First time landlord guarantor/tenant question

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    First time landlord guarantor/tenant question

    Hi all,
    My girlfriend and I are in the process of moving down to London from Liverpool and are looking to rent our house out privately. We're currently going through the process with someone with a young child and her boyfriend. It turns out that, contrary to what we though, that the boyfriend won't be living with her but will be contributing to rent. She's on a pretty low income and couldn't afford it on her own. Are we best to make the boyfriend guarantor (we think he's on a decent wage that would probably cover the rental) or make him joint tenant and then it's up to him whether he lives there or not, at least he's responsible for the rent?. Is this an advisable thing to do or should be be running for the hills at this? What legal position would this leave us in should the couple split up? We're not in a position to be gambling on whether we'd get the money or not as we couldn't cover London rental costs and our mortgage and still have money to eat!
    Would greatly appreciate any help in this matter.

    If you need as watertight a set-up as possible, you need to credit reference any tenant(s), irrespective of who might or might not be living with them. If her income does not look as if she can afford the rent by herself, then yes, she needs a joint tenant and/or a guarantor. If you think the relationship may not last, he would be a bad choice for either co-tenant or guarantor, because although he would be legally liable for any unpaid rent, etc,, try getting it out of him if they do split up!

    Doers she have a parent or someone else who could stand guarantor for her?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


      Thanks for the reply - I believe her mother is happy to be guarantor although no idea whether she would pass the checks or not. Having a guarantor was something we were initially not that keen to do as, it being our first time with AST agreement, we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Does it cause any extra problems to have a guarantor? I've heard it can still take months to recover any monies even with one?


        I rent to students (also low/no income!) and I would say it's essential. If the tenant cannot produce the rent herself, it's a safety net. It very rarely gets to the point where you have to take the gurantor to court but it can only be in your interests to have that alternative source of money in place.

        Make sure the prospective guarantor sees the tenancy contract before signing a Guarantor agreement (which I'm told should be excuted as a deed to give it maximum clout), and that G's signature is witnessed by independent third party.

        Good luck!
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


          That's great, thanks so much for your help, really appreciate it!


            Be very careful.

            I think it is quite likely that she and the boyfriend have already split up, and he is putting himself forward in support, but without incurring any actual liability, in order to get his ex-girlfriend and his child housed. They will then conveniently separate at some point shortly after the commencement of the tenancy, and this will be very quickly followed by the tenant making an application for LHA. Even if what I have said is not the case, then what happens if she gets off with his best friend behind the chip shop one Friday night and he stops paying her rent in revenge?

            Think twice. And if you still decide that you want to go ahead, then make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, and have another think. If, after that, you're sure you want to proceed then reference the g/tor(s) thoroughly. I would also try to get both the "boyfriend" and one of her parents to stand as g/tors.

            Don't try to do the g/tee paperwork yourself - instruct a solicitor to do it on your behalf. Also, make sure that the g/tor(s) have read the tenancy agreement before signing the g/tee.

            You should also probably be thinking very seriously about having the property managed by a competent local agent as this tenancy sounds like it could become quite high maintenance quite quickly. You really do not want to be managing a difficult situation, with no experience of property management, by remote control from the other end of the country.

            What sort of people are they (including the mother)? Obviously, they are scousers, which doesn't exactly bode well , but what I mean by this is could you quite easily see them appearing on "The Jeremy Kyle" show?
            Health Warning

            I try my best to be accurate, but please bear in mind that some posts are written in a matter of seconds and often cannot be edited later on.

            All information contained in my posts is given without any assumption of responsibility on my part. This means that if you rely on my advice but it turns out to be wrong and you suffer losses (of any kind) as a result, then you cannot sue me.


              We've decided, I think, to err on the side of caution and get someone else. While I don't think their Kyle-types, their behaviour hasn't exactly filled us with confidence. Furthermore, it seems to me that, while guarantor's are ok if you don't expect to have to use them, we'd be getting them and expecting to go to them at some point. Which, logically, means we don't think she/they can pay so we will steer clear. Especially as we'll be at the other end of the country.
              Big thanks for both of your comments, hugely appreciated!


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