How to swap guarantors?

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    How to swap guarantors?


    I have a tenant who hasn't paid last two months rent. I contacted the guarantor and he came in and paid..

    However he is the ex-husband and he wants to stop being a guarantor and be replaced by one of the tenants family. He has stated he will be guarantor until this "swap" has taken place. He feels that because he is her ex-husband she wants him to be liable and doesnt care if her rent isnt paid.. However if its a family member she will have more respect.

    This is understandable and we are willing to change guarantors if they are acceptable after referencing. Is this legal? What needs to be done if this happens?Does a new AST have to be drawn up?

    Please can anyone advise me?

    It is certainly legal, however I am not sure that it is the best way of dealing with the situation. I suspect you would need a new AST, not entirely sure. However, now the tenant is resident, I think it will be no easy task to persuade her to get a family member to become a new guarantor, especially as I am guessing(maybe unfairly) that she has no particular reason to be "fair" to the ex husband in this way. A fair solution on your part, if maybe somewhat extreme(however I would say not, the tenant has already missed 2 months of rent anyway), is to simply evict the tenant. Therefore guarantor agreement is removed for the ex husband. Of course, you could cancel the eviction if the tenant provides a new guarantor, but do you really want to tie her in for another 6 months? Out of interest how long has she been your tenant?
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.


      It is up to you if you accept to change the guarantor - you are under no obligation to do that. If you are happy to have your Tenant remain in your property, then I suggest referencing the new guarantor, and should the references prove adequate, then you will need to draw up a new Tenancy Agreement with the new guarantor's details.

      A word of caution though, in my experience when a guarantor wants "out", it usually means that they do not have faith in the Tenant's ability to keep to the terms and conditions of the Tenancy, ie. the main one being to pay the rent. Make sure that the new guarantor is a property owner and either in full time employment with adequate income to meet his/hers own commitments, as well as your rent, or can provide adequate evidence of funds for the purpose of covering your rent.

      Do not begrudge a decent Agent their fees - Landlord's come to the Agent in the first place, and it is often the Landlord's who try to cheat the agents out of fees, not the other way round. Landlord's don't be greedy.


        Of course nobody has yet mentioned that the new guarantor would have to see the tenancy agreement first, understand it's meaning and then agree to take repsonsibility. Any half-decent solitior would advise against it! Also is the tenancy agreement enforceable on the tenant in its entirely, or does it have potential unfair terms, contain legal jargon etc.etc.

        I would retain the current guarantor as changing him could create its own problems, especially if you are not very experienced in these matters. If not ask the legal guys to do it for you.
        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.


          Thanks everyone for your advice.

          This tenant is a nightmare from the start. Shes been there since March with a 12month contract.
          She missed two months rent so I got the guarantor to pay up which he did. He is fine with the situation but his just annoyed that shes taking £1500 maintenance a month and not paying the rent with it therefore he has to pay up with the rent.I can understand his point of view about wanting to change and if there was an easy way of getting her parents to become guarantor (and they are suitable) then I would happily change.
          I dont want to sign a new agreement with her though, I want her out in March and Ive got the paperwork ready to send to her!
          I cant evict her any other way because the guarantor pays up therefore she isnt in arrears by 2months to go to court on a section 8. I dont want the hassle of using a section 8 on another grounds as it seems unreliable.
          I think I will just have to keep the guarantor even though in my eyes it seems unfair but this is business I suppose and he did sign up for it!


            I can't see the necessity for drawing up a new AST.
            Any guarantor agreement I have used is on a separate sheet of paper and duly witnessed as a deed.
            The wording of the deed doesn't let the guarantor off the hook even if the tenant vacates, if she still owes the landlord money. I assume therefore that if a family member did sign as guarantor, that the poor old ex would have something in writing to say he no longer is responsible for her debts!


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