Deed of Guarantor - help!

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    Deed of Guarantor - help!

    Hi,
    Long story short I signed one, very naively, expecting it to only be relevant to the length of the original agreed tenancy agreement.

    It transpires that, in fact, I am actually liable beyond that date without exception:

    "cannot be revoked during the continuance of any further tenancy between the Landlord and the Tenant"

    and

    "not to be revoked by, notwithstanding any alteration of the terms including increase in the amount of rent payable."

    Yes, I am a complete twonk.

    I am ok with the original 6 months but I am not happy with any continuation.

    Having done a bit of homework I think the following points are pertinent to me declaring the deed null and void:

    1) It was drawn up by the Letting Agents not the landlord.
    2) It looks like it was ripped straight off the net.
    3) I have never seen and have no copy of the Tenancy Agreement.
    4) The Agent signed as the Landlord.
    5) We (myself and the agent) never had a witness, although there is a witness name and signature
    6) That 'witness' is actually the Office Manager not an unrelated third party.

    Like I said, I'm not unreasonable and willing to honour the 6 months but from my internet investigations the deed isn't actually valid.

    Can anyone comment?

    Many thanks!

    James

    #2
    After the initial 6 month of a tenancy it goes periodic which means both parties carry on with the same agreement until one party decides to end it.

    So it would seem the person you are guarantor for is staying on at the property.

    An agent does act for the landlord in some cases - quite correct and it is fine also to take agreements off the net and get office staff to witness documents signed.

    Trouble is you signed it without asking too many questions or reading you friend's tenancy agreement. All down to you I'm afraid.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

    Comment


      #3
      Personally I think as I found out on here recently that
      1) you didn't see the agreement before you signed it.
      2) you didn't see the AST before you signed it
      And most importantly
      3) the letting agents draft the deed which that cannot do.
      Therefore I would personally think that it may not be enforceable, as I have posted and found out recently as I say.
      Cheers

      Comment


        #4
        I also believe that you have a legal right to give notice after the fixed term that you will not continue to guarantee payments
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the feedback so far. Sort of mixed response in terms of liability though.
          As I said, I'm happy to honour 6 months but beyond that no.

          Where is the best place I can get a definitive answer based upon the facts I've laid out at the start? I guess a specialist within a law firm?! Silly question I'm sure.

          One more thing, when I state that the LA drew up the deed it's simply because it is on their headed paper - I guess that alone is reason enough to say they and not the LL 'created' the deed?
          Thanks again for people's time in responding.

          Comment


            #6
            1) It was drawn up by the Letting Agents not the landlord.

            If it is a deed that is a criminal offence, not that that has any bearing on the validity of the document.

            2) It looks like it was ripped straight off the net.

            Immaterial.

            3) I have never seen and have no copy of the Tenancy Agreement.

            Very material. You did not know what you were guaranteeing.

            4) The Agent signed as the Landlord.

            Irrelevant since the landlord's signature is not needed.

            5) We (myself and the agent) never had a witness, although there is a witness name and signature

            That means it is not a deed. Possible in your favour. Depends onwhat the judge's opinion on the law is.

            6) That 'witness' is actually the Office Manager not an unrelated third party.

            Er.. I thought you said there was no witness.

            The fact that it is on the agent's headed notepaper is also of no importance.

            What is important is not so much the formalities of execution, but whether you were properly informed as to your potential liability.

            Comment


              #7
              The D of G is usually a fairly standard form drawn up by the Agent or more likely the agents solicitor (not specifically for any one tenant) or from one of the associations like RLA or ARLA. The D of G you signed covers any non payment for a minimum of six mon and for as long as the tenant is at the property. However, ii would think that you would be able to give notice of wishing to terminate just as the tenant can. The Agent should then serve notice on the tenant to leave.

              Comment


                #8
                We often hear this idea that a guarantor can give notice terminating the guarantee once the fixed term is ended. I think it has to be the case that either the guarantee binds the guarantor according to its terms or it does not bind him at all.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Small print, legalise nightmare but I see LCs contract approach
                  Suggestion
                  G is liable for full fixed term and resultant SPTs
                  Abolish extensions & renewals (if they exist)other than SPTs
                  Any extension or renewalwould establish a new AST and fixed term, requiring a new Deed Of Guarantor if G still required

                  Comment


                    #10
                    So if guarantor signed up for first 6 months and then the tenants let the tenancy go onto periodic you would have to resign the guarantor or not?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No, the D of G runs as long as the tenant is there.

                      The only way you as the G are out is when the tenant leaves (although you may also be liable if any damages). If you want out you should talk to the agent and they should serve notice on the tenant to leave.

                      Might not go down well if the tenant is a friend.

                      A responsible agent should act on your need to get out of the contract (after the minimum six months)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by WPM View Post
                        No, the D of G runs as long as the tenant is there.

                        The only way you as the G are out is when the tenant leaves (although you may also be liable if any damages). If you want out you should talk to the agent and they should serve notice on the tenant to leave.

                        Might not go down well if the tenant is a friend.

                        A responsible agent should act on your need to get out of the contract (after the minimum six months)
                        The D of G runs for as long as the D of G says it is valid for.

                        The agent works for the landlord - the guarantor has no control over the agent and indeed, only the landlord can initiate possession proceedings.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          For a guarantee to extend to any statutory periodic tenancy or any new tenancy it has to be correctly worded. However, that may not be enough. If the guarantor persuades the court that he did not fully understand the extent of the guarantee it will let him off the hook; not only that, but the whole guarantee will be unenforceable.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just another point of warning.

                            If the landlord or agent does not see the guarantor sign the Deed of Guarantee then there is no proof the signature of that person is genuine. Even though the signature has been 'witnessed' it is quite common for somebody to witness a document without having seen the person actually sign it. A guarantor whose signature did not match the one on the guarantor deed recently denied all knowledge of having signed it and accused 'somebody' (the tenant?) of forging it, even though a witness had endorsed the signature too, and the tenant stated he was also present at the time. Unfortunately the witness' signature is illegible even though his name is printed (badly) above it.

                            As the Deed of Guarantee was apparently signed at the guarantor's home or workplace the Distance Selling Regulations kick in so there has to be a 7 days cooling-off period, and if there is no slip attached to this effect, it automatically means the person can rescind the document up to 3 months afterwards!. Neither the agent nor the landlord saw the guarantor sign it.
                            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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                              Just another point of warning. Etc
                              The problem with the agent/landlord seeing the guarantor is that the document is not signed in an independent environment.

                              The problem with sending a guarantee (and in student lettings that is usually the case) is that you cannot be certain the guarantor signed.

                              The only safe way is to get the document witnessed by a lawyer.

                              Comment

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