What is a guarantor for rent?

A guarantor is someone who agrees to cover the full amount of your rent if your circumstances change or if you are unable to keep up with payments for whatever reason. Rental guarantors are more than just a signature on a piece of paper; they are your safety net, ensuring your landlord receives their payments even if life throws you a curveball.

When might you need a tenancy guarantor?

Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes you might need a guarantor. Whether you're changing jobs, dealing with money worries, or starting university, having a guarantor can give you and your landlord peace of mind.

Landlords may also request a guarantor if they think you may struggle to pay rent because of a poor credit history or a recent relocation from overseas.

Who can be a guarantor for rent?

Typically, guarantors might be family members or close friends. However, they aren't limited to these circles. Landlords prefer guarantors who have stable finances, live in the UK, and either have a steady income or significant savings. If someone is retired or living abroad, they might not be as likely to be accepted as a guarantor.

A landlord may also carry out a credit check on potential guarantors to understand if they have a good credit history.    

What does a guarantee cover?

A guarantor steps in to cover rent arrears or property damage. The agreement clearly outlines what the guarantor is responsible for, and this usually covers all tenants named in the tenancy contract. While the duration of the agreement typically aligns with the tenancy period, variations exist, and it's essential to clarify the terms beforehand.

Understanding guarantor rights and responsibilities

Guarantor’s commit to covering any unpaid rent or property damage during the specified period outlined in the guarantor agreement.

Before signing, guarantors should receive copies of both the guarantor and tenancy agreements, ensuring transparency and understanding of their obligations. It's crucial that guarantors aren't coerced into signing and are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities. Guarantor agreements are invalidated if the terms of a tenancy change. Unless this is agreed by the guarantor or otherwise specified. 

Navigating claims against guarantors

If rent isn't paid or there is property damage, landlords can ask guarantors to step in. If the guarantor does not step in, landlords might even take legal action, which could affect both you and your guarantor. So, it's important for everyone to know what they are agreeing to in the contract.

What alternatives to guarantors are there?

While having a guarantor can provide a sense of security for both yourself and your landlord, it's not always feasible. In such cases, there are alternative options worth considering. One option is providing a larger deposit upfront, which can serve as a form of insurance against potential rent arrears or damages. Additionally, some landlords may accept advance rent payments covering several months in lieu of a guarantor.

Another possibility is obtaining a rental insurance policy, which can offer financial protection in case of default. Exploring these alternatives can offer you flexibility if you don’t have access to a suitable guarantor, while still providing reassurance to landlords.

Let Felicity J. Lord help

Guarantors provide security and peace of mind for both tenants and landlords. Whether you're a tenant or considering becoming a guarantor, understanding their role is crucial for a smooth renting experience. Navigating this can be tricky, but at Felicity J. Lord, we're here to offer expert guidance and support for your next move.