Can I chase the Guarantor or his estate?

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  • Can I chase the Guarantor or his estate?

    My Daughter has just obtained a possesion order and a judgement for £5K + costs against a tenant who was originally a Housing Benefit case who somehow lost her entitlement and thereafter strung along my Daughter till she could not cope any more and I put the case up to LandlordAction for her to get her out. hopefully the Tenant will go without further action in the next two weeks thus avoiding further expense and delay using Bailiffs.

    When the tenancy started we had a Maras Group check on the T and the Guarantor. When the second AST was signed the Guarantor's address had changed, and we are now told he is dead. However I can find no record of him on the electoral role since he moved nor is there an easily searchable record of his death as it would have been around 2006. I dowloaded a registered title on his first address to find he sold it in 2006 having bought it from the Council in 1984

    It's highly unlikely that we can get much out of the Tenant as she has two Kids and has been a Housing benefit case - and possibly owes the local council for an overpayment, She works from home and we think we know who for but whether an attachment of earnings would come off we're not sure. My question is - does anyone have experience of being able to recover rent arears from a Guarantor's estate?
    Last edited by dfoss; 07-03-2009, 16:05 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Originally posted by dfoss View Post
    When the tenancy started we had a Maras Group check on the T and the Guarantor. When the second AST was signed the Guarantor's address had changed, and we are now told he is dead.
    Hi

    Just to clarify, did you get a fresh guarantee when the second AST was signed and what form was this guarantee in? It may be helpful to reproduce the wording if you can.

    Also, I take it from what you have said that the estate may by now have been dealt with, given that he died in 2006?

    Finally, when did the arrears arise - were these before or after the guarantor's death?

    Preston

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    • #3
      We did not get a new Maras Group Acceptability check - just a fresh signature from the Guarantor - when we renewed the AST in April 2006 - that expired in April 2007 and thereafter would become a rolling one month tenancy. The Tenant could not find another Guarantor which is why we never got another AST signed. She told us that the original Guarantor had died.

      The AST is a standard off the shelf thing and as far as Guarantor goes says simply "If there is a Guarantor, he Guarantees that the Tenant will keep to his obligations in this agreement. The Guarantor agrees to pay on demand to the Landlord any money lawfully due to the Landlord by the Tenant"

      The arrears built up from November 2007

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dfoss View Post
        We did not get a new Maras Group Acceptability check - just a fresh signature from the Guarantor - when we renewed the AST in April 2006 - that expired in April 2007 and thereafter would become a rolling one month tenancy. The Tenant could not find another Guarantor which is why we never got another AST signed. She told us that the original Guarantor had died.

        The AST is a standard off the shelf thing and as far as Guarantor goes says simply "If there is a Guarantor, he Guarantees that the Tenant will keep to his obligations in this agreement. The Guarantor agrees to pay on demand to the Landlord any money lawfully due to the Landlord by the Tenant"

        The arrears built up from November 2007
        Well, I am not an expert nor do I have a great deal of experience in this issue, but I think you have two problems:

        1) unless the contract says otherwise, the normal rule is that the guarantor cannot be liable for any debts which have not yet accrued as soon as you are told of the guarantor's death. As I understand it, the debts arose after you became aware and your agreement does not deal with this issue.

        2) notwithstanding that there may be a clause in the agreement dealing with conintuing liability after death, the guarantor's personal representatives cannot be forced to set aside a sum out of the estate to meet a potential future liability. So, if the estate was dealt with before your arrears arose, then even if there was a clause in the agreement requiring the guarantee to continue after the death it may well be that there was no obligation to make an allowance for this.

        So, I'm afraid I can't see any realistic prospect of recovering your debt from the guarantor's estate.

        If you do want to pursue the matter, it is defnitely a case requiring specialist legal advice, but I think this would be good money after bad.

        Preston

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        • #5
          Hmmm! - I had not thought of the timing in that way - given that he IS dead it does not look promising - I think I will attempt to verify that first and if it is so then abandon that line of attack. We have had such a pile of fairy tales that nothing is for certain unless it's checked out.

          So it's back to an attachment of earnings on the Tenant - an unmarried Mum with two kids and a work-from-home job and a possible Local Housing Allowance overpayment problem. I'm glad I just got stuck in and got a possesion order for my Daughter but I think it's unlikely that she will see any money. Even a tenner a week would help as my Daughter is now disabled on mental health grounds and now the house is all she has left but can't afford to live in it herself - just hoping that by renting it out one day she may get back on her feet and move back in.

          It's a fully managed let for her next time.

          The moral is - there is no room for trying to help people by giving them time - you just get shafted. And if you ever dare to work and get a little ahead you have to lose it all before you get any help in this Country - that's reserved for those who did nowt.

          Thanks for the overview - it's been helpful - I think I will do an attachment just as a Christmas present to myself - then draw a line under it - unless anyone has another suggestion.

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