Advice needed about multiple student let - all should sign at the same time?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Advice needed about multiple student let - all should sign at the same time?


    I had some prospective tenants look around my property today and their situation has thrown me slightly as it is not something (in my limited experience) that I have come across before.

    There would be 4 students sharing 3 rooms - 2 of the 4 are a couple.

    They would want to move in at the end of next week but one of the 4 is in Romania and so can't sign at the same time as the other 3

    The agreement would be a joint and several AST for 10 months

    One thought I had was to let it to the three that could sign and then if they wanted the 4th to move in then that is nothing to do with me? The three would be the "tenant" and have the depost protected and pay the rent as such.

    Is this a sensible way to deal with it or could it create problems as I know of the situation?

    If they all can't sign at the same time and some want to move in before they have all signed what happens... - my thinking was all or nothing and I wouldn't want others to sign later as it sounds like it would create a whole world of pain to be honest.

    The other issue is that only 1 of the "three" can offer an British guarantor - her parents...the other 2 are from Europe and so I am not sure what use a guarantor for them would be?

    As the agreement is joint and severable I would want the guarantor to guarantee that tenants share, i.e. potentially all of the rent.

    Any advice as to what I should do?

    What is the best way to go about guarantors for students / or in general - would I need to credit check them etc?

    I had planned to get a letter from the University confirming they are enroled there....

    The whole situation doesn't sit well with me but as I am overly fussy / concerned about most things I wanted to get some extra perspective on the whole thing.

    Many thanks

    I would be inclined to agree with your proposal to have just 3 tenants and let the 4th come to a 'lodger' arrangement with the 3 tenants.

    There is nothing to stop you insisting on a English/Welsh guarantor for your prospective EU tenants - their problem if they can't find one.

    The one with a guarantor would have joint & several liability with the others, so if her French co-tenant did damage or there was a shortage of rent then she would be liable. Therefore you just need to make sure that the guarantee document makes the guarantors responsible for all the tenants liabilities.

    Why would you not credit-check the guarantors? A guarantor without the funds to pay is as useful as the proverbal chocolate tea-pot. I know, I've been there!


      Thank you very much for your reply.

      The option of having the 3 sign and then them sorting out the 4th as they like will not have any effect of the depost right? If the 3 confirm that the deposit is just from them (i.e. no 3rd party involved in the deposit)then the 4th friend would have nothing in contract / deposit law to do with me?

      I do believe that they won't be able to get a British guarantor - their problem not mine but if the tenants British guarantor is sound then is there any reason why not?

      I do worry about these things, unnecessarly so sometimes I think - I suppose I have to take a calcualted gamble at some point (which is what all letting is I guess - even teh best tenants on paper may prove to be bad in the end....less likely I guess)

      In terms of getting it right with the one guarantor I need a deed of guarantee from him - I need not actually see him sign but it must be witnessed to be a deed?

      Where can i get a suitable deed that covers what I need?

      By having him as a guarantor there is no relationship between that and the deposit is there - in that I don't need to provide him with proscribed information etc? Im guessing not unless he actually provides some of the tenants deposit?

      I should credit check him. What about job reference / confirmation? Should I ask about his / her wages etc.

      I am taking a belt and braces approach to the this tenancy so forgive my fussing

      again. thank you very much


        A credit check is usually considered sufficient and was all the the most thorough landlord I had as a student asked of guarantors. Proof of wages/job references may be seen as unnecessarily intrusive, particularly for a short term student let.

        The above represents my own opinion, derived from personal knowledge and should not be relied upon as definitive or accurate advice. It is offered free of charge and may contain errors or omissions or be an inaccurate opinion of the law. I accept no liability for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relying on the above.


          How should I deal with the deed of guarentee being signed and witnessed?

          I am probably not going to actually meet the guarentor as they live a long way away. As such I am not going to be able to verify their idenity personally / know that it is actually them signing the deed. I am going to give a copy to the tenant to give / email to their parents. I won't know that it is actually the parent that signs could be anyone. It has been suggested to me that as I can't meet with the guarentor etc that I ask that they go to a solicitor to have them verify their identity / confirm that it is them signing.

          What are peoples thoughts on this? How do other deal with guarentors that they don't meet? How can you make sure that it was signed by the actual person you need and not forged by the prospective tenant etc...

          Many thanks


            Get a solicitor to handle it local to them. IMHO Too big a risk to just bung it in the post... It will cost mind... I had to for one last year, think I was charged £250...
            I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


              Thank you for your reply. So how do agents and the many hundreds / thousands of landlords that rent to students do it, that is how to they make sure the identity of the guarentor is sound? Do they get the guarentors to come in or do they risk doing it by post? I didn't think that it was that much just to have a solicitor check a pastport etc and verify that Mr X is indeed Mr X. I just can't see this guarentor or any paying out that much. Or do I have to pay - If I have a situation where I have 3 / 4 students and need to do it for all of them that could cost £1000?. I have a deed that I will use. I just need a way of ensuring the identity of the person signing.I thought that a solicitor / notory could just check the id and witness it for a small fee like £50? I don't know what to do now as I don't want to pay that and I can't see them paying it. What is the "industry standard" for dealing with student guarentors..bearing in mind that presumably a lot of parents will be miles away from the university?

              With more than one guarantor is it normal to have them guarantee just their childs share or the liability of the child i.e. an unlimited guarentee on a joint and serverable ast.
              Again, thanks so much for you post. Your advice is much appreciated.

              In terms of running a credit check on a guarantor again, how can I check the details they give me to run the check like address etc....utility bills etc?


                Is there a step by step guide to renting to students


                This is similar to my other post but there are a few different points so forgive me if I am incorrect in starting a new thread.

                Is there any information out there that people could give me about renting to students... and what the protocol is regarding information to get from them...referencing..guarantors etc.

                In particular I am thinking about -

                Firstly what information should I get from the students...previous landlord...letter from university?

                The agreement would be a joint and severable ast so they are all liable for the rent etc

                I am okay dealing with the deposit..dps, proscribed information etc

                What about guarantors for each of them?

                - usually parents -

                1) despite the ast being J and S is it normal practice for the guarantor to just guarentee the "share" or should each deed of guarentee be unlimited.?

                2) I would need to credit check each guarantor - how can I check that the information I am given to run the check - name / address etc is accurate?

                3) The deed of guarantee needs to be witnessed etc but (as I asked in my other thread) how can I make sure that it is the person that I need it to be is signing the deed i.e. how can I verify their idenity if I don't / can't meet them for example if they live miles away. I wouldn't know if the actual person that should be signing has signed if it is done by email and post / giving blank deed to student to pass to parents. (should a solicitor verify id / notory public etc)

                I am hoping to get a sort of check list to make sure that I am hitting the points that I need to so that I say to them I need x/y/z to get the tenancy sorted out and signed.

                Presumably there must be an letting industry standard / DIY landlord finding tenants standard for what information is required.

                I don't want to ask for to little but on the otherhand I don't want to be too heavy handed and be unreasonable in what I demand in terms of id and references etc

                Many thanks and again my apologies if I have double posted when I shouldn't have .


                  Assuming you are using a credit checking agency (like the ones that advertise on LLZ), they usually have downloadable application forms which you give to the prospective tenant to complete, then email/send/fax the info back to the agency to check them.

                  Similarly, guarantors can be checked the same way - print off the form, send to the guarantor, and arrange the checks on them too.

                  I believe Artful replied to your previous thread suggesting employing a solicitor may be a wise move in this situation.

                  A lot of this has been covered in your other post, and there was really no need to start another to ask similar questions on the same letting scenario that others have already replied to! You could have added this post to the original thread, and it would come back to the start of the forum for replies to continue. No doubt mods will pick it up and merge it shortly.


                    Thank you very much for your reply. Sorry about creating another thread. My mistake.

                    The advice that both you and artful have given is very much appreciated



                      If you came to rely on the deed of guarantee in court, what is to stop the guarantor saying 'not me mate - he must have faked my signature and got his mate to witness it'.

                      Send the guarantee through the post and tell them that the guarantors signature needs to be witnessed by a solicitor. No court will disbelieve that. Sure, it will cost, but I think 'Artfuls' £250 must have included something else. Last time I had to pay a solicitor to witness my signature, it cost £10 and he put his rubber stamp on it too

                      So far as 'what' to guarantee - well it is in your interest to get each guarantor to guarantee the full 'joint & several' liability, and that is a quite common arrangement. However, guarantors may (understandably) not be willing to guarantee someone elses daughters debts. It's down to negotiation - deeds of guarantee to cover just one students 'share' are available.


                        Thank you very much snorkerz. That is around what I had thought it would cost to witness the signiture. From a bit of investigation it does seem that some letting agents etc do get unlimited guarantess i.e. you cover all the J and S liabilities. I can understand why some parents would be unwilling to do this. I will try to see what a few letting agencies do so as to see what is reasonable in the industry. There must be lots of parents who don't come to the letting agents office due to travelling etc

                        I suppose the good thing about getting a sol to witness is that it will confirm the name and address which can be cross referenced with the credit check.

                        I am trying to be as proactive and as careful as I can. Within reason. I don't want to undo do it but nor do I want to frighten people away by being unreasonable.


                          Whilst you are investigating all the requirements of letting to students, have you looked into whether this let will fall foul of HMO regulations? Often letting to 3 or more unrelated tenants is considered an HMO, and may need to be licensed by the council. Not wishing to add any more complications, but worth a mention if you are not aware of this.


                            Thank you for that pointer LesleyAnne. I have looked into this and the local council say that it is an unlicenced hmo so I am fine.

                            Good call though. Thanks for that.


                              Two related threads have been merged.
                              I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating


                              Latest Activity