Guarantor signing process

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    Guarantor signing process

    I understand that a deed of guarantee should be signed after the main tenancy agreement has been signed, otherwise there is nothing available to guarantee at the point they sign. However, I am setting up a student rental and need to be sure that the guarantors will agree to sign before the tenancy agreement is signed. As the guarantors do not live nearby, they must post their completed deeds to me, but when should they do this? If it is before the tenancy agreement is signed, I am not sure this will stand up to legal scrutiny and if it is after, they can back out of being a guarantor but I cannot back out of letting the property to the tenants.
    I believe that the need for guarantors could be written into the tenancy agreement, and I will investigate this for next year's letting, but I don't really have enough time left to sort that now in time for this year's tenants (unless anyone has a detailed resource on this that they can link me to quickly).
    Can I ask what anyone else has done about this, or just ask for advice from anyone who knows about this part of law?
    Thanks!

    #2
    My tenants guarantor signed a separate agreement ie a guarantor's agreement, and signed the bottom of the tenancy agreement to say they understand the TA and that they are the guarantor. When I needed legal action my solicitor said this was OK.

    I will, however, be purchasing a deed of guarantee for the next time I need one.

    Hope this helps.

    Comment


      #3
      Have you credit checked the guarantors?

      Have the guarantors been given a draft copy of the tenancy document to read already?

      A deed of guarantor must be signed and the signature witnessed - you can ask them to arrange this through a local solicitor's office but there will be a charge for this service.

      Comment


        #4
        I follow the advice of the person who drafted my Guarantor Deed, which is:
        • ensure the Gs have all had the chance to read the TA and specimen GD, and time to seek legal advice if they wish, before signing the GD
        • give Gs written information about their commitment and explain that the GD willneed be posted back to me and that it will be dated the same day that the students sign the TA (this obviates the need for them all to travel to the university town on the day the students sign, which is expensive and inconvenient).
        • post out two copies of the GD, signed by me, and my signature witnessed, to each G with the words 'Do not date' written in pencil in the space where it says 'Dated ....2013' They sign both, have their signatures witnessed, keep one copy, and return the other one to me.
        • when the GDs are returned to me, they are dated the day the students all signed.
        '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

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          #5
          I've already stated on another thread recently that it is not sufficient to rely upon guarantors signing at a distance as you cannot be sure they are genuine, and it is easy to forge signatures as I have found out to my cost (haven't the time to go into details). The guarantor simply has to say in court that the signature is not theirs if there is any shadow of doubt as to its authenticity, so I now insist on all guarantors being present at the signing of the Deed of Guarantee.

          The judge only has to ask a landlord or agent if they saw the guarantor(s) sign the Deed and if not then you are on very thin ice to substantiate any signature.
          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


            #6
            So you send document to guarantor, it is signed, along with witness. Then in court guarantor claims signature is not his.
            How many criminal offenses must have been committed?

            Shouldn't the judge ask the witness if they saw the signature taking place?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
              .... so I now insist on all guarantors being present at the signing of the Deed of Guarantee.

              ...
              I once went with signature in from of local solicitor.... (no probs so far.....)
              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...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jjlandlord View Post
                Shouldn't the judge ask the witness if they saw the signature taking place?
                If the witness is not local to the premises (or the court for that matter) do you think they are going to bother to attend a distant court just to say they witnessed a document about which they probably remember very little detail? They might sign an affadavit but who will pay for that I wonder?

                Finding the witness is akin to finding an ex-tenant sometimes!
                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


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                  I've already stated on another thread recently that it is not sufficient to rely upon guarantors signing at a distance as you cannot be sure they are genuine, and it is easy to forge signatures as I have found out to my cost (haven't the time to go into details). The guarantor simply has to say in court that the signature is not theirs if there is any shadow of doubt as to its authenticity, so I now insist on all guarantors being present at the signing of the Deed of Guarantee.

                  The judge only has to ask a landlord or agent if they saw the guarantor(s) sign the Deed and if not then you are on very thin ice to substantiate any signature.
                  I appreciate what you are saying but with student tenancies, the Gs may live several hundred miles away from the university town where their son or daughter is renting a house. It simply isn't practical to get all six Gs together on the same day in the same place. Letting agents certainly do not require Gs for student tenancies to do that, either.

                  I always telephone each parent Guarantor personally and check that they understand the commitment and are happy to undertake it. I also ask for a photocopy of an identity document bearing their signature.

                  I think there are very few people willing to perjure themselves by pretending that their signature was forged when it was not.
                  '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

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
                    If the witness is not local to the premises (or the court for that matter) do you think they are going to bother to attend a distant court just to say they witnessed a document about which they probably remember very little detail? They might sign an affadavit but who will pay for that I wonder?
                    For sure, Paul.
                    My point is that the court should order the witness to show up or indeed to produce an affidavit before making any decision. Otherwise, what's the point?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Guarantor forms

                      Sorry for jumping in on this one, i also need a guarantor form for an upcoming tenant, where can i download a free copy a G agreement? Who can witness this form?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by prstevo View Post
                        Sorry for jumping in on this one, i also need a guarantor form for an upcoming tenant, where can i download a free copy a G agreement? Who can witness this form?
                        I can't give you a free link, but a cheap one.

                        http://www.tenancyservices.co.uk/pro...d-of-guarantee

                        Anyone can be a witness.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks for all the advice, particularly the full explanation of the method from mind the gap, which I will be using. While I don't want to compromise security, I think that it is equally important to keep the guarantors on side by not insisting on draconian measures.


                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          I can't give you a free link, but a cheap one.

                          http://www.tenancyservices.co.uk/pro...d-of-guarantee
                          I am also using this one. It seems solid and, frankly, there seems no point bothering with guarantors at all if you are getting them to sign something which won't stand up in court if the need arises.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Write to the guarantors asking them if they will send you the signed but undated guarantee deed (preferably a scanned pdf though by post will do just as well but take longer) and that their signatures will be held in escrow and will not be released until the tenancy agreement is signed. Then on the day the tenancy is signed you date the guarantees (or ask the guarantors to do it) and have them send you the originals. This kind of procedure is used in very large commercial transactions everyday (where the signatories can be in different countries or, more usually, continents).
                            Disclaimer:

                            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.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                              • post out two copies of the GD, signed by me, and my signature witnessed, to each G with the words 'Do not date' written in pencil in the space where it says 'Dated ....2013' They sign both, have their signatures witnessed, keep one copy, and return the other one to me.
                              • when the GDs are returned to me, they are dated the day the students all signed.
                              I know you often see this sort of thing with legal documents, but given that the point of the date is intended to reflect the date the document was signed, isn't there a risk of compromising the integrity of the document by doing this?

                              Comment

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