Shared house- can Guarantor cover one only of several?

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  • Shared house- can Guarantor cover one only of several?

    I am due to be moving into a shared house with 3 friends next week, and I have been told at very short notice that my income is considered too low for me to enter into the lease without a guarantour, as has another of my flatmates, who has secured one without problems.

    However, my father has raised the point that as only half of us will have guarantours and the contract will be jointly and severally liable, this is equivalent to him standing guarantour for all of us (excepting the girl who has one independently), and is understandably anxious about signing as he has never met the people I live with and considers it unwise to enter into an agreement which could lead to his being persued for unpaid rent other than mine. Is it normal or acceptable to ask only some tenants to provide them?

    The solutions we have considered so far are to either see if we can amend the contract and add a clause relating to it, or to set up separate agreement betwen my father and the remaining members of the household stating that he would not be called upon to make up shortfalls in rent incurred by any member of the household than myself. However, time is very much not our freind as we have just over a week remaining to complete the paperwork including the guarantour forms and pay the deposit which needs time to clear. Are either of these options possible? how would we go about setting either up? And is excessive correspondence on this issue likely to reflect badly with the estate agency? Although the holding deposit is paid, along with the agency fee, are we still in any danger of losing the property?

    I'm in the unfortunate position of having to go-between my father, flatmates and estate agents to attempt to resolve this as fast as possible in order that everything is completed in time to vacate our current house on 1st december, and I don't know where to even begin.
    Can anybody help please? anything you could suggest to help sort this out would be very much appreciated!


  • #2
    Oh dear! We're getting into heavy stiff here!

    Whan a guarantor is required they guaranbtee the rent, not just a proportion of it as you rightly point out, so unwittingly all the guarantors currently in place will in fact guarantee the rent as a whole and not just part of it.

    It is considered by the OFT that clauses such as "joint & severally liable" are legal jargon and should be reworded so as to be enforceable on tenants, or guarantors.

    A well written guarantor agreement would normally extend to cover not only rentl iability but also other breaches by the tenants where there is financial loss to the landlord.

    I the guarantor agreement is poorly worded it will not be enforceable, and both tenant and guarantor must be given "reasonable time" to read and consult a solicitor or CAB before they sign the AST or document, otherwise you could argue against any onerous terms being unenforceable on either of you.

    If there are several guarantors in place then I think that it would confuse matters as to who has ultimate responsibility and I would like to hear the view of the legal profession on this!
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


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