Acting as a guarantor is a serious responsibility. You will be legally liable for the actions of the tenant you are guaranteeing, for instance, if they fail to pay the rent or if they cause damage to the property, you will have to cover these costs.
In order to act as a guarantor, you will be required to pass our thorough referencing process to assess your suitability. Throughout the referencing process, we will require your swift cooperation and support to ensure that the process is completed successfully and as quickly as possible. There is a 3 working day time limit for you to complete all actions required as part of the referencing application process, therefore, you should be ready to act immediately as soon as the referencing begins.
You will be liable for the tenants performance of their duties under the tenancy agreement, therefore, you should ensure that you read the Draft Tenancy Agreement and Draft Guarantor Agreement (attached as part of the example tenancy agreement - section 6), if you haven't already done so. We asked the tenants to make you aware of these documents before sending us your details, but we always like to double check.
By acting as a guarantor, you will be required to sign a (completed) copy of the tenancy and guarantor agreement, therefore, it is vital that you understand these agreements completely and that you are 100% willing and able to sign these agreements when the time comes. Due to the time constraints and the fact that there are often multiple guarantors acting on the same tenancy, it is not possible for guarantors to request changes to these agreements, so if you are unhappy with the agreements then please do not continue with your application as a guarantor and make the tenant you are acting for aware immediately. The tenant you are acting for will then have to find a suitable guarantor to replace you with, within 3 working days, or they will need to proceed without a guarantor by paying their share of the rent in advance for the entire tenancy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Am I liable for the other tenants, or just the tenant I am acting for?
- Technically you are only liable for the tenant you are guaranteeing, however, their tenancy agreement is for joint and several liability, therefore, at the end of the day you may end up liable for the failure of another tenant due to this. For peace of mind we can confirm that we will always pursue the guarantor for the tenant at fault as a first step and pursuing a guarantor for a tenant they are not guaranteeing is extremely rare and is a last resort.
- Will I qualify as a guarantor?
- Please see the following article on our tenant referencing process. Guarantor referencing criteria is very similar, however, guarantors must have a provable qualifying income of 36 times the monthly rent share and must have a very good credit history. If you have any adverse credit history or a low income, then it is highly unlikely that you will qualify to act as a guarantor.
- I've changed my mind and don't want to act as a guarantor. Will the tenant lose the property and the money they have paid if I pull out?
- The short answer is yes. The tenants will lose at least £72 in fees for replacing you with another guarantor (if they are able to find one quickly enough), however, if they cannot find a suitable replacement guarantor, then they will likely lose the holding amount they have paid and their application will be cancelled. This is why we highly recommend that tenants and guarantors read our articles on referencing criteria and credit checking.