Why a Guarantor?

A guide to being a Guarantor

This document forms part of a series produced by K&G Lettings Limited, which are designed to explain and guide tenants through the process of renting a property. Often when renting a property a tenant will be asked to provide a
Guarantor; Landlords and Letting agents often look more favourably on prospective tenants who have a Guarantor. This article provides information, including: what a guarantor is; what it means to be a Guarantor; and why lettings
agents and landlords require guarantors.

What is a Guarantor?

A Guarantor is an individual who agrees to be held legally responsible should a tenant breach the terms of a tenancy agreement, and not remedy these breaches. For example, the Guarantor would be responsible for paying the rent
if the tenant did not pay, or, to make any repairs to a property that the tenant should have made. Parents, family members and friends are the most frequent guarantors for tenants. Generally, a Landlord or Letting agent will ask for a Guarantor who is working and/or is a homeowner, for example, parents are often asked to be guarantors for their children.

Why do I need a Guarantor?

Landlords and lettings agents often ask for a guarantor as it gives them additional security. It is not a legal  requirement but makes a Landlord or Letting agent more likely to accept you as a tenant. Asking for a Guarantor also allows Landlords and Letting agents to accept tenants who do not meet their standards on their own. For example, a tenant may be asked to provide a Guarantor if they have a low or bad credit score. The types of tenant who are most likely to be asked for a tenancy agreement are people with a low credit score; people with a poor rental history; and people on low incomes.

What does it mean to be a guarantor?

If you are a guarantor you have become legally responsible should the tenants who you guarantee breach the terms of their tenancy. It is difficult to outline what you will be held responsible for as a tenancy includes various terms, however, guarantors are most frequently asked to pay outstanding rent and repair damage to a property.

A Guarantor will have the same level of referencing undertaken on them as the tenant. This means that a Landlord or Letting agent is likely to want the following information from a Guarantor:

  1. credit score;
  2. 3 months bank statements;
  3. 3 months wage slips;
  4. confirmation of the Guarantor’s employment;
  5. confirmation the Guarantor is a homeowner;
  6. and confirmation the Guarantor is a UK resident.

As a guarantor, you will be asked to sign a Deed of Guarantor. This is the legally binding document which outlines the Guarantor’s responsibilities. The document can be enforced by a court of law and it is important that any guarantor reads and understands any Deed of guarantor. It is also important that the Guarantor reads the tenancy agreement as they will be liable for remedying and breaches, should the tenant not do so – it is important this is completed before signing the Deed of guarantor.

The Guarantor’s responsibilities continue for as long as the tenancy agreement lasts. If the tenancy is renewed the Guarantor must give their consent to remain as a guarantor, otherwise the guarantor will not remain liable for any breaches of the tenancy.

Summary

A Guarantor is legally responsible for all breaches of a tenancy agreement that a tenant does not remedy, and will be qualified by a landlord or letting agent in the same way that a tenant would be. It is important that a Guarantor reads and understands the tenancy agreement as this outlines the responsibilities they must fulfil if the tenant does not. A tenant will be required to sign a Deed of Guarantor which forms a legally binding document which can be enforced in a court of law. Becoming a Guarantor carries with it a lot of responsibilities and is something that should not be entered into without understanding their responsibilities.