Are you a guarantor looking for useful information?
If so, let T4L UK help...
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is a 3rd party individual who agrees to accept the financial liabilities of tenants should they default on their rental agreement. This can include covering unpaid rent, damage to property and outstanding bills.
What tenants need a guarantor?
A landlord's priority is to protect his interests. This means a landlord will want reassurance that tenants will respect property and pay their rent on time. When making a decision on whether to offer a tenancy agreement, a landlord will usually require a reference check to confirm the prospective tenant's character and credit history. Some tenants need a guarantor because their personal circumstances mean they're unable to provide the proof and reassurance a landlord requires.
- A young person just starting work
- A student
- Someone on housing benefits
- A professional person new to living in the UK
These groups of people often have a limited work history and a poor credit rating meaning they pose a higher risk.
In these situations, an appropriate guarantor can significantly reduce the landlord's risk and make it more likely a tenant will be offered a tenancy agreement. It means agreeing to be a guarantor can help someone close to you secure a rental property.
What qualifies me to be a guarantor?
In order to be a guarantor you should pose less risk than the tenants you're agreeing to guarantee.
In practice this means you will:
- Have a strong credit history
- Probably be a homeowner
- Probably be in permanent employment
- Have significant savings or be able to prove you could cover the financial liabilities should tenants default
If you offer to be a guarantor, it's likely a prospective landlord will require you to have satisfactory references to prove the above.
And remember... the landlord's decision is final. They're not obligated to accept your offer to be a guarantor.
What are the risks if I become a guarantor?
Deciding to become a guarantor is a decision you should not take lightly. That's because there are risks involved. So before saying "yes", take some time to carefully assess and understand the impact it will have on you. In particular, you should be clear on the following: As a guarantor you sign a legal commitment where you agree to be liable for the tenants' obligations as laid out in their tenancy agreement.
In practice this means:
- If they fail to pay their rent YOU must pay it
- If they damage property and can't afford to pay for the repairs YOU become liable
- If you cannot pay, YOU could face legal action and YOUR credit history could be compromised
Unfortunately there are no advantages on being a guarantor – aside from the personal satisfaction that you've helped someone close to you secure a tenancy agreement.
Five top tips to help decide if being a guarantor is right for you
- Thoroughly check your contract: Ensure you know exactly what you're committing to and for how long.
- Consider the worst-case scenario: If the person you're guaranteeing defaults on their rent, can you really afford the financial impact of your acquired liabilities?
- Assess your relationship: How strong is your relationship with the person you're offering to guarantee and how much do you trust them?
- Get reassurance: How confident are you that the person you're offering to guarantee can and will meet their financial obligations under their tenancy agreement?
- Don't feel pressured: Being a guarantor is more than simply vouching for someone. It's about agreeing to be financially liable for rent and other liabilities you have no direct control over.
Decided to be a guarantor?
Registering your decision with T4L UK is easy...
Is someone close to you looking to rent direct?
Do they plan to use T4L UK to find their dream rental property?
Have you agreed to be a guarantor to help secure their tenancy agreement?
If so, register your intentions on the T4L UK database and speed up the process. Here's how...
- Simply pay your £1.99 p.a registration fee and upload your profile.
- Submit your application to be referenced with LetRef and pay the £49.50 fee and get a result within 3-5 working days.
- Once you've been successfully referenced, YOU can update the status of the tenant you're guaranteeing. Their online profile will now show that they have a referenced guarantor.
- Your help could increase their chances of securing a tenancy.