantor does.

Otherwise everyone in prison and their families would be made homeless.

As for going to Africa, if the tenant won’t give notice they have to be evicted through the courts, because they are entitled to a hearing in front of a judge,

It’s a procedure that cannot be taken away by a landlord or guarantor.

If they don’t show up and the rent arrears are high enough the courts will issue an eviction notice.

As for it being a great thing for landlords to happen, I suggest you get your head felt by someone who’s medically qualified to diagnose “fuckwitted”

As a guarantor, you have signed a deed that says, if the tenant does not meet their obligations YOU WILL.
We now have a situation, where given a chance to surrender, give notice or pay the rent, the person you vouched for is behaving like a twat.

You vouched for the idiot, you told the landlord they were trustworthy, backed it up with a signature on a deed and presumably you knew the tenants history of twatting people about,
so don’t go all misty eyed and plead that the landlord has benefitted from the arrangement, when the tenants won’t give legal possession of someone else’s property back without a court case.

It takes months to gain possession back and even then it’s an expensive traumatic experience for the landlord because they are forced to prove their case in front of a county court judge.

Quite frankly if you guarantee a prick, you deserve to be forced to pay for the cost and anguish that you will cause.

Take your frustration out on the twat called “Tenants”, who are being stupid and would abuse the protection for tenants given by statute, by refusing to do the right thing and give legal notice.

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Prenumbra 20th August, 2019 @ 10:26

Gary>> you do not know about me, so stick in you bottom your insults ok? My tenant pays all rents regularly, he knows that if he does not I sweep him out from this business. I only said to knowledge ppl who are not in my situation, what the sick law to force them for. The law is sick and misleading. The agreement suggests that guarantee will finish after 6-12 months and it does not show that it will be prolonged automatically. He/she finds out that it does not happen from the websites. The sick law does not force the landlord provides this information clearly for the guarantor in the agreement. And it is a misuse of the sick law by the landlord and even tenants (who very often believes the same way). The sickness of the law is that only mercy of the landlord even the tenant pays regularly for even many years that only mercy of the landlord of his/her hovel called possession can discharge this cord from the neck of a guarantor or the death of them. The UK has a long past of slavery and now I understand why? Because even now the British law cultivates slavery. First it creates the pathology that the ppl when they work and cannot earn enough money to buy their own home then let for the high prices for the so-called houses which looks much time like shanty for dogs, then pay bribes for governments of other countries that they damage its own industry and society, that the UK has more desperate slaves who will be willing to work for rubbish money and pay huge rent for these hovels. Poor landlords who are profited from these situations, they cannot evict anybody straight to the street or rent the one room for ppl sleeping on the rope as you have it in the British history how the poor they are. Maybe the landlords should think about forcing the British government to change the law that they will be able to use the children of the tenants or guarantors who will work for them. This thing maybe would be enough to guarantee for renting their hovels, because the deposits and a few months paying rent ahead and a good reputation of tenants are not enough... Poor you...(for those who has not to understand sarcasm in my post I send you to ).

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Prenumbra 20th August, 2019 @ 10:37

I will add:
"If the tenant goes to prison they are protected from eviction by the law, provided they pay the rent or the guarantor does.

Otherwise, everyone in prison and their families would be made homeless" this does not protect tenants from homelessness because he/she has a new roof over his/her head it protects the business of landlords who still have profits even the tenants have not to use their property. In this case landlord in his own business will not finish the agreement forever and the guarantor has to go to the court. The same situations are when the tenant had an accident and is in a coma in the hospital and he/she cannot provide the notice for the landlord. In also, in this case, the payment for the renting can last forever because it is a wonderful business for the landlord that the guarantor in another way then the court cannot finish this agreement. Many people before me here noticed that it is a pathology and the sick law gives landlords too many power over ppl lives...


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